Bacon & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
Great for brunch, this golden bread is packed with flavorful bacon, cheese, and fresh herbs between each heavenly layer. Adapted from a sweet bread recipe by legendary baker, Flo Braker, this bread is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Serve warm with unsalted butter for an extra decadent treat.
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the Filling
6 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup finely chopped soft herbs, such as flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, dill, and thyme
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Add salt and softened butter. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on medium speed until combined and a shaggy dough is formed.
Switch to the dough hook, and with the mixer on low speed, the rest of the flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is formed.
Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and becomes springy and pliable, about 8 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a round ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise into warm location until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Allow to rest for a few minutes before rolling out into a 12 inch x 20 inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, then season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the diced bacon and parmesan cheese.
Then add garlic, herbs and cheddar cheese evenly over the dough.
Cut the dough into 6 equally sized strips. A pizza wheel works well for this. Using a large offset spatula to lift the dough, stack the strips on top of each other.
Cut the stacked dough width wise into 6 rectangles. A large chef’s knife works well. Stack the squares on top of each other, cut side up in a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Once filled, drizzle the remaining butter over the top.
Cover the loaf with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for about 45 more minutes.
Bake in a 350 degree F preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown on top and the center of the loaf registers 190 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.