|Bacon bread- need I say more|
I've tried several different ways of doing this, but the formula that works the best for me, and delivers the most bacon flavor is actually the most simple. I start with a generic pizza dough recipe- with one slight modification, add a good amount of crispy bacon, and let the bread machine do it's work. That "slight modification" is the real secret to making this bacon bread work.
|Bacon just starting it's journey to "Crispy"|
|Take your time cooking the bacon, and you'll be rewarded with a great crisp|
|Bacon Grease is the secret|
The bread recipe requires 1 3/8 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of bacon fat, 3/4 teaspoon of salt (be warned- the bacon and the grease add a lot of salt- so I recommend reducing the salt to 1/2 teaspoon or less depending on your preference), 4 cups of all-purpose flour, and 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast. Finally, take your 5-6 slices of crispy bacon and crumble them into small pieces. Don't worry if some of the pieces are a little big- the kneading action will help break them up. Add all your ingredients in the order recommended for your bread machine (or combine them by hand in a bowl). If you're using a bread machine, set it to a "french bread" setting with "medium crust" - or whatever your machine's equivalent settings are, and let it fly.
|Dough ball, not quite together yet|
|A good dough ball|
That said, a bread machine may not always produce optimal results, but it is consistent. Assuming your yeast isn't past expiration, you should be rewarded with a nicely formed, over-sized loaf of Italian style bread studded with bits of bacon. The bacon grease should make the whole loaf have a nice scent of and background flavor of bacon. I strongly recommend using this bread for grilled cheese, or just for breakfast with a little butter or margarine (go easy on the butter, it's already going to be rich!). It's bread, and it's very indulgent at the same time.
|Bacon bread is great sliced for grilled cheese, or by itself with a touch of butter|