The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Savory Bacon Cheese Bread

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Savory Bacon Cheese Bread

Savory cheese bread


I have been wanting to make Hamelmans Cheese Bread again for a while. When I saw the post a few days ago from gothicgirl on Bacon Cheddar bread it got my juices moving and here we are.


I decided to stick with my usual Pain au Levain from "Bread" and modify it substantially to suit my tastes. One thing I really like about Hamelman is that he gives you bakers percents so you can size the batch any way you want. I decided to make 4 loaves in bread pans of roughly 1.5 Lbs each after baking. So, I made a 7 Lb batch and cut it into quarters. I can bake 4 loaves in pans all at one time so for me it is better to get them in and out with little chance of over proofing the second set.


I just returned home from delivering the other 3 loaves. They smell heavenly with the bacon and herbs/garlic infused in the oil. This is not a lean diet friendly mix. With the bacon, cheese and a little bacon fat and a subtle amount of ground rosemary and garlic it tastes as good as it smells.


I thought I would include some shots of the DLX Hook in action. I use the Hook almost exclusively for all my mixes. I find it easier to use, requires less attention and far easier to clean up. This is a 7 Lb batch of 60% hydration dough. The bacon and cheese were incorporated at the end after the gluten was moderately developed. Hamelman calls for half of the cheese to be shredded and remainder cubed. The oil went in with the dough ingredients. I did cut back on the salt due to the bacon and cheese. I scaled back to 1% from the recomendation of 1.5%. It's just right for me.


I pretty much followed the formula except for the additions noted above. Another first rate bread from Jeff Hamelman's Bread. The Pain au Levain is my go to daily bread. It's a good solid base for many experiments and I what to expect.


Eric



Dough with bacon just added



Cubed and shredded




Almost forgot to take this pix



There is 1 Lb of crispy bacon (pre cooked weight) in 4 loaves and 13 Oz of Cheddar.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Nice looking bread and your photos are pretty good too!


--Pamela

ques2008's picture
ques2008

very good looking bread.  nice shots.  do you have a recipe or link for Hammelman's formula?


Thanks

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hamelmans Cheese bread with my changes and additions from "Bread".


Cheddar-Bacon bread


Stiff-Levain Build:
Bread Flour  5.8 Oz     
Water         3.5 Oz     
Mature Culture (stiff)   1.2 Oz


Final Dough:
Bread Flour    26.2 Oz (6 Cups)
Water            15.7 Oz
Oil (olive, bacon etc)     1.6 Oz
Salt      .5 Oz(2-1/2tsp) I used 1-1/2 tsp due to bacon
Yeast (IDY)     1 teaspoon
Levain     9.3 Oz less 2 T for next batch
Bacon, thick smoked     1 Lb cooked crisp and dried
Cheese half grated half 1/2 inch cubes     6.4 Oz
Herbs and garlic powder optional


Stiff Levain
Make the final Levain 12 hours before the dough at room  temp.


Dough mixing
Add all ingredients EXCEPT Bacon and Cheese. Mix on 1st speed or by hand for 3 minutes. Dough should be slightly stiff. Let rest for 15 minutes and mix on second speed for 3-5 minutes to a moderate development.


Add bacon on 1st speed and then cheese only until cheese is incorporated. Do not over mix.


Bulk ferment
2-1/2 hours at 72-76F
Fold every once at 1 hour and agai after 50 minutes if dough needs further development.


Divide-Shape
Divide dough into 1.5 Lb pieces. Shape into round/oblong or roll for pan

Final Ferment
1-1/2 hours at 76F


Baking
Normal steam 460F for 35-40 minutes. Lower heat to 440F after 15 minutes to prevent burning cheese.


NOTES:
This is mostly Hamelmans Cheese bread. He calls for Parmesan cheese and I used sharp cheddar. I also used about 20% more cheese than he called for. He called for olive oil and I used bacon fat and added the bacon to the mix. I infused powdered rosemary and garlic powder into the oil of 1/2 tsp each. I reduced the salt due to the use of bacon and bacon fat.


I baked this in bread pans as you can see above. Hope you like it.


Eric


 

ques2008's picture
ques2008

Building the levain scares me a wee bit, but I will certainly try it.  what is mature culture by the way?  i don't have a machine so i will most likely do this by hand.  and i will use a combination of shredded and cubed cheeses as you suggest.


thanks for sharing recipe.


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This is a natural levain recipe or "sourdough" based recipe. If you don't do sourdough yet the best thing to do would be to leave out the mature culture and substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast. Mix up the first part of the recipe that will now be a Biga preferment at least 12 hours before you plan to mix the final dough. Please let us know how it works but I think it will be good.


Eric

ques2008's picture
ques2008

you're right, i haven't ventured into sourdough yet, but hope to someday.  will keep you posted.


i think bacon and cheese make a winning combination for bread.

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Yummm, that needs an omlet and some hash browns. 

audra36274's picture
audra36274

talking about yesterday! Eric, did you make enough for us all?! We could tell gothicgirl got you thinking! Too bad we all couldn't have a virtual breakfast. I have hens laying fresh eggs to add in. Mini bring the coffee, Eric has the bread covered, swtgran get to crackin' on those hash browns!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Let's meet in Austria and not tell Mini we are coming.


Eric

audra36274's picture
audra36274

 She won't suspect a thing......    ;  )


                                                                        Audra

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Don't forget to bring the maple syrup!


 


Mini

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Oh, I love Bacon and cheese to....I can just picture some of my garden tomatoes sliced on this bread...mouth watering.  The pictures make my mouth water!  Very nice, Eric.  I'll have to try this one..it's on the list ; )


Sylvia

audra36274's picture
audra36274

be a lovely addition to the party!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

All you who live in warm climates are killing me with talk of fresh tomatoes. It was a sunny warm 50F here in the upper Midwest today. We won't have a tomatoes for---well he(XX)) they aren't even selling the plants yet in the garden store.


Tomatoes do sound good.


I ordered a starter kit from the New England Cheese Making company that arrived today. Fresh Mozzarella soon:>)


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...and It's a organic San Marzano in long fruit format -- want to check out the hype on why these are so good on pizza.  We normally have frost this time of year but the last few years, spring has not come.  We went straight into summer!  This year is no exception.  We had snow two weeks ago then the temps went into the upper 70's and stayed there.  Wierd.  There is still lots of snow in the Alps and the snow bunnies are wearing skis, t-shirts and sunglasses.  And now my tomato (with sunglasses) goes into a large pot, south side, by the front door to greet y'all. 


OK, the coffee is steaming hot and ready, the milk is whipped to foam.  I plan on another trip to the green house today so hurry up and no crap about it being the wee hours of the morning there in the states.  I even have a fresh apple strudel!


Eric, I wish I had slices of your yummy bacon & cheese bread for my tuna fish sandwiches for lunch!   Your bread is definitely a crowd pleaser!   I do have a crowd here at the moment and they are a helpful hungry bunch.


Mini

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I love those D.O.C. tomatoes. Even though they cost me 5 bucks a can, I still buy them! They are my first choice for pizza sauce and marinara sauce. There is just something different about the taste. I've never tried growing them, but I might if I can get the plants.


--Pamela

audra36274's picture
audra36274

flip flops. Looks like a road trip!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi Mini, I need to get some of your energy!  The soil and climate in Italy is why they say their San Marzano Tomatoes are so tastey and meaty..because they are so meaty they make for excellent sauces and when just sliced and placed on the pizza you can give a gently sweeze to remove the seeds and juice to make for a wonderful carmelized flavor on your pizza.  We have access to canned Marzano tomatoes here and they are wonderful...California grows them and the canned ones can be purchased in Albertson's and I have seen them in Jimbo's...California does a great San Marzano...as far as fresh..I grow a good meaty tomato and they are wonderful for pizza.  They don't necessarily have to be the plum variety just good and extra meaty so when sweezed only contain very few seeds and runny juice...the seeds make sauce bitter!


I would looove some of your apple strudel and coffee...  ; )


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I've never tried the non D.O.C. San Marzano tomatoes, but perhaps I will now since you think them good, Sylvia.


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am convinced these are the best for sauces. I don't have enough pizza experience to speak to that.


I sometimes see San Marzano plants at the nursery but usually grow "Roma" tomatoes. I have a new "heirloom" variety of roma tomatoes planted this year. We'll see.


I also can buy organic San Marzanos at our local farmers' market. They make the very best tomato sauce. Good quality canned San Marzanos come in second, and my home-grown Romas come in third. I'm splitting hairs somewhat, because all are excellent.


We just ran out of the tomato sauce we made last summer and froze and are stuck with sauce made from canned tomatoes until this year's crop comes in.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I agree completely. The best sauce I make is from the canned, crushed San Marzano tomatoes. I just bought some on sale for 2 for $5.00 of the large cans. Delicious flavor!


I don't think I have ever seen a San Marzano plant for sale here.


Eric

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I get the Cento brand of San Marzano. I see other brands, some D.O.C. and others not, but I also chicken-out at the end and think I'll try something else next time.


I rationalize: one 28-ounce can costs $5 but makes a lot of sauce; it keeps in my refrigerator for better than a week (probably the vinegar helps here).


I blend the sauce up just enough (don't want to incorporate too much air) with my stick blender in the container it came with, then pop the lid for the container on and I'm good to go.


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Pamela, Crushed are my favorite!  Great with added seasoning of herbs for a quick pizza sauce! No cooking the sauce...the fire-heat from the oven does it.


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I use the sauce from the pizza primer (think it is there): crushed tomatoes, garlic, few herbs, and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. I believe the vinegar is the 2nd secret ingredient to a great sauce (1st is the San Marzano).


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I always add a Tbsp. of sugar as my Italian's friends Mom always did with her sauces..takes away any bitterness/acidity but also adds to carmelization I think of the sauce on the pizza..enhancing and bringing out the sweetness in the tomato sauce.


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hi Sylvia. You know I don't find it necessary to add any sugar when I use those San Marzano tomatoes. Somehow they seem sweeter than US brands to me.


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Eric's Bacon and cheese bread...looks like we should start a new post on sauce... ; )    Your bread is so tasty I bet even tomato sauce would be good on it!


Sylvia

chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Wonderfull bread Eric!!


I really loved it !! great idea !!


I will give it a try but I'll substitute bacon by pastrami...what do you think??


Thanks Eric for sharing this lovely recipe and these wonderfull pics.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Chahara, I have not doubt if you use pastrami it will be wonderful.  I will say that the oil did impart added smoky flavor after rendering. Perhaps more savory rosemary heated in salad oil overnight. You could skip the meat altogether which is what Hamelman did.


Let me know how decide to make it.


Eric