Filled with crumbled bacon and cubes of cheddar cheese, this no-knead Bacon Cheddar Bread is a fantastic way to enjoy fresh bread at home!
In the words of my blog friend Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop, “I’ve never met a bread that I didn’t love.” Truth. I love bread. I love baking it. I love eating it. There is just something so alluring and intoxicating about the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven! Heck, even stale bread can be turned into something tasty – like panzanella.
However, when that freshly baked loaf of homemade bread also involves crumbled bacon and cubed cheddar cheese? That’s it. I’m in heaven! This Bacon Cheddar bread is packed (and I mean packed!) with bacon and cheese. I don’t even have the words to describe how much flavor is in this bread!
Bacon Cheddar Bread
The inspiration for this Bacon Cheddar Bread comes from our local grocery store. They have a good bakery department, and one of their specialty breads is…you guessed it…Bacon Cheddar Bread. I occasionally pick up a loaf of that bread when doing my weekly shopping trip, and I swear that loaf never lasts more than 2-3 days. I eat it plain while it’s fresh. Then I use for sandwiches. Then when it starts to dry out, I butter it and toast it lightly. And the next thing I know, it’s gone.
Since I don’t have that grocery store’s recipe, I set out to make my own version of this delicious bread. The bacon and cheese are obvious. I used way more bacon in this loaf than the grocery store uses in theirs…but more bacon is more better, right? I went with about ~10-12 oz. of bacon which got cooked and crumbled into this bread dough.
For the cheese, I selected Cabot’s medium sharp cheddar cheese. Instead of shredding that cheese like I did in this Cheesy Everything Bread, I kept the cheese in cubes. That’s what led to those really cool pockets of cheese that you see when you slice into this bread. (And the slightly crispy cubes of cheese that were on the outside of the loaf? Amazing!!)
Ok, so we’ve got the bacon and cheese covered, but what about the bread itself? I decided to keep it simple. I went with one of my favorites – a no-knead white bread that gets baked in a Dutch oven. All you have to do is stir the flour, water, salt and yeast together and let it rise. You do need to fold the bread a couple of times, but that literally takes 1-2 minutes. Other than that, the hardest part is not eating all of the bacon and cheese before it goes into the dough!
We enjoyed slices of this bread while it was still fresh from the oven – I’m pretty sure I could’ve made quick work of this entire loaf if I was willing to ride my bike an extra 4 hours! However, I maintained (some) self control and saved the rest of the slices for sandwiches. Hint: Scramble an egg and put it on a lightly toasted piece of this bread. Trust me.
All in all, this Bacon Cheddar Bread was fairly easy to make. I told Laura that I won’t be buying that loaf from the grocery store anymore. It’s homemade all the way from here on out! I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do here. Happy baking!
Did you make a loaf of this Bacon Cheddar Bread at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Bacon Cheddar Bread
- 2 cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 10 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese cut into ½” cubes
- cornmeal for dusting parchment paper
- Using a small bowl, add warm water and yeast; stir until well combined. (Note: The water should be warm to the touch, but not hot.) Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt; stir until well combined.
- Pour yeast mixture into mixing bowl; stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. (Note: The dough should come together. It will be slightly sticky, but if the dough stubbornly sticks to the side of the bowl, add 2-3 more tablespoons of flour. If dough feels too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of water.)
- Cover bowl and let dough rise until it approximately doubles in size (~1½-2 hours).
- Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Pat dough out into a flat disc. Fold dough into thirds, similar to how you might fold a letter. Rotate dough 90° and repeat process.
- Transfer dough back into bowl, cover and let rise until approximately doubled in size (~1-1½ more hours).
- Transfer dough back to a floured work surface. Gently press air out of dough. Place bacon crumbles and cheese cubes on top of dough and fold dough several times until bacon and cheese are incorporated into the dough.
- Generously sprinkle cornmeal onto a piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball and place onto parchment paper. Place dough (on parchment paper) back into mixing bowl.
- Cover bowl and let dough rest for 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a covered enameled Dutch oven into the oven as it preheats.
- Remove Dutch oven from oven.
- Uncover dough. Using a sharp knife, score dough lightly. (Note: I like to make 4 cuts in a square on top of the dough. Each cut is ~½” deep into the dough.)
- Life parchment paper with dough on it out of mixing bowl and carefully lower them into the hot Dutch oven.
- Cover Dutch oven and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove cover from Dutch oven and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes or until top of bread is golden brown in color. (Tip: If you have an instant read thermometer, remove the bread from the oven once it reaches 200°F.)
- Let bread cool before slicing.
Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: