So much for healthy eating in the new year—the food police are probably going to beat down my doors when this recipe sees the light of day. But really, I almost added mayonnaise, too, so this recipe's not that bad, right? Or maybe worse, because I added...oh, never mind, you'll see it when you get there.
Like many recipes, this recipe was inspired by the ingredients I had on hand. Once I decided to use bacon, the tomato followed quickly after. Although a BLT is classic, I didn't think lettuce would fare well in a loaf of bread, but cheese sounded like a good idea. I had a chunk of Monterey Jack, but you could use any cheese you like. Or just leave it out. But where's the fun in that?
- Yield:Makes 1 loaf
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:3 hours
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook bacon until very crisp. Drain and let cool, reserving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, sugar, yeast, and about 1/3 of flour. Mix well and let stand for 15 minutes. Mixture will be frothy.
Add remaining bread flour and tomato paste. Knead with dough hook until dough becomes elastic. Add cheese, crumbled bacon, salt, and reserved bacon fat and knead until all ingredients are incorporated and evenly distributed. Form dough into ball, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 350° and sprinkle some cornmeal on baking sheet. Remove dough from bowl and form it into ball. Place it, seam-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Slash loaf as desired, and bake until browned and done, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on rack before slicing.