Have you ever looked at a full loaf of bread and thought to yourself, “Wow. It’s going to be a lot of work to cut into that sucker!”?
Maybe not, but somebody obviously did. Hence, sliced bread.
But what if the bread was already sliced before you even baked it? Then you could just pull it apart right? Not only that, but you could layer delicious things in between the slices.
It’s homemade bread for people that are too lazy to slice. Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure those circles overlap on a Venn diagram.
Bacon Cheddar Pull Apart Loaf
Yield: 1 Loaf (serves 4-6)
Basic Enriched Dough:
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup crispy crumbled bacon
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons butter, melted
To make dough:
1) Stir yeast, sugar, and water into a mixing bowl. Let sit for ten minutes until it's foamy and all the yeast is dissolved.
2) Stir in milk, eggs, soft butter, and salt. Once combined, stir in flour.
3) Stir together until dough forms a ball and then knead with your hand in the bowl for a few minutes until the dough is nice and soft. If it is very sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon.
4) Add dough to a clean metal bowl and dust with flour. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes until it doubles in size.
To make filling:
1) Cook bacon until it's very crispy. I prefer to cook my bacon in a 350 degree oven, but you can also cook it in a skillet over medium heat. You'll need 6-8 strips to make enough crumbles for this recipe.
2) Combine bacon, cheese, and chives in a small bowl and crumble them together so the cheese and bacon are both evenly sized.
To make Loaf:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's in about a 12x16 inch rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter.
2) Sprinkle filling evenly over the dough and cut into three even strips. Then cut those strips into about 1 inch strips.
3) Stack strips up and fit them into a loaf pan that has been lightly butter and floured.
4) Cover loaf pan and let the dough rise a second time for 30 minutes.
5) Bake loaf at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until it's cooked through in the center.
6) Remove from oven and let cool briefly, then remove dough from pan and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
This loaf is best served warm.
I like a nice soft dough for these so I modified my cinnamon roll dough recipe to be not as sweet. The dough is really easy to bring together and is very soft thanks to some milk and an egg.
Start by stirring together the water, yeast, and sugar in a medium bowl. Let this sit until the yeast dissolves and it starts to bubble. Then stir in the milk, egg, salt, softened butter, and finally the flour.
You don’t need a fancy mixer to make this dough. Just stir the ingredients together until they form a ball and then knead it vigorously with your hand for a few minutes in the bowl. After a few minutes you should have a nice soft dough that’s ready to rise. If the dough is too sticky, feel free to knead in a bit more flour by the tablespoon.
Cover the dough loosely and let it rise for about 90 minutes. It should about double in size.
Then lightly flour a clean surface and roll the dough out into about a 12×16 rectangle. It doesn’t have to be exact. Part of the charm of this loaf is having some awkward edges.
I went with a savory filling for this version, but there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t go sweet. You could use a standard cinnamon roll filling or maybe even my date cinnamon roll filling which is my personal favorite. If you do make a sweet version, you should probably cut in half whatever recipe you use.
If you go savory though, I highly recommend cheddar, bacon, and chives. It’s very hard to go wrong.
You want to make sure your bacon is very crispy though so I recommend cooking it how I cook bacon. After baking for about 20 minutes, you’ll have some really crispy pieces. Try to resist eating them all right away.
Crumble the bacon really well and add it to a bowl with some grated cheese and minced chives. Use your fingers to crumble this all together.
Brush your rolled out dough with some melted butter and then completely cover the dough with the filling. I left a bit of space around the edges, but you don’t really need to do this. You can go all the way to the ends.
Now you need to slice and stack these pieces in a loaf pan!
Please ignore the way I did it because the pieces didn’t fit perfectly in my 9×5 loaf pan. Using the red lines should give you a much better fit.
When your pieces are cut, just layer them side-by-side in a loaf pan.
Before you add the stacks into the pan, be sure to lightly butter and flour the pan. That will prevent the loaf from sticking after it bakes.
I made this loaf in one morning and it takes 3-4 hours straight through. If you wanted to cut down on this morning-of time, you could make the loaf up to this point the day before. Stack all the pieces in the loaf pan, cover the thing, and stick it in your fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to bake it, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the loaf rise a second time for about 30 minutes.
Then bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes until it’s nicely browned on top and cooked through.
Let this cool in the pan for a bit and then you should be able to run a knife around the edges and remove the loaf.
You want to let this continue to cool for a few minutes before peeling into it, but this is definitely a loaf that you want to serve while it’s warm!
There you have it!
If you like homemade bread, but are too lazy to cut it yourself, this is the loaf for you!