Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cheesy Bacon Bread

I was at a dinner party a few weeks ago and a gentleman in attendance talked to me about a magical land in Italy, just outside of Tuscany where cheese was so abundant that it was literally sold in every store on the block. This was a guy who was well traveled and for him to say that he had never seen so many quality cheeses in one place in his life was quite a statement. Can you imagine such a wonderful place? Of course I forgot the name of the town but I will figure it out and post the name as soon as I do.

Anyway, so you see, I love cheese and I feel that it can make almost any meal fabulous. I have a particular weakness for Parmesan and Gruyere which I feel can be put into just about any sandwich, sprinkled on any meal and can end a meal with a drizzle of honey for dessert. Salty and sweet my darlings, nothing better.

So, below is one of my favorite recipes that I can make only if I know I have somewhere to use it or I will gobble it up in about two seconds if left alone with it for any period of time. Really, is there anything better than a bread with two cheeses, bacon and onions? Oh sorry, yes there is, make sure there is a Black and Tan ready when you bite into this concoction. The combination truly pops in your mouth. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from "The Next Best Recipe" by Cook's Illustrated



3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded on the large holes of a box grater
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces Gruyere cheese cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cup whole milk
5 slices thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 medium onion diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche


1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 5 inch or 4 mini loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray, then sprinkle 1/2 cup of the Parmesan over the bottom of the pan.

2.) Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the bacon out of the pan and onto a paper towel-lined plate. Add the diced onion to the left over bacon drippings, stirring frequently until softened, about 3 minutes and set aside.

3.) Whisk the flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to combine. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the Gruyere, cooked onion and bacon until all coated with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix! Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan; spread to the sides of the pan and level the surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan evenly over the surface.

4.) Bake until deep golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. (If you are using 4 small loaf pans as I did, the cooking time will be about ten minutes less). Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes; invert the loaf onto the rack and let cool for about 45 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment