Easy Artisan Bacon-Cheese Bread

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread 1
This. Bread......Wow.

This bread dough recipe is inspired from the amazing book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I have been baking their regular bread recipe for what seems like forever. If you've tried it, you know it's about the easiest, no fail recipe out there. Their bread formula has been a life-changer for me. It allows me to bake bread several times a week that tastes delicious and looks like I've spent hours in the kitchen. No kneading or punching down is necessary. And the taste and texture are spot on.

I can highly recommend their books, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. These are some of the best recipes for those of you who are a little intimidated about making bread. You will be surprised how easy it is to achieve some gorgeous loaves.

Anyway, this Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese-Bread is a version of the original Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipe. I've changed it to account for all the cheese and bacon. Even with the changes, it turns out perfectly. Like I said, the original recipe is foolproof. I've made it over 100 times...never a problem. I use bread flour, which gives the finished bread a sturdier build, necessary to withhold all the extras of the cheese and bacon.

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread rising dough
I use a container like this one to mix and rise my dough. This is an 8 quart size (too large), but a six quart container would be even better. It works well and you can see all the steamy goodness going on inside. But a large bowl will work too. What you see here is the rise after about 3 hours on the counter. Now it's ready to go in the fridge to cool down.

The artisan bread recipe makes a sticky dough. I have the best luck with shaping the dough after it has been refrigerated overnight. It's so much easier to work with when it's really cold. I use a lot of flour on my hands and on the dough to form it into balls, which do not have to be perfectly round. However, I've noticed that with the bacon and cheese addition, the dough is less sticky anyway, therefore easier to work with.

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread dough ball
Here are the dough balls ready to be baked. I make two loaves with this recipe (you could make 3 smaller loaves as well) and bake them together. You could easily make one at a time too, leaving the other dough in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Sprinkling lots of flour on top makes the bread look really artisan when it comes out of the oven.

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread scoring
I score the top with an "X" before baking. This does not change the baking process it just makes the finished product look pretty.

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread
These golden, rustic loaves are gorgeous. They are truly showstoppers...you won't be disappointed.

Easy Artisan Bacon Cheese Bread  crumbjpg
The final crumb.

Print Recipe


Recipe from: Inspired by Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day | Serves: 2 loaves


  • 10 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 8 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (shred yourself, not packaged)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 3 cups lukewarm water (body temperature is perfect and will not damage yeast)
  • 5-1/2 cups (29.30 ounces) bread flour *, more for dusting
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow cornmeal


  • Cook bacon over medium heat until brown and crunchy. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  • Add yeast to your dough mixing/rising container. Pour in warm water and give the yeast a little stir with a wooden spoon. Add flour and salt. Start mixing with a wooden spoon, use your hands as necessary to fully wet the flour and salt. Add the cheese and bacon into the dough until fully combined. Cover dough with container top or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for at least 3 hours. After 3 hours place dough in the refrigerator overnight. 9This helps make the dough less sticky and easier to work with.)
  • When ready to bake, place a metal baking pan (not glass) on the bottom rack of the oven. Fill it with water. (This helps steam the bread, giving it the nice crust.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, the water will heat up during the preheat. Meanwhile, butter the bottom of an 11 x 17 baking tray and sprinkle cornmeal over the butter to prevent the bread from sticking.
  • Sprinkle the dough with flour and flour your hands as well. Divide the dough into two even loaves, shaping each into a ball. Place on the baking tray, several inches apart. Sprinkle generously with flour. (You can also bake one at a time, saving the dough in the refrigerator for another day.) Let rest on the baking tray for 30 minutes. Right before placing in the oven, score top of bread with an "x" or other decorative mark, cutting right through the dough.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

Two Years Ago: Golden Gate Grilled Cheese
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33 Comments and 16 Replies

  1. I have never made a yeast bread (no desire). But this looks so amazing I might just take the plunge! Looks SO good, Cathy!

  2. Karly 2

    Oh my word, Cathy. Those pictures are killin’ me! I need a bite of that bread immediately!

  3. Katie 3

    You make this look so easy!!! This bread sounds divine!

  4. Diane Riedel 4

    Oh my goodness, I could just jump into that batch of dough! The bread looks so yummy! I’m trying this recipe this week! Thank you for sharing! :)

  5. LOVE breads like this! Add bacon and cheese and it’s a must-make!!

  6. You’re killing me here. I’ve been trying to nix cheese for awhile now but I HAVE to make this.

  7. Nicole 7

    That is a lot of bacon! But I don’t care, I can’t wait to try it. I love my ‘five minutes a day’ breads. I have never had one not work out amazingly. For anyone scared of yeast breads, this is a great way to get started.

  8. TaraLee 9

    I’m sure my teenage boys and hubs would inhale this. I think I’ll make it this week with potato soup. Can you add extra cheese and maybe some carmelized or green onion or is it best not to? Bread dough can be pretty touchy when adding extras.

  9. Debbie 10

    I just got their cookbook for Christmas! Perfect timing as I just got my storage containers and supplies yesterday. Can’t wait to make this, thanks for a great twist!

  10. Carole Penner 11

    Hi! This bread does look amazing however I was wondering if it would be possible to make it with a gluten- free flour.

  11. Oh…my…gosh. I must make this soon. I think I’ll do ham & cheese bread though. I’m going to have one happy husband! Thanks for posting!


  12. This looks really delicious. I’ll surely try this one over the weekend. My family will definitely love this.

  13. Andi 15

    I learned to make this bread just a few months ago, and we have eaten nearly nothing else since. Thanks for sharing your recipe to add the bacon and cheese! My men will be thrilled!

  14. Ashley 16

    My husband would LOVE this! I’m not a huge bacon fan but I do love me some homemade bread : )

  15. you’re killing me with this bread! I want a big bowl of chili or soup and this bread. Never made anything like this. I totally need to give this a try.

  16. Bree 18

    These loafs are FANTASTIC!!! Made them last night and was very impressed how easy the process was. This recipe is definately a KEEPER. Thanks for sharing ;)

  17. Denise 19

    I know it says you use bread flour… can I use just all-purpose without screwing it up too much?

    • Cathy 20

      The texture will be different.

    • Helen in CA 21

      Artisan Bread in 5 minutes recipes (the cookbook) are all un-bleached APflour. The unbleached is important, if you’re using APflour.

      the master recipe uses 6 1/2 cups unbleached AP white flour

      • Cathy 22

        Correct..but I prefer the recipe I give with bread flour which gives a much nicer texture with a fuller loaf. This recipe is an inspiration to theirs…not their recipe. The unbleached ap flour gives a flatter, denser loaf. I prefer a more light and airy version.

  18. Denise 23

    Instead of a pan with water, I think the water would be less likely to spill if a muffin pan were used. The bread looks wonderful.

  19. Debbie 24

    I usually make my bread in my Le Crueset pot in the oven.. think this would work in it?

    • Cathy 25

      I’ve never tried it, let me know how it goes.

    • David malthus 26

      Yes it would. Remember to pre heat the oven with the pot in to heat up too. I use a Dutch oven made from caste iron. Makes great no kneed bread

  20. Holly Anderson Anderle 27

    I bake a lot of bread and I can’t wait to try this methods and this bread in particular. I’m thinking of also adding some caramelized onions, too, since the combination of bacon, cheese, and onions is my favorite thing! :D

  21. Carol 28

    I have the book for this and make the basic bread often, but putting the cheese in the original mix was awesome! Toasted is heavenly! Doing the garlic this weekend. What other flavor combinations might you suggest? Gruyere and ?…….Caraway? What do you think?

    • Cathy 29

      That’s a good one, might try that…the possibilities are endless but want to do one with sun-dried tomatoes and maybe kalmata olives.

    • Linde 30

      Carol, I make 5 minute bread quite often. Everybody loves it! I have pressed it out kind of flat on a floured surface, then added drained and patted dry slivered sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and freshly grated hard cheese (parm, romano or my favorite, Asiago). Sprinkle over the dough, roll it up and tuck the ends under. I place mine on parchment paper to let it rise, then just lift it, paper and all to a ceramic baguette pan. Bake as normal. Can’t wait to try Cathy’s bacon and cheese version….SOON!!

  22. Just made it now. I stupidly decided to try to make one big one and it’s not done all the way in the middle so I’m putting it back in at a low temp for another 10 and then I’ll let it rest. But it looks great.

    link to instagram.com

    • Linde 32

      Hey, Michelle, I learned that if test your bread with in instant read thermometer, it kind of makes it fool proof. I take my bread out at about 200 degrees internal temp. Hope that helps!

  23. Thor 33

    Is the granulated yeast you call for Active Dry or Instant?

  24. Bill 35

    I have never successfully made yeast bread before except in a bread machine. This bread was so easy (I did not use the cheese and bacon). I was amazed at how easy this was. The crust was exceptional and the crumb was moist and delicious. Better than Panera! A great recipe and could not be easier, even for neophytes!

  25. kate 36

    I accidentally used only one tablespoon of yeast not 2 will there be a difference

  26. Renee Crenshaw 38

    Last week I made the roasted garlic and rosemary artisan bread and it came out perfect!!!!! This week I tried the bacon/ cheese and it didn’t work well at all. :(. It came out very heavy and dense, not bread like at all. And SO salty! Do you think if I used regular flour instead of bread flour it might help?

    • Cathy 39

      Interesting. Sounds like something went wrong. I make it all the time without issue. Regular flour is what makes it dense. Stick with bread. For best results always weigh your flour.

  27. Paulette Brunson 41

    I just finished baking the Artisian Bacon-Cheese Bread. It was very simple to make and it turned out wonderful and looked just like the picture above. I would suggest cutting the amount of salt used in this recipe, 1-1/2 TLBs was to much for my taste, so next time I know it will be perfect with less salt. Thank you.

  28. Paulette Brunson 42

    I wanted to change my last post regarding the salt should be cut back, after the bread set overnight I had another slice this morning and it was perfect, so apparently the salty taste dissipates once it sets for a bit…. delicious…

  29. Linde 43

    Delicious bread! I left out the bacon, cut the cheese into small dice instead of shredding and I baked it in my ceramic baguette pans instead of a round. Had a lovely crunchy crust and soft crumb. I highly recommend it and will be baking it again. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Serge 44

      I also want to do baguettes as opposed to a ball,using the recipe above,how would you divide the big ball to make baguettes?3 or 4?

  30. Audrey 45

    Great recipe! I have made this bread a few times. The smell of bread baking translates to love in my house. There is usually someone lurking about the kitchen with butter in hand as it’s being taken out of the oven. I think they like it.

  31. Karen 46

    What would you change for high elevation baking? Would love to try this!
    Thank you.

  32. Phyllis G Davis 47

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I live in Colorado Springs and have never had to adjust bread recipes. Cake recipes are another thing but not bread! !

  33. Will adding green onions to the mix mess things up?


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