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.
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.
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.
I score the top with an “X” before baking. This does not change the baking process it just makes the finished product look pretty.
These golden, rustic loaves are gorgeous. They are truly showstoppers…you won’t be disappointed.
The final crumb.
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