Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bacon, Green Onion, & Blue Cheese Bread

Where, oh where, has this summer gone?  It was stolen by the miserable humidity and hovering-around-100° temps.  So now that the humidity has mostly dissipated and the temps have gone down a good fifteen to twenty degrees most days, we are trying to make the most of the less-than-two-weeks we have before the kids will be sitting in classrooms again.  Walking, biking, playing, coaxing bugs from under rocks (for scientific study purposes, of course)...reading and eating outside again!  For as much as I love fruits that grow in the tropical heat, I sure don't know if I could survive in it.  While my baking did slow down a bit during the last couple of months, it didn't stop completely.  Many thanks going out to my bread machine for doing the bulk of the work for me.  It would have been even better if I'd actually let the machine cook the loaves, as well...but I sort of cringe at the goofy, silo-shaped loaves it produces.  While one day I hope to have a new version with a horizontal bread pan, I am not going to cry over what has helped me so much since I've "re-discovered" it.  Especially when it helps me make loaves like this one.
Bacon, Green Onion, and Blue Cheese Bread
adapted from The Artisan Bread Machine
yield: one 2# loaf

2 Tbs. (30 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) instant yeast
1 c. + 2 Tbs. (280 mL) lukewarm water (110° F / 43° C)
½ c. (125 mL) finely chopped green onions
⅓ c. (75 mL) vegetable oil
3¾ c. (925 mL) bread flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
½ c. (125 mL) cooked bacon, chopped
½ c. (125 mL) crumbled blue cheese
Add sugar, yeast, and water to bread pan of your bread machine (or mixing bowl if not using a bread machine).  Let stand until yeast starts to bubble, ~10 minutes.  Add green onions and oil.  Spoon flour on top of liquid.  Add salt, bacon, and cheese.  Select dough cycle and press start (by hand or with mixer, mix well and then knead until smooth and pliable.  Transfer to oiled bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, ~1 hr).

Turn dough out and punch down.  Form into a ball and place in a well-floured brotform or free-form onto a well-floured surface.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C) during last 15 minutes of rise time.  Using a serrated knife, cut deep slashes in loaf.  Spray with water and turn out onto baking stone that has been preheating (or slide free-form into oven on tray or stone).  Bake until risen and dark brown and registers 190° F (90° C) in center, ~30 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.
The blue cheese sort of melts into the bread since it is mixed and kneaded in from the start.  I think I may try adding it in just before I let it rise next time...see if it gives me chunks of goodness.  You can still taste it, though...so my fellow stinky cheese lovers need not worry.  This bread is very sturdy...perfect for sandwiches, either toasted or just sliced.  I will be making this often...and I think I'm going to divide it in two next time and make it in loaf pans.  That is how perfect it is for sandwiches!
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I am sharing this post with:
*BBD #43:Onion Breads hosted at Judy's Gross Eats
*Yeastspotting!
BBD #43 BYOB-badge Tasty Tuesdays 33 shades of green TastyTuesdayBB a little birdie told me rook no. 17