Bacon/Leek/Cheddar Braid

A big ol’ bread, full of tasty things!

Bacon waiting to happen

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • white and light green part of three leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated or sliced into chunks
  • 10 leaves sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg

Bread:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • grated parmesan cheese

In a large pan, cook the bacon until crispy. I personally prefer to cut the raw bacon with kitchen shears over the pan, but you can also cook the bacon and cut/crumble it after.

Drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the pan behind. Cook the leeks over medium in the bacon grease until softened.

Combine the bacon, leeks, cheese, and sage in a bowl and stir in the egg to evenly coat and set aside. You can do this earlier, if you need to fiddle with timing.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Heat the water and butter together until very warm (120-130 degrees, when the butter has melted). Drizzle the water into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to stir for 2 minutes.

Add the egg and a second cup of flour, and stir another 2 minutes.

Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough, beginning with 1 1/2 cups, up to 2 cups as necessary. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, around 10 minutes.

Cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 even portions and roll each out to a 16×4″ rectangle.

Spoon the bacon mixture over each rectangle and pinch closed into 3 chunky ropes.

The dough sticks together pretty well, and there’s usually a bit of un-filled dough at the end you can tear off as needed to patch any places it splits. I had a little bit of filling left over – that’s ok!

Gently transfer the ropes to a lined baking sheet, putting the seam-side down.

Place the ends of all 3 together, press together, and carefully braid to the far end, pressing that end together as well.

Lightly grease with spray grease and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the egg and water for the egg wash and brush over the bread. Sprinkle a bit of grated parm over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned.

If you had any leftover filling, toss it in the oven halfway through, to cook for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve warm, but if you’re not eating it all right away, put uneaten parts on a cooling rack so that the bottom doesn’t get soggy from steam.

Store wrapped in the fridge, and toast back up in the toaster oven as needed.

Bacon/Leek/Cheddar Braid

Filling:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • white and light green part of three leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated or sliced into chunks
  • 10 leaves sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg

Bread:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • grated parmesan cheese

In a large pan, cook the bacon until crispy. I personally prefer to cut the raw bacon with kitchen shears over the pan, but you can also cook the bacon and cut/crumble it after. Drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the pan behind. Cook the leeks over medium in the bacon grease until softened. Combine the bacon, leeks, cheese, and sage in a bowl and stir in the egg to evenly coat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Heat the water and butter together until very warm (120-130 degrees, when the butter has melted). Drizzle the water into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Add the egg and a second cup of flour, and stir another 2 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough, beginning with 1 1/2 cups, up to 2 cups as necessary. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, around 10 minutes. Cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 even portions and roll each out to a 16×4″ rectangle. Spoon the bacon mixture over each rectangle and pinch closed into 3 chunky ropes. The dough sticks together pretty well, and there’s usually a bit of un-filled dough at the end you can tear off as needed to patch any places it splits.

Gently transfer the ropes to a lined baking sheet, putting the seam-side down. Place the ends of all 3 together, press together, and carefully braid to the far end, pressing that end together as well. Lightly grease with spray grease and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the egg and water for the egg wash and brush over the bread. Sprinkle a bit of grated parm over the top, then bake for 30 minutes, or until browned. Slice and serve warm, but if you’re not eating it all right away, put uneaten parts on a cooling rack so that the bottom doesn’t get soggy from steam. Store wrapped in the fridge, and toast back up in the toaster oven as needed.

About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
This entry was posted in Bread, Dinner and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.