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Bacon, Herb, and Cheese Star Bread

Updated: Apr 27, 2019

Beautiful and tasty, what more could you ask for? This savoury star bread makes an appetizer that’s sure to wow, or serve it as a side along with lunch or dinner.



Plus, you can eat any leftovers (if it isn’t all devoured within the first few minutes of being put out!) with a fried egg for breakfast. That’s definitely what I’m doing tomorrow morning.



The herbs mentioned below are a mix of fresh, dried, and ground because I went with what I had. If you have some of these available to you in a different form, you can adjust using this rule: 1 tbsp chopped fresh herb (packed) = 1 tsp dried herb = 1/2 tsp ground herb. I would recommend using fresh herb for at least one of the 4 herbs listed though.


The cheese I used was a pre-grated Italian cheese blend (Provolone, Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan) but if you prefer to grate your own cheese you can use cheddar or any of the cheeses listed above.


If you're looking for more of a visual guide on how to assemble this bread, I put together a quick "how to" video when I made my taco star bread. Although the filling is different, the assembly process is the same!




Ingredients:


For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1 packet active dry yeast

  • 1/4 tsp sugar

  • 60 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

  • 271 g all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the filling:

  • 5 strips bacon

  • 60 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tbsp solidified reserved bacon grease

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme

  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves

  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1/2 cup grated Italian cheese mix

  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Cook bacon strips until very crispy then using tongs transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Pour bacon grease from pan into a freezer-safe bowl and set in freezer to cool until solid (10-15 minutes).

  2. Warm milk in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then check temperature and return to microwave for 15 second bursts as needed until milk reaches 110° F - slightly warmer than body temperature. This took me 1:15 but may vary for you. Once milk has reached correct temperature add yeast and sugar and give it a little whisking then let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, milk mixture should be frothy on top.

  3. Transfer yeast mixture to bowl of stand mixer and add remaining dough ingredients. Mix on low speed with dough hook until all ingredients combined, about 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing on low for another 7-8 minutes until dough looks smooth and elastic (or use a rubber spatula to combine ingredients then kneed by hand for about 10 minutes).

  4. Pour a bit of olive oil (or other oil) into a large bowl and grease bottom and sides of bowl, then transfer dough to greased bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let sit for 1 hour.

  5. In a small bowl, combine butter and bacon grease, then mix in garlic powder and herbs (thyme through to parsley). Set aside.

  6. Crumble the crispy bacon into small pieces and set aside.

  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  8. Once the dough has finished proofing for 1 hour, punch the air out of it. Lightly grease your counter and then divide dough into 4 equal parts.

  9. Take one of the 4 pieces and use your fingers to gently press the dough out into a large circle, then use a rolling pin to transfer the dough to your prepared baking sheet (gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and then unroll it onto the baking sheet).

  10. Using a pastry brush, apply beaten egg to dough, leaving a 2 inch border where no egg is applied.

  11. Take 1/3 of the butter mixture and use your fingers to gently spread it over the area where you applied the egg. Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumbled bacon over this area, and then 1/3 of the cheese.

  12. Repeat steps 9-11 with remaining dough and filling, with the 4th piece of dough acting as the top of your bread so there will not be any filling on it.

  13. Place a 2 inch wide circular cookie cutter in the middle of your bread (but don’t push down on it) as a guide to keep the centre intact. Cutting out from the edge of the cookie cutter, start by cutting the bread into 4, then cut each of those in half which will give you 8, then in half once more to get to 16 pieces with all of them still connected at the centre.

  14. In pairs of two, you’re going to twist the pieces away from each other and then connect them at the ends and tuck the end under slightly. I found this easiest to do using one hand to gently lift up one piece and then use both hands to twist it a few times, then use both hands to pick up the second piece of the pair and twist in the opposite direction.

  15. Once all strands have been twisted and connected into pairs, let the bread rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.

  16. Apply egg wash over the whole bread, then sprinkle with sea salt.

  17. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden, then transfer to a cooling rack.



Tried this recipe? I'd love to see what you made - tag me in your photos with @bronzebakery!


Want to see more of what I'm baking? Check me out on Instagram!


#bread #yeast #appetizer

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