Once you start tearing into this Bacon-Cheddar Pull-Apart Bread, you won’t be able to stop.
Yields: 2 (8x4-inch) loaves
- 1 1⁄3 cups warm whole milk (105° to 110°)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup chopped green onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add 2 cups flour, beating with mixer on low speed just until combined. Add melted butter and 1 cup flour, beating until combined. Beat in eggs. Gradually add salt and remaining 3 cups flour, beating until a soft dough forms. (Dough will be sticky.)
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough. Punch dough down, and gently shape into ball. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough in half. Roll one half of dough into an 18x16-inch rectangle. Using a knife or a pizza wheel, cut dough lengthwise into 4 equal strips. Cut strips into 4x3-inch rectangles. Brush with reserved bacon drippings. Sprinkle with half of bacon, half of cheese, half of green onion, and half of red pepper. Stack rectangles one on top of the other.
- Spray an 8x4-inch cast-iron loaf pan with cooking spray, and prop pan at an angle. Stack rectangles on their sides in prepared pan. Top with any fillings that came loose. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, drippings, bacon, cheese, green onion, and red pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brush loaves with remaining drippings, and bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes, covering with foil 30 minutes into baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto serving plates.