bacon beer bread

bacon + onions + beer = ultimate bread

The adage “bacon makes everything better” has run a riptide course through the internet and food television. It’s really this bread with bacon that makes it better. Don’t be fooled by bacon-flavored infant formula (it exists!) or bacon cologne (um, really?) — the real thing in this bread takes it to another level.

Our friend Phil is one such a bacon lover (hopefully not into the cologne), bacon-ing many a dish up. I’ve actually had this recipe for so long that when I recently asked him the original source, he hadn’t a clue. He has many bacon bread recipes. After awhile, I guess bacon is all a blur when it’s dripping off the walls into your food and stomach.

It can blur even under vegetarian eyes. Be sure to warn your vegetarian friends that this may appear a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I heard the sad story from one such friend when presented with such bread, she gleefully dove in to find that her cranberry-orange bread was, in fact, <insert scream> studded with bacon.

See those wispy white flecks in the crumb of the bread? Onion. Bacon’s best friend. They MUST go together. The color of the bread is also of note: see the golden sandy hue? Beer. Bacon’s other best friend. And the salt sprinkled on top? It immediately cuddles up with the onion and makes it even better. This circle of friends complement each other so well. No passive-aggressive competition here. Just some friendly, industrious wolves. No need to eat the sheep; those canines got some kick-ass bread instead.

bacon beer bread
Recipe type: bread
  • 2¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ½ cup room temperature beer (I used Guinness)
  • ⅓ cup dry skim milk
  • 1½ tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ heaping cup crisp, finely minced bacon
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • Kosher salt (for sprinkling)
  1. Mix dry yeast, ½ tsp. sugar and ¼ c. of warm water. Let stand in a warm place until bubbling. Mine took 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together ½ cup warm water, 2 teaspoons sugar, beer, 1 cup flour and dry milk. Add yeast mixture and beat well.
  3. Add the bacon, onions, salt, butter, and 1½ cups of flour. Stir until the dough stands clear of the sides of the bowl.
  4. Spread remaining flour on kneading surface, turn out dough and knead thoroughly. Add more flour if needed to make a smooth, non-sticky dough. I added almost another cup of flour. Place dough back in bowl, grease surface, cover, let stand in a warm place until doubled in size. (Mine took 2 hours.)
  5. Turn out dough, knead lightly. Shape dough into loaf form and place on greased baking sheet. Allow loaves to rise until light.*
  6. Brush surface with a glaze of 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons beer. This will give the loaf a beautiful dark brown color when baked. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt (don't forget this step!).**
  7. Place in a preheated (350 degrees F) oven, bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F, continue baking for another 25 minutes. Remember you may need to check the temperature for doneness (around 200 to 210 degrees F for this bread). See my foot notes on this post for help. Makes one loaf.
Day old bread toasts well. If you plop a poached egg on top, you have reached breakfast nirvana. * "[R]ise until light" is what the original recipe says. I find this choice of words vague. Light? Like a balloon? How much? Does bread actually achieve less weight when risen? (A resounding no.) I would change this elusive statement to rise until almost doubled in size. I gave my lovely loaf 1½ hours at this task. You may need less or more time, depending on ambient temperature. ** When I say generous, I mean it. Don't cake the salt on but don't be cautious either.

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