I decided to bake bread again today. I don't know why, just felt like it.
I decided to make bread and incorporate bacon in it.
So i took the recipe i used for the fluffy dinner rolls and changed it up a little.
What i did different this time:
1. Instead of making 14 balls about 54g each as i did to make simple dinner rolls, i made them into approximately 100g portions, so i got 7 buns.
2. After portioning them out and rolling them into balls, i rolled them out into a long oval shape.
3. On the oval piece of dough, i sprinkled some freshly grounded black pepper and then place a piece of bacon on it. I removed the rind and excess fat on the bacon. The rind would not be able to crisp up and would be tough and chewy if i had left it in. Slicing off excess fat also meant that if you should eat the bread cold, the fat doesn't become chewy, cloying and off-putting.
4. After i layered the black pepper, bacon and more black pepper, i rolled it up, from one end of the oval to the other. Press the seam down to seal and place the seal side down on the baking paper, this ensures that the seam does not pop open during the dough's rising and baking process.
5. Instead of buttering the tops of the dough, i used an egg with 2 tsp of water mixed together and brushed it on instead. Milk with the egg or just milk would work as well. I think both the egg and milk imparts fragrance and a slightly sweet flavour as opposed to the butter.
6. I did accidentally use more butter than the recipe called for, but it seems like it turned out well.
7. I tried to measure the amount of flour i used this time. In addition to the additional 3/4 + 1/2 cup of flour. I think i used an extra 1 1/2 cups. The dough i realized, is quite forgiving. With 1 cup of additional flour, it already came together very well in the mixer and wasn't sticking. When i transferred it to be kneaded by hand, it didn't stick to my hand as well, but there was just a slight sticky feel to the dough, so i added another 1/2 cup of flour gradually. But i should suppose that it would be fine if i had not added that extra 1/2 as the dough was already quite elastic and soft.
I think the bread turned out great! Just 2 things i might do differently in the future:
1. Give the bacon a slight wash and dry. Although i felt that it was ok, fish felt that there was something about the flavour of the bread nearest to the bacon. I couldn't think of what it might be and hui didn't mention anything about it, but i think next time i would wash the bacon to get rid of the slight slimy layer on the bacon.
2. Add cheese! I think this would work well with a layer of cheese and it would make a very nutritiously balanced bread (i think). And i might change it to ham next time as well. Some good quality ham from a good butcher.
3. Oh and.. these bread really do expand, so i might not squeeze all the bread into one tray next time. Although the flavour wasn't affected and they do tear away nicely.
And i realized that the expiration date on the bottle of yeast isn't accurate. I just realized that mine expired March 2010. and i'm still using it right now and it rises perfectly! I store mine in the fridge. but if you're ever not sure, be sure to just test it to make sure it foams. We don't want any disappointment now.. do we?
Please try it! and let me know how you go with it!