If you’re going to bake bread using yeast, make it worth your while. These are worth it! Easy to make. Just like the ones from Baker’s Delight. But better – because they’re topped AND stuffed with cheese and bacon!
I invited my mother over for brunch today. Wanting her to taste test a few things I was experimenting with. Well, truth be told, I was having a big cooking day and wanted a kitchen-hand. Within a few minutes of arriving and discovering the real reason I asked her over, she disappeared outside on the pretence of playing with my dog (works every time). When I peeked outside, there she was, laying back on my sun lounge. No dog toys in sight.
When these Double Cheese and Bacon Rolls were ready, I called her inside. This is how the conversation went:
“Where did you get these from?,” she asked.
“What?!”, I gasped, offended. “I MADE them”, I said indignantly.
“Really?”, she said, dubiously. “They look just like the ones you get from Bakers Delight.” (Chain Bakery in Australia)
“That’s the whole point!”, I exclaimed. “But these are better. Because there’s no preservatives in them. And there’s DOUBLE cheese and bacon in them.”
The idea to stuff rolls with extra cheese and bacon came about after making a batch just topped with cheese and bacon when I had a few friends-with-kids around a few weeks ago. Anything with bacon bits in them always seems to appeal to kids! While they seemed to enjoy them, when I had a bite, I thought it was a bit boring and in fact, probably needed to be split in half and buttered.
The thing is, there is only so much bacon and cheese you can put on top of the rolls. Because otherwise the topping is too thick. Yes, there is such thing as too much cheese and bacon. Especially when the rolls have cooled and the cheese hardens. A thick layer of cold cheese is not very nice.
So I decided to add more flavour into these by stuffing them with cheese and bacon.
I don’t bake with yeast very often. Though easy, it does require time and patience.
But some things are worth it. These are definitely worth it! Plus, it’s not like anything you can get at the stores – at least, certainly not here in Australia!
Double hit of bacon and cheese. DO IT!
- 1 sachet Active Dry Yeast (7g, ¼oz, 2¼ tsp (US, AUS), 2 tsp UK) (see Note 1 for Instant Yeast)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 cup warm water (Not boiling. Just tap water is fine)
- 3 cups bread flour (Note 2)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or sub with any other oil)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 300g / 10 oz bacon, diced
- 3.5oz / 100g provolone cheese, cut into 8 slices (or any other melting cheese) (Note 3)
- 1 cup grated cheese (tasty, cheddar or any other cheese that melts)
- Combine the yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and mix until yeast dissolves. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes until frothy. (Note 4)
- Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Then either use the dough hook on your mixer and mix for about 3 minutes on medium low, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface (about 100 kneads), until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should come away from the side of the bowl and shouldn't stick. If it is too sticky, add some extra flour.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover loosely. (Note 5) Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Note 4)
- Meanwhile, sauté half the bacon in a non stick pan over high heat until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Spray baking tray with oil.
- Punch down the dough, then cut into 8 pieces.
- Get one piece of dough and flatten it. Take a piece of provolone cheese and fold it in half to form a square. Top with 1 tbsp of cooked bacon. Fold the edges in to "wrap" it, shaping it into a round shape. Seal then flip over and place on baking try. Flatten with your hand to around 2cm / ⅘" thick. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush with egg mixture. Top each with 1½ tbsp grated cheese and the uncooked bacon.
- Cover with clean tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes or so in a warm place until it has risen by around 50% (Note 6).
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Best served warm, so the filling is gooey!
You can use Instant Yeast instead of Active Dry Yeast. Use 1¾ tsp (US, AUS), 1½ tsp (UK), 5¼ g, ⅕ oz.
To make this using Instant Yeast, skip step 1 and just add the Instant Yeast to the flour. Also, halve the dough rising times in steps 3 and 10.
2. Bread made using ordinary flour instead of bread flour tastes sort of "yeasty". It isn't pleasant. Bread flour can be purchased at supermarkets and costs only a bit more than plain flour.
Note also that there is little difference between US and AUS cup measures. i.e. 1 US cup = 0.95 AUS cup which is close enough for this recipe to work. I made this using both US and AUS measurements and didn't notice a difference at all.
3. I like to use provolone cheese because it has melting qualities similar to mozzarella but has more flavour. Make sure you get Provolone Piccante (which feels like Monterey Jack, swiss cheese) not Provolone Dolce (which is hard like parmesan).
4. In winter, I turn the oven on for 2 minutes, then turn it off. I use this as the "warm place" for the yeast-water mixture to froth and for the bread to rise. I have also been known to use my dryer :) Just turn it on very briefly, then place the dough in it!
5. If it's a deep bowl, just cover with a clean tea towel. If it's shallow, cover loosely with cling wrap lightly sprayed with oil.
6. For the second rise, it won't double in size because of the filling weighing down the bottom half of the dough.
I was pleasantly surprised by the nutrition analysis. I was sure it would be MUCH higher in calories!