Bacon Cheese Bread
This Bacon Cheese Bread recipe makes for the ultimate crowd-pleaser; it works great as an appetizer and is sure to earn you gold stars at parties, potlucks, and game nights. Or, if you’re simply looking for a hearty snack idea for in between meals, this easy bread recipe will not only fill the void, but it will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings all in one go. That’s because it’s got everything in it – bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing - rolled into one fabulous pull-apart bread loaf. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to bake, and there are enough servings here to feed the whole family.
Pull-apart bread is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. It has evolved from “monkey bread”, which is now a well-known sweet loaf created from rolled balls of yeast dough that have been carefully soaked in butter and sprinkled with brown sugar. The original monkey bread recipes, however, were for savoury dough rather than sweet, and more closely resemble this recipe for pull-apart bread. Cooks often served it with jam and other sweet preserves, but it was not rolled in sugar. Although monkey bread’s been around for quite a long time, it started becoming popular in Southern California in the 1940s. It wasn’t until the 1970s that monkey bread recipes started getting sweeter. That’s when they merged with coffee cake recipes and cinnamon became a much-loved rolling ingredient. This particular type of sweet monkey bread became a fast favourite for breakfast and snack time.
This bread recipe calls for frozen dough, but if you have a little extra time, you can easily make your own bread dough at home. Making your own dough is a lot easier than you think, especially if you have a few tips up your sleeve before you begin. You can even make extra dough and freeze it so you’ll always have some on hand for quick recipes like this one. If you intend to make extra dough to freeze, then follow your bread dough recipe as usual but add twice as much yeast. Continue with the recipe for the rest of the ingredients, mix your dough, knead it, and allow it to rise for the first time. When it has risen, punch it down and form it into loaves that are approximately five centimeters thick (two inches), which will help it thaw faster. Seal it in a freezer-safe bag and throw it in the freezer – be sure to use it within three to four weeks. When you’re ready for it, simply take it out of the bag and drop it into a greased pan so it can defrost and rise simultaneously. Once it’s totally defrosted, continue with your bread recipe. When dividing your dough to make all of the small dough balls, you’ll want to use a sharp knife. A little-known fact is that tearing the dough can actually adversely affect the molecular structure of the gluten, keeping your bread from rising properly. When your dough is completely cooked, remove it from the oven first, then remove it from the pan and set it on a wire cooling rack. Allowing your freshly-baked loaf to cool in this way will not only let the air circulate around it, but it will also prevent moisture build-up that could potentially cause soggy bread.
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