I haven’t posted a recipe that contained yeast since before my son was born! For those who haven’t been reading that long–that’s a little over 2.5 years now. I miss making homemade fresh bread. I was so excited when my friends at Cabot teamed up with King Arthur Flour and challenged me to make cheesy bread! Since I’m 5 months pregnant and craving ALL THE CARBS this pregnancy I was totally up for the challenge. I made one batch of the no-knead crusty white bread dough and made three different loaves of bread. Giving me three different mix-ins that are out of this world. That’s what I love about this recipe. You can make just plain crusty bread or mix-in to make different flavors! So, today I’m sharing my recipe for Chipotle Cheddar & Bacon No-Knead Crusty White Bread.
This no-knead crusty white bread is so easy to make. For this recipe I used Cabot Chipotle Cheddar Cheese and minced fresh bacon to mix into the bread. The bread is slightly spicy, but not over powering. Even for those who are unsure about working with yeast, it’s not that scary. You don’t have to worry about letting the yeast bloom or develop. Throw the bread dough ingredients all together, mix it, and let it rest! That’s it. Even better you don’t have to make the bread all in one day. I didn’t.
You can actually let the dough rest for up to 7 days in the refrigerator before your ready to bake. The longer you let it rest the more tangy your bread will be. I didn’t make this bread until after the dough rested in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 days. Then I made my last two loaves on the last day it rested in my refrigerator. Super tangy and delicious.
If your looking to try your hand at making fresh bread–this is the recipe for you. I promise you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and find yourself addicted to making fresh bread!
Disclaimer: I received product from Cabot and King Arthur Flour. I was not compensated to create this recipe, but created it in conjunction for a #cheesybreaad contest. As always, all opinions are my own.
Chipotle Cheddar & Bacon No-Knead Crusty White Bread
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 6 ½ to 7 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant or active dry yeast
- 3 cups Cabot Chipotle Cheddar Cheese shredded and divided
- 6 tablespoons cooked bacon crumbled and divided
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or a large (6-quart), food-safe plastic bucket. For first-timers, “lukewarm” means about 105°F, but don’t stress over getting the temperatures exact here. Comfortably warm is fine; “OUCH, that’s hot!” is not. Yeast is a living thing; treat it nicely.
- Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed with the beater blade for 30 to 60 seconds. If you don’t have a mixer, just stir-stir-stir with a big spoon or dough whisk until everything is combined.
- Next, you’re going to let the dough rise. If you’ve made the dough in a plastic bucket, you’re all set — just let it stay there, covering the bucket with a lid or plastic wrap; a shower cap actually works well here. If you’ve made the dough in a bowl that’s not at least 6-quart capacity, transfer it to a large bowl; it’s going to rise a lot. There’s no need to grease the bowl, though you can if you like; it makes it a bit easier to get the dough out when it’s time to bake bread.
- Cover the bowl or bucket, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days. (If you’re pressed for time, skip the room-temperature rise, and stick it right into the fridge). The longer you keep it in the fridge, the tangier it’ll get; if you chill it for 7 days, it will taste like sourdough. Over the course of the first day or so, it’ll rise, then fall. That’s OK; that’s what it’s supposed to do.
- When you’re ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off about ¼ to ⅓ of the dough — a 14-ounce to 19-ounce piece, if you have a scale. It’ll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.
- Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, knead in the chipotle cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Round it into a ball or a longer log–whatever you prefer. Don’t fuss around trying to make it perfect; just do the best you can.
- Place the loaf on a piece of parchment (if you’re going to use a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top; this will help keep the bread moist as it rests before baking.
- Let the loaf warm to room temperature and rise; this should take about 60 minutes (or longer, up to a couple of hours, if your house is cool). It won’t appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it’ll seem to settle and expand. Preheat your oven to 450°F while the loaf rests. If you’re using a baking stone, position it on a middle rack while the oven preheats. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.
- When you’re ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about ½″ deep. The bread may deflate a bit; that’s OK, it’ll pick right up in the hot oven.
- Place the bread in the oven — onto the baking stone, if you’re using one, or simply onto a middle rack, if it’s on a pan — and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. It’ll bubble and steam; close the oven door quickly.
- Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it’s a deep, golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.