October 03, 2011

Bacon Epi

It seems that I haven't posted about bread for a long time on this blog. Well, that's about to change since I'm on a bread making kick. There are too many bread recipes I need to share :).


Now that I think about it, this was one of the first recipes I put together back when I started baking. The story is that in high school, my mom used to buy these long loaves of chewy french bread filled with pockets of bacon from a bakery at a local mall. I loved that it could be easily pulled apart into individual servings. My family always referred to it as "bacon bread". Eventually though, the bakery went out of business and we had no more bacon bread.


A few years later, when I finally took up baking, I thought back to the bread and realized that it was going to be difficult to find a recipe since I had no idea what it was called. But I figured the recipe wouldn't be too hard to recreate, just a baguette recipe with some bacon. After a bit of research, I finally discovered that this is referred to as "pain d'epi". An "epi" is an ear of wheat, which is what the shape is supposed to resemble. This bread recipe is one of my go-to recipes because it's not too difficult and it isn't that time consuming (relatively speaking for bread making), and of course, it's delicious.


Bacon Epi
adapted from French Women Don't Get Fat

1 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
4-5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6 slices bacon

Boil a pot of water. Once the water is boiling, drop the bacon slices in and boil them for 5 minutes. Remove the slices, let them cool on a paper towel covered plate, and set aside for now. The boiling is optional, but it reduces greasiness and saltiness in the final product.

Microwave one cup of water for about 15 seconds, so the water is warm, but not hot enough to burn your finger. Add the sugar and yeast, stir, and then let it sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast has proofed and the top of the mixture is foamy. In a mixing bowl, mix 4 cups flour and the salt. Pour in the proofed yeast mixture and the other cup of warm water. Mix. If the dough is very sticky, add in another cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time until it is less sticky.

Once the dough comes together, knead it for about 10 minutes. Then place it back in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in volume. Once doubled, punch the air out of the dough and divide it into 6 pieces. Take one ball of dough for now and keep the other five covered.

Shaping the Epi
1) Take one of the six dough balls and roll it out on a flat surface so it's longer and wider than a slice of bacon
2) Place a slice of bacon in the center of the dough
3) Fold the dough over the bacon
4) Pinch the dough to seal it and place it seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet
5) Take kitchen shears and snip a "V" into the dough, cutting all the way through the bacon, but not all the way through the dough
6) Push the cut dough to the left and cut another "V" lower down
7) Push the cut dough to the right and cut another "V" lower down
8) Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you reach the end of the dough and then repeat all the steps with the other 5 pieces of dough

After shaping the dough, let the loaves rise on the baking sheets for another hour. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Fill an oven proof bowl with water and place it in the oven. Place your baking sheet next to the bowl and bake the loaves for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for 5-10 minutes more, until the loaves are golden brown and they sound hollow when you tap them. Let the loaves cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 6 loaves.

24 comments:

  1. That looks like it might be good - maybe even with an asparagus tucked in and/or herbs in the dough. Here in Japan, there are a lot of those with hot dogs tucked inside, and some with the very bland bacon, but I think I may try this recipe next time I get some good bacon!

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  2. I love your drawing tutorial! And I love how this bread has little history for you and your family.

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  3. Just found your blog! Can't wait to try this bread for my next family gathering! Thanks!

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  4. This looks delicious! I love homemade bread and I can only imagine that bacon only makes it better!

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  5. Oh wow. This is perfect. I just made bacon for the first time, and I told my inlaws that I would bring "something bacon-y" for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. As soon as I saw this on Foodgawker, I had a plan!!! Thank you for the super awesome looking recipe :)

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  6. AnaMarie: That sounds good, adding herbs to the dough. That's the great thing about making your own bread, you get to choose what you put into it.

    Jessica's Dinner Party: Thanks!

    Michelle: Definitely try it out.

    The running foodie: Yup, I really like the extra flavor the bacon adds to the recipe.

    Choosy Beggar Tina: Yay, try it! And Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

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  7. This looks absolutely divine! I love making my own bread and often add different flavours, herbs and spices, but have never used bacon so will definitely be trying this out!

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  8. haha looks so cute. i like hotdog bread!

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  9. Hi, I wrote a comment right here and I would like you to answer, it would be really helpful of you. ;)
    http://www.diamondsfordessert.com/2009/12/gingerbread-men.html

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  10. Jesica: Haha, if virtual food transportation were possible, then for sure. You should definitely try making them thought; it's not too difficult.

    thelittleloaf: Yes, I love making bread for that very reason: being able to customize the dough.

    tiffany: Thanks. Maybe hotdog bread in the future :).

    Jolanta: Okay, replied!

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  11. Hi Unmacaronrose...
    Its very nice posting.. i like smoke beef puff :)
    Thnks fr d sharing

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  12. They sell this here in Japan and it's great!

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  13. thelittleloaf: i want to make different breads, is it difficult?? I am a little nervous to dive in and make something and have it turn out badly! Any suggestions for a simple, tasty bread? Maybe something plain that goes well with a chicken dish? Thanks! <3

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  14. You and EpicMealTime (you know, from the YouTubes?) should team up and make like a TON of these. Which would, of course, be butchering it.

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  15. This would be perfect for a morning brunch. Can't wait for the chance to make it. I love your drawing!

    Btw, I've passed on the Versatile Blog award to you today. Thank you so much for all your fun posts!

    http://littlerandomhappiness.blogspot.com/2011/10/feeling.html

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  16. the only thing I think could possibly make this better, is if there was some shredded sharp cheddar cheese in the dough. Nothing goes better with bacon than cheese. Maybe that's just me. Anyway, this bread looks fabulous, I will definitely have to try it in the near future!

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  17. Amazing - this dough was gorgeous! An absolute dream to work with. I've got my loaves in the oven now, and I cannot wait to try them. Thanks for posting this one!

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  18. I made this a few weeks ago and I really like dipping the warm bread in pizza sauce. It made for a nice extra flavor. :) Thanks for the recipe

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  19. Anonymous 1: No problem :).

    Anonymous 2: Cool! I actually did realize later that some Asian bakeries here in CA sell it as well.

    dawn.roy: This recipe is a good one for beginners. To make it even simpler, you could leave out the bacon and just shape it simply, into baguette shaped loaves instead.

    icefox: I actually don't watch youtube videos that often, but I will check out EpicMealTime :P.

    little random happiness: Thanks for the award! And I hope you do try this out.

    Tara: Mmm, cheese sounds like a wonderful addition. Definitely try it out.

    apartmentfarm: Yay. Thank you for sharing! I'm glad it worked out.

    Anonymous: No problem. I'm glad to hear that you tried it!

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  20. Made a batch of this for a potluck at work and it was a hit! Thank you so much for the recipe. I'm going to make more tomorrow just for my family, although per their request I plan to use two slices of bacon in each piece, :-).

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  21. I tried this today and it was fantastic! I added cheese in with the bacon and after the first 10 minutes in the oven was up I brushed them with garlic butter! my boyfriend loved it so much, I think he's going to expect to have it with every meal soon! lol

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  22. I just discovered your blog and this has to be one of my favorite recipes )besides the animal shaped cookies). You break things down into very easy steps so it''s not scary to get started :)

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