July 4, 2009
Garlic, Apple, and Bacon Bread
by Gareth Mark
For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about how nice it would be to make some bread using garlic confit for Michael Ruhlman's BLT Challenge. This is my first attempt, and although it wasn't entirely successful, it's still a tasty bread.
I started by making a basic bread dough. Toward the end of the first rise I sautéed some bacon to make crispy bits, then added apple chunks and a hint of rosemary. After draining the apple and bacon on paper towels, I went ahead and punched the bread dough down, then rolled it out and put the bacon-apple mixture on top, along with some garlic confit.
As I rolled the dough over the filling, I added more garlic confit. Then I tucked the ends under and let the bread proof. After proofing, I scored the loaf and baked it.
The final result is tasty, but I'm really not satisfied. The flavor isn't quite what I was looking for, and it's not a good bread for sandwich making, which means it won't work well for the BLT Challenge.
I've learned a few things making this experimental loaf. First, I didn't put in enough garlic confit for a really garlicky flavor.
Second, I'd have done better to put what I used as a filling into the dough during the initial mixing. Distribution would have been better that way, I wouldn't have had air pockets in the loaf, and slices wouldn't tend to fall apart where there's filling. If I don't want to put the filling into the dough, I need to roll it out much thinner.
Third, I needed more rosemary. Perhaps I should brush the outside of the loaf with oil and rosemary if I want to add that flavor.
Finally, I learned that if I'm going to stuff a loaf, I don't need as much filling as I thought I would need, and that the bread will be more successful baked in a pan rather than as a hand-shaped loaf.
While I may not have hit the target I aimed for, I learned a lot doing this. I'll definitely try again!