I would recommend the addition of whiskey only for die-hard whiskey fans. I used a half cup of whiskey in my batch – but have reduced the amount by half for the recipe below. It was really strong. Josh suggested cutting it with something sweet, possibly Irish Cream. If I make this again, I would forego the whiskey altogether and instead add some cheese to the mix (i.e. gouda marbled throughout with the bacon). I’d probably use thicker cut bacon also.
Becca, the boys, and I are down in Atlanta visiting Bec’s brother and his family. Tonight we held a grilled cheese competition. This was serious business. The teams were:
- Becca (my wife)
- Josh (Becca’s brother)
- Colleen (Josh’s wife)
- John (Colleen’s brother-in-law)
- Me and my eldest son Tynan
Becca started us off with the classic “for the kids” grilled cheese (American on white bread). John’s entry was a delicious affair with homemade pimento cheese and avocado. Josh and Colleen favored us with twin treats that featured fig jam (Josh) and quince paste (Colleen).
Ty and I – and here, I brag – won the competition with much humility and blushing (yay us!). Our entry was… drumroll… Gouda Grilled Cheese on Homemade Bacon Whiskey Bread w/ Arugula, Sliced Avocado, and a Light Maple Mustard Spread.
With apologies – by the time I could get my camera out, that was all that was left of the sandwiches. We were rated on creativity, presentation, and taste. Tynan and I spent the day talking about flavor combinations and he was the one who recommended the bacon and the gouda. I was the one to suggest adding whiskey to the bacon and baking it into the bread. The sandwiches were quite yummy.
Bacon Whiskey Bread
- 1 scant tablespoon (or 1 ¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water about 110 degrees
- ½ cup warm milk about 110 degrees
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup whiskey
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 cups unbleached flour
- 1 lb bacon cooked and cooled
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften.
Add milk, maple syrup, whiskey, salt, and 1 cup unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Flatten dough into a rectangle about 12x16 inches. Crumble the cooked bacon onto the dough (add only as much as you want). Roll up the dough, and knead briefly to marble the bacon throughout the dough. Shape the dough and place in a well-greased baking pan. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove loaves from pan and cool on a rack.