In and around the Sydney area of New South Wales, Australia early morning is heralded by the smell of crusty bread wafting from bake shops that dot the landscape. Bakeries like these are very few and far between in the US and none of them I have found sell what is the pinnacle of the baker’s art (well at least in my opinion) – the Cheese and Bacon Roll. These little bits of heaven consist of french bread – crisp and crusty on the outside, soft and light in the center – topped with a combination of bacon and cheddar cheese and cooked until the cheese becomes brown, nutty and toasted. Here is my version of this Aussie bake shop classic.
550g AP Flour
250mL of water
125mL of whole milk
7g of instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbls olive oil
1 cup of grated cheese
50g of finely chopped bacon or country ham.
Note: All weights and volumes have been expressed in metric for the simple fact that weighing in grams and measuring in mL is much more accurate than using imperial measurements.
- Weigh out flour and yeast then add liquid ingredients. Mix until dough just comes together, cover and allow to autolyse for 1 hr. This step helps build gluten.
- Add salt to dough and mix using a dough hook on medium speed for 7-8 minutes or knead for 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a large bowl that has been greased with olive oil, cover and place in a warm spot.
- Allow to rise until volume of dough has doubled.
- Gently deflate dough by folding the corners into the middle.
- Divide dough into 8 balls of equal size ~ 125g each, and place dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat silicone mat.
- Make a small indent in each dough ball and sprinkle bacon and cheese on dough. Allow dough to rise until nearly doubled in size.
- Bake in a HOT 425 F oven until cheese is toasted and bread is golden brown. To make a crispier crust, toss 6 or 7 ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create steam at the start of baking.
Best served warm.