About Me

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Simply put, I love food. I revel in everything about it: taste, texture, preparation, presentation, etc. The most favored aspect for me is the social aspect of food…learning to cook from one’s mother, preparing food with friends, grilling out, potlucks, dinner parties or simply meeting for dinner. I light up watching the people I love eat the food that I create. It still truly amazes me how food brings us together. So a little about me. Now in my early 30s, I’ve learned all I know about cooking from my mother and grandmothers. My Midwestern roots are definitely reflected in my cooking style and the recipes that I choose as I am very “meat and potatoes” centric and heavy handed with the butter sometimes. More later, but for now Happy Nomming!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Midwesterner's Bread (aka Cheddar, Bacon, Ranch Pull Apart Bread)

Due to an overwhelming number of requests on Facebook after I posted a picture of this nonsense, I had add the recipe on here.  To give credit where it is due, this recipe came from Plain Chicken (She has a bunch of other great recipes on her blog as well that you should probably check out).  However, due to my weird aversion to packaged foods, I made some modifications to make it my own.

I renamed it Midwesterner's Bread because of the Ranch dressing and bacon components.  Bacon, much like smiles, is the universal language of food.  But Ranch...well, if you've ever been to Indiana you know how much we Hoosiers covet our Ranch dressing.  We will dip anything in that delicious white condiment of the gods.  Fries, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, potato chips...we don't care what the vehicle, we just want more!

1 unsliced loaf of sourdough bread
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 lb of thick slab bacon, fried to crispy perfection
1/2 cup (yup, an entire stick!) butter
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix (you can use Hidden Valley powder, but I recommend making a trip to Penzey's or hitting them up online for some of theirs.  Here, I will make it easier for you:  Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch) 

Score the bread in both directions using a sharp bread knife while leaving the bottom intact. (read as: Don't cut it all the way through!) Shove cheese slices and tasty bacon in between cuts. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and mix in ranch dressing powder. Evenly poor the buttery ranch goodness over the bacon & cheddar stuffed bread.  Place in a 8-9" cake pan (for a round loaf) or place on a baking sheet (for those elongated numbers) and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Bask in this bread's glory for at least 5-10 minutes while it cools (or you'll, no doubt, burn your fingers and mouth) and then plunge face first into it*...yea, it's THAT good. 

 *Note: Don't really do this. You'll burn your face. Can't believe I had to point that out, but it seemed necessary. 

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