The holidays are, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. I’m ready for Christmas but also partly sad that it will be over soon. Well, until the new year comes, I’ll be enjoying the endless comfort dishes and baked goods including this bacon cheddar star bread. Although I created this beautiful savory loaf stuffed with bacon onion chutney and cheddar for the holidays, it can be enjoyed year-round. And believe me, I will be making it all year – it’s just that good!

bacon cheddar bread wreath

bacon cheddar bread wreath

bacon cheddar bread wreath

 

Serves 16 servings

Bacon Cheddar Star Bread

Yields 1 bread loaf

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Ingredients

    Bacon jam
  • 12 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Bread
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 grams) warm milk (100-105 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) shredded white cheddar
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon in a heavy pot over medium heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon begins to crisp about 15 minutes. Drain the fat.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until the onions have softened, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer the chutney for about 30-40 minutes or until it resembles a dark chutney. Add more water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Make the bread dough. Combine the warm milk with yeast and sugar, gently stirring to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is activated and foamy.
  4. Combine the yeast mixture with the egg, butter, flour, and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let proof for 1 hour in a warm spot or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 10-inch circle. Lay the first circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread about 1/3 cup of the bacon jam on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Place one of the dough portions on top and sprinkle the cheese. Stack another round dough portion on top and spread more jam. Finish with the remaining dough.
  6. Place a 2-inch round biscuit cutter in the center on the dough. This will help guide where to cut the dough. Cut the dough into quarters, leaving the center intact. Cut each quarter into 4 wedges. Grab two pieces that are next to each other and twist them in opposite directions. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Lightly cover the dough and let it proof for 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Beat together the egg with 1 tbsp water and brush egg wash on the bread. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Let cool completely and serve.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

Ready for some bacon action? To make the chutney, check out my original recipe. You’re basically cooking the bacon first then adding the remaining ingredients and simmering it all together. The onions will become caramelized and jammy and the vinegar and mustard seeds will flavor the chutney. It’s truly a wonderful condiment.

You can make the chutney up to a week in advance. In fact, go ahead and make a large batch, saving some for the bread and use the remaining for whatever you like! It’s fantastic with grilled cheese.

the first layer

Once the jam is ready, start making the dough. It’s a fairly simple dough with the addition of eggs, milk, and butter, all ingredients that will make the bread tender. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and let it rise in a warm area until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and divide it into four sections. Working with one section at a time, roll each out into a 10-inch circle. I used a plate as a stencil to get the perfect circles.

cut the wreath into quarters

Spread the jam on the first portion. Then, top it with another layer and sprinkle cheese on top. Repeat the layers with more jam and finish by stacking the last portion on top. Now, get a 2-inch biscuit cutter or glass and place it in the center. We’re going to use this as a guide on where to cut the dough.

Cut the dough into quarters, leaving that center circle intact. Then, cut each quarter into 4 equal triangles. You should have a total of 16 triangles by the time you’re done cutting.

twist each section

Grab one triangle in your right hand and the triangle next to it with your left hand. Simultaneously twist those two pieces away from each other. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, the bread will still be beautiful no matter what. Continue to do this with the remaining pieces.

proof for the second time

Let the wreath rise for another 45 minutes, then brush on the egg wash and bake the bacon cheddar star bread in the oven at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let it rest before slicing right away but do serve the bread warm.

bacon cheddar bread wreath

This bacon cheddar star bread is currently my favorite savory bread. I mean you just can’t go wrong with layers of bread smeared with bacon onion chutney, am I right? Plus it’s just so pretty to look at!

bacon cheddar bread wreath

 

Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.

 

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