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Cracklin Bread

Kraft Memeber Recipe
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Makes: 2 loaves Total Time: 3 hr
Category: Breads Sub Category: Yeast Breads

what you need
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup 105 degrees F water
  • 7 cups flour, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 4-6 strips bacon, cooked, drained and chopped up
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 2 tsp. water
  • Cracked black peppercorns
make it
In small pan heat milk till bubbles start to form and remove from heat. Add butter, sugar, salt & basil. Stir till butter is melted and cool till around 110 degrees F. Dissolve yeast in the warm water and mix with milk mixture.

Add 3 cups of flour and the egg to the milk/yeast mixtures and beat with a beater attachment on kitchenaid for a couple minutes. Add the ground pepper and once mixed swap to a dough hook. Gradually add remaining flour until dough is smooth and elastic (and pulls away from the bowl).

Pull dough out, and place in a greased bowl. Turn to grease all sides, cover, and let rise in a warm place for an hour or until at least doubled. While waiting, fry up the bacon and drain on paper towels. At this point you want to grease up either 2 LARGE baking sheets, 2 9x5x3 loaf pans, or one of each.

Punch down the dough and knead in the bacon. Divide in half. For a half-moon or wreath loaf cut that half into thirds and roll each third into a 20" strip. Twist or braid strips and pinch the ends to seal together. Shape on baking sheet & Cut a couple slashes into the loaf. For loaf pans, cut into thirds also, but make 3 12 inch-ish ropes. Braid & pinch, and put into loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Brush loaves with yolk/water mix and sprinkle with the cracked peppercorns. Bake for about 1/2 hr or until nicely brown.
From a presentation perspective, the crescents are "prettier". However, the loaves make for excellent toasting later & I usually make one of each.

This recipe was originally found in the McCalls cooking school binders that were like a recipe pack a month deal in the 80's.
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