As of this month, I am a member of Zingerman’s Bacon Club. Thanks to my mom’s incredibly thoughtful and just a little embarrassing birthday gift, I now have a pound of bacon delivered to my door every month. For six months.
The premise is thrilling, but also a bit daunting. How many fried egg sandwiches with bacon or BLTs can I eat? Will my house constantly now smell like bacon, causing my vegan housemates to hate me forever?
I was so overcome with emotion when my first delivery arrived that the pound of applewood smoked bacon was consumed in two days. Should I admit such a feat? Bacon pizza with asparagus and brussels sprouts the first day, and Bacon-Chive Bread with Goat Cheese from Cynthia Nims’s Salty Snacks the next.
Combining bacon, chives, and goat cheese in bread form can never be a bad decision, and since Cynthia suggests baking the bread in a pie plate, it turns out wonderfully indulgent. Friends enjoyed wedges of the bread with some roasted tomatoes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day and a cold beverage. And now all I can dream about is what I’ll whip up with next month’s delivery. What do you think I should make?
Bacon-Chive Bread with Goat Cheese
Makes 12 to 16 servings
6 slices thick-cut bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or flaky or coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
11/2 cups (about 6 ounces) finely crumbled fresh plain goat cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon slices and cook, turning the slices over every couple of minutes, until nicely browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. When cooled, crumble or cut the bacon into small pieces; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir well to mix.
Combine 11/4 cups of the goat cheese and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add one of the eggs and beat until fully incorporated, then beat in the second egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the dry ingredients with the mixer at low speed, alternating with the milk. Take the bowl from the stand and stir in the bacon and chives by hand, just until incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of goat cheese over the top.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan, then turn the bread out onto the rack to cool completely, inverting the bread so that the goat cheese topping is upright.
Cut the cooled bread into 12 to 16 wedges, arrange on a platter or large plate, and serve. The bread will keep for 1 day, well wrapped in foil.
For more recipes from Salty Snacks, take a look at the excerpt below: