Texas®

I just this very moment realized that there is a tiny, unincorporated town in Texas named Bacon. My obsession with bacon is nothing new, and over the past year or so rarely does a month go by when I haven’t mentioned the tasty treat on this here blog. But when I saw Bacon, Texas my mind began to wander…

Is it too soon to pack my bacon suitcase?

Is it too soon to pack my bacon suitcase?

What if Josh gets stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base after his basic training? That would mean that I would be less than FIVE MILES away from Bacon, Texas. That would mean I could live off base in Bacon, Texas.  When people asked I could exclaim, “Oh, me…? I LIVE IN BACON, TEXAS.”

And I would open a little bacon-centric general store in Bacon, Texas, right off Bacon Switch Road. I would call it The Unstoppable Meat. I would sell such wares as Joanna Pruess’ ‘Seduced by Bacon‘ cookbook, Bacon Band-Aids, Bacon Soap, Bacon Salt, Bacon Undies and clothing, Bacon Candies and more. I would form a Bacon Board of Directors the heads of which would be my pals at the Ministry of Bacon. And I would pack my coolers to offer the masses Texas’ best bacon:

From Hamilton, Texas it would be Pedersons Farms‘ Pederson’s Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon, Uncured Pepper Bacon, and Apple Smoked Bacon. Peach Creek Farm‘s Arkansas Bacon from String Prairie, Texas. Out of Rockdale, Texas it would be Richardson Farms‘ fresh uncured bacon. And last but certainly not least, the bacon-y offerings of one of my favorite Texas farms, Yonder Way, in Brenham, Texas. They have some of the best uncured bacon in the world, probably because they keep their piggies so darn happy.

So keep your fingers crossed for me folks, one day I may realize this lofty Bacon, Texas dream and you just might be paying me a visit.

It is far from a secret that I am obsessed with all things bacon and cooking and considering that our CEO here at BoTx, suggested I start putting some of my recipes up here on the blog, I thought I’d start off with a bacon-y treat. I’d take pictures of the process to show you, but I can’t seem to find my battery charger at the moment, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Amanda’s Texas Pecan, Maple & Bacon Monkey Bread

Wake up at the crack of dawn, wash face, turn on some music, start coffee maker, yawn. Then gather together:

6 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 3/4 c. whole milk
¼ c. cream
¼ c. sugar
¼ ounce of dry yeast
2 large egg yolks
5 ½ c. of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of salt
16 slices of bacon, chopped roughly
1 c. of pecan halves, chopped (if you don’t like pecans, try chopped apple, instead)
1 c. of maple sugar – (if you can’t find maple sugar, use 1 c. of brown sugar, plus ½ c. of REAL maple syrup)

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter on medium low heat. Add milk, cream, and the white sugar stirring until warm. Turn off heat and sprinkle the yeast on top of the mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It will get a little foamy looking, that’s okay. Then whisk your egg yolks into the yeast mixture.

Oil a large mixing bowl lightly and in another bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. Next add your yeast mixture and stir together until it turns into a soft dough. Flour a work surface, and turn the dough on to the surface. Knead dough until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes or so. Shape your dough into a ball, and place into the oiled bow and cover with a towel. Let rise at room temp for about two hours, until the ball expands to double in size.

Waste an hour or so by surfing the interwebs, watching the news, taking a shower, annoying your spouse, playing with your choice of companion animal, reading a book or playing Risk online.

While your dough is still doing its thing, cook the bacon until barely crisp. Drain on paper towels. Then toss the bacon in the maple sugar or your maple/brown sugar mixture. Add pecan pieces to the mixture. Butter a Bundt pan and sprinkle about half the bacon/sugar/ pecan mixture in the bottom.

Turn your dough onto and UNFLOURED work surface and mash it into a rectangle shape. Cut the dough into 36 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Arrange 18 of the balls in two layers in the Bundt pan and then cover the remaining bacon/sugar/pecan mixture over them. Arrange the remaining half of the balls on top, set as many of them as you can in the little hollows of the first dough ball layer.

Cover with a towel and set aside for about two hours, allowing the dough to rise a second time. If you’re impatient, you can cover the pan in plastic wrap, set in the fridge, pull it out the next morning. If you do this, you’ll need to let it come to room temp before baking the following day.

If you’ve opted to be patient, by now, unless you’ve started at say, 4 a.m., it should be reasonable for you enjoy a late morning/early afternoon approved adult beverage, such as a Bloody Mary or screwdriver…or beer. 

Pre-heat your oven to 400. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour this over the bread. Bake for 15 minutes on a center rack, then tent with foil. Continue baking for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool the pan for about 10 minutes, unmold and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Early one Christmas morning I was craving this bread and tried to do a lazy person’s version by using canned biscuit dough. It sucked, so I don’t recommend that at all. You can also adjust this recipe to a hearty cheddar and bacon monkey bread, but I’m not going to tell you all my secrets.

If you guys like this recipe thing, let me know, and I’ll do it again.