3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling on dough and flouring hands

1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1 1/4 c. water

1/4 tsp. instant yeast

1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked until crispy, drained, and crumbled or chopped

2 c. (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. With a rubber spatula, mix the 3 cups flour, salt, yeast, bacon, and cheese together until incorporated. Add the water and stir until completely incorporated. The dough should be evenly wet, with no dry spots. It will look a little “shaggy” and sticky. Cover and let sit on a counter at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours. 

2. Uncover. Sprinkle the top of the dough with 3 tbsp. flour. Flour your hands well. Remove the dough from the container or bowl by scooping your hands underneath the dough and lifting it out. The dough will be wet and soft. Make a ball with the dough by gently tucking the edges of the dough underneath while slightly turning it. Place the dough on a well-floured silicone baking mat or cotton kitchen towel, sprinkle the top of the dough ball lightly with flour, and cover with a cotton kitchen towel until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

3. After the dough has risen for about 1 hour, preheat a lidded 4 qt. cast iron Dutch oven to 440° in the oven. Make sure the pot is covered with the lid while preheating.

4. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven after 30 min. Remove the ball of dough from the bowl or towel and place it in the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 min. Remove the lid and continue to bake until golden brown, about another 15 min. 

5. Remove the loaf from the pot as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.  

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