Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread
serves 12 (or 3, depending)

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1¼ cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
¼ cup honey
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) melted unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix (I used Hidden Valley), divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3-3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 pound thick cut bacon, precooked and diced
5 ounces fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, warm milk and honey.  Swirl with your fingers or a spoon to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes.

Fit stand mixer with a dough hook and add 4 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix and salt, mix on low until combined.  Add 2 cups of flour, mix on low, until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (mine takes about 1 additional cup).  Add bacon. 

Allow to knead on medium for about 5 minutes.  You should have a ball of tacky (not sticky) dough at this point.  *When testing the dough:  sticky dough will adhere to the skin, tacky will pull away and leave no dough on your fingers

Turn onto a floured counter top; knead a few turns until dough is tacky, not sticky.  Form dough into a ball.  Cover with a dry towel and allow the dough to rest while you repair the butter mixture. 

In a large mixing bowl combine remaining 1 sticks melted butter, 1 tablespoon ranch mix, ½ of the shredded cheese.  Stir to combine.

We are going to cut this ball into 48 (somewhat) even pieces.  First quarter the ball of dough. *I used a bench scraper, but a butter knife would work too.  Roll each quarter into a fat log.  Cut that into 3 parts.  Roll each part into a log and cut into 4 pieces.  When you are done you will have 48 pieces.

Place the 48 pieces of cut dough into the butter mixture and stir to coat as you cut.  Continue adding pieces until all the dough pieces are in the butter mixture.  Stir to coat completely.

Evenly spread dough balls out on a 9”x12” baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with non stick spray.  Place in a warm location and allow dough to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, check bread at 15 minutes if it is golden brown already, cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 5-10 minutes until all of the bread pieces are cooked through.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
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