Place the cut bacon into a medium sized skillet. Bring up to heat over medium and cook until crispy. Drain from the rendered fat.
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and yeast. Stir together. Next add in the bacon followed by the water and mix until combined. The dough will be very shaggy and sticky, not smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, place somewhere warm and let rise for 12-18 hours. Once you see little bubbles on the top of the dough, it’s ready to go.
Lightly flour your countertop. Place the risen dough onto the floured workspace and sprinkle the top with a little more flour. Gently fold the dough over itself a few times. Place, seam side up, into a well floured proofing basket and sprinkle the top with more flour. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit for 2 hours. If you don’t have a proofing basket you can use a colander and a clean dish towel.
30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 500℉. Place a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven with lid in the oven while it preheats.
Once the oven is up to heat take a large sheet of parchment paper and place it on the countertop. Remove the towel covering the dough and carefully invert the bread onto the parchment, seam side down. Remove the heated Dutch oven from the oven and take off the lid. Place the proofed bread and parchment paper into the heated Dutch oven, cover with lid and place back in the oven.
Bake with lid on for 30 minutes then remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove and let cool fully on a cooling rack.
This bread goes well with eggs, as a grilled cheese sandwich, as a BLT, toasted up with butter or served alone with meats and cheese.
Recipe Courtesy of Megan Mitchell