I will always be a Badger. UW-Madison was an amazing place to go to school. It was beyond cold, but that aside, it is an incredible school. The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public land-grant research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. The just under 1000 acre campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota.
The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles south of the main campus. Madison is a school like no other. The university is organized into 20 schools and colleges, which enrolls just under 45,000 students. Madison, which is the capital city of Wisconsin, is known for its the domed State Capitol, which sits on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona just steps from the UW campus.
The Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Square is a Saturday and Wednesday tradition in Madison, Wisconsin. You’ll find the season’s best bounty of vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses, and specialty products from approximately 275 vendors throughout the year. The DCFM is reported to be the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. All items are produced by the members behind the tables which means no re-sale allowed.
Dane County is rich in both rural and urban culture. In 1972, Mayor Bill Dyke recognized a need to unite the two cultures and provide a means for city dwellers to reap some of the county’s agricultural benefits. Dane County is rich in both rural and urban culture. In 1972, Mayor Bill Dyke recognized a need to unite the two cultures and provide a means for city dwellers to reap some of the county’s agricultural benefits.
Inspired by Europe’s open markets, Dyke called on the Dane County Extension Office and the Central Madison Committee of the Chamber of Commerce to help him replicate the European tradition. The three agencies joined forces to develop the Dane County Farmers’ Market. For UW-Madison students, the DCFM is a long standing tradition on Saturday mornings. We all looked forward to the amazing fruits and vegetables, fresh cheese curds, homemade pesto, and of course, Stella’s spicy cheese bread still hot from the oven.
The cheese bread was addictive. And it was know to cure hangovers. The trick was to buy two loaves. One to eat with your friends as you walked the market and a second to take home for later. This bread was memorable, and a tie that binds all Badgers. This recipe for spicy cheese bread with bacon was inspired by that famous bread, from that loved town and amazing school. This recipe is not my own, I have lightly adapted one from the Brown Eyed Baker. The original recipe can be seen here.
Spicy Cheese Bread With Bacon
- For the Bread:
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon instant (rapid-rise) yeast
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4-6 slices, Applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
- For the Topping:
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Step 1 For the Bread: In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, sugar, yeast, red pepper flakes and salt.
- Step 2 In a small mixing bowl add the warm water, eggs, egg yolk, and melted butter. Whisk well to blend. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Knead on medium until the dough is well blended and begins to form a ball around the dough hook, about 6-7 minutes.
- Step 3 Lightly oil a large mixing boil and set aside. Remove the dough from the mixer and using your hands, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared bowl. Turn the dough to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Step 4 Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and press to deflate. Roll the dough into an 18×12-inch rectangle Sprinkle both cheeses evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the layer of cheese. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, pinching the ends and seam to seal. Roll the log back and forth, applying gentle pressure, until it reaches 30 inches in length.
- Step 5 Starting at one end of the long roll, wind the log into a coil and tuck the end underneath the coil. Place the loaf in the prepared cake pan and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm place and allow to rise till it’s doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Step 6 Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the additional red pepper flakes. Place the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, tent the loaf with aluminum foil, and continue to bake until the loaf registers 190 degrees F, about 20-25 minutes longer.
- Step 7 Transfer the pan to a wire rack and immediately brush with the softened butter. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the loaf out the wire rack. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing, serve warm or at room temperature.
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