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Maple Bacon Quick Bread with candied bacon

Maple Bacon Quick Bread is made with locally crafted Maine Maple Hard Apple Cider and topped with homemade candied bacon. If you have ever wondered what fall in Maine would taste like, this is it!

Maple Bacon Quick Bread with hard Apple Cider and Candied Bacon

The inspiration for this quick bread came from a batch of candied bacon and a four-pack of locally brewed hard apple cider. Living in Maine, we are blessed with an abundance of apple orchards. Secretly, or not so much now, it’s one of our dreams to own a large orchard ourselves. Similarly, our parents have the desire to tap maple trees and produce Maine Maple Syrup.

So it’s of no surprise that there is a local orchard to us doing just that. They use every part of the land. Tap the trees for maple syrup, press the apples for cider and hard cider, then use that maple syrup to flavor and sweeten the hard cider. It is delicious on its own and even more so when baked into a maple bread topped with candied maple bacon.

What is a quick bread?

A quick bread is a type of homemade bread that uses a leavening agent such as baking soda or baking powder to get its rise, instead of yeast or active culture like sourdough. This Maple Bacon Quick Bread gets its rise from both the baking soda and the carbonation in the hard cider, making it fluffy and moist.

Ingredients for this Maple Quick Bread include: flour, sugar, baking soda, hard apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and candied bacon.

How to make a quick bread moist?

A moist quick bread comes from the addition of fat and sugar. For example, the use of honey or maple syrup instead or in addition to granulated sugar helps a bread to retain moisture as it sits on the counter after baking. Milk is also a great substitute for water called for in bread recipes as it has additional fat.

Why is my quick bread crumbly?

Have you ever made a quick bread only to have it fall apart as you slice it? This could be in part to an abundance of fat or leavening in the bread batter, and too less of a binding agent. Rest assured that this recipe for Maple Bacon Bread cuts like a dream and is the perfect bed for a pad of maple butter. Note that crumbly is not the same as cracked. A crack on the top of a quick bread is the sign of a perfectly prepared bread.

Tips for the perfect quick bread

  • Mix the ingredients together according to their texture. Dry ingredients are mixed in one bowl, wet ingredients in another, then added together.
  • Mix until just combined. It is easy to overmix your batter. Overmixing can cause your bread to deflate and become tough in the baking process.
  • If adding berries, nuts, or in this case candied bacon, to your bread be sure to fold them into the batter while reserving a handful for the topping as a beautiful decoration.
  • Prepare a flavored butter using one of the primary flavors in your bread to highlight the main flavor in the bread.

Tools needed to make this dish

How to make this Maple Bacon Quick Bread

Start with the candied bacon. While the bacon is cooling after cooking, assemble your bread batter.

How to make candied bacon

Making candied bacon can seem a little daunting at first glance, but it is actually really easy. Grab a sheet pan and line it with tinfoil, topped with a couple of cookie racks. Mine overlap a bit and that is just fine. Lay the bacon loosely over the cookie racks. Keep in mind the bacon will shrink a bit as it cooks so you want to make sure not to stretch them out too much and not use bacon that has been cut too thin. Sprinkle brown sugar or honey over the raw bacon and press into the bacon to stick (or use a pastry brush for the honey). Be generous with this as some will slide off and onto the tinfoil as it is baked. Add the sheet to a 375F oven and bake for 20 minutes. The bacon should be crispy, with a layer of glossy sugar over them. Once you remove them from the oven, they will harden a bit. They will remain sticky. Be sure to use a sharp knife and cut by the bunches to add them to this quick bread recipe.

Assembling the quick bread batter

Step 1: Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk (affiliate link) them together.
Step 2: Add the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a bowl and whisk (affiliate link) as well, being sure to break the yolks.
Step 3: Pour the hard apple cider into the egg mixture bowl. Doing this step separately ensures that the mixture is not overworked and will not cause deflation in the carbonated cider. We want the bubbles!

Step 4: Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk (affiliate link) quickly, careful not to overmix. The batter should look like pancake batter. Fold bacon into the batter now if you wish.
Step 5: Pour into a well-greased cast iron loaf pan.
Step 6: Top the batter with the chopped candied bacon. Baking it again on top of the bread will help it to maintain its crispness. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes.

Step 7: Lastly, combine room temperature butter and a Tablespoon of real maple syrup into a small bowl to butter the fresh bread with. Allow the bread to cool in the pan when removed from the oven for about 30 minutes, after which it should pop right out.

How to store Maple Bacon Quick Bread

Now granted, I have a large family, but this bread didn’t even make it the night. It was gone within an few hours. However, if you have the self-control I do not, or have a smaller family than I do, you can wrap the bread in plastic wrap and store on the counter or in the refrigerator for a week at most. Consume within 4 days for best taste.

Other bread recipes for your cast iron loaf pan

Classic White Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

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Maple Bacon Quick Bread

This Maple Bacon Quick Bread uses hard apple cider and candied bacon. The taste of apples, maple, and bacon couldn't be better, unless it is slathered in maple butter like this.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:50 mins
Candied Bacon:25 mins
Total Time:1 hr 25 mins

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Loaf Pan
  • Whisk
  • sheet pan
  • cookie sheets
  • tinfoil

Ingredients

Candied Bacon

  • 1 pound maple bacon thick or regular cut
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar honey can be substituted

Maple Bread Batter

  • 1-3/4 cup flour all-purpose
  • 1/2 cup sugar granulated
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup hard apple cider maple flavor if available, otherwise original is fine

Maple Butter

  • 4 Tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a sheet pan with tinfoil and top with a couple of cookie racks. Mine overlap a bit and that is just fine. Lay the bacon loosely over the cookie racks.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar over the raw bacon and press into the bacon to stick. Bake for 20 minutes. The bacon should be crispy, with a layer of glossy sugar over them. Using a sharp knife cut by the bunches and set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, and baking soda into a large bowl and whisk.
  • Add the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a bowl and whisk as well, being sure to break the yolks.
  • Pour the hard apple cider into the egg mixture bowl. Doing this step separately ensures that the mixture is not overworked and will not cause deflation in the carbonated cider. We want the bubbles!
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk quickly, careful not to overmix. The batter should look like pancake batter. Fold bacon into the batter now if you wish.
  • Pour into a well-greased cast iron loaf pan and top the batter with the chopped candied bacon. Baking it again on top of the bread will help it to maintain its crispness. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes.
  • Combine room temperature butter and maple syrup into a small bowl to butter the fresh bread with. Allow the bread to cool in the pan when removed from the oven for about 30 minutes, after which it should pop right out.

Notes

*If maple hard apple cider isn’t available in your area, you can use original hard apple cider and add a teaspoon of maple extract to enhance the maple flavor. 
**Be sure to check out the post on castironrecipes.com for more tips, tricks, and details for making this the best maple bacon quick bread possible!

Nutrition

Calories: 3910kcal | Carbohydrates: 365g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 234g | Saturated Fat: 92g | Cholesterol: 747mg | Sodium: 3857mg | Potassium: 1573mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 321g | Vitamin A: 2042IU | Calcium: 374mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cider, bacon, bread, candied bacon, loaf pan, maple syrup, quick bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Calories: 3910kcal
Author: Katie Chase

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