When customers have that craving for bacon, nothing else will satisfy. But being French, when I was an apprentice in the bakery my cravings would be for a croque monsieur, made with lardons (our equivalent of bacon) and béchamel sauce.
We make an imitation by folding some bacon and béchamel into a piece of sweet dough and letting it prove, then baking it – wonderful!
Make sure you tell your customers when you introduce it, and put up a brief counter-top description.
The bacon slice can be made with croissant dough or puff pastry. Even a good bread dough will make a great snack.
The quality of the ingredients will show in the finished product so you should always use the best.
Makes 50-60 slices
Milk - 750g
Yeast - 45g
Strong flour - 1.5kg
Butter - 180g
Sugar - 120g
Salt - 30g
Eggs (medium) - 6
Béchamel sauce - 800ml
(ingredients and method below)
Bacon - 50-60 slices
(dry-cured organic bacon is best)
Eggs (medium) - 4 (beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash)
Grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese - 400g
For the béchamel sauce
Melt 100g unsalted butter over a medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan.
When it has melted and is bubbling gently, add 80g plain flour and whisk briskly off the heat until all the butter has been absorbed and you have a putty-like paste that comes cleanly away from the pan.
Add 600ml full-fat milk, a little at a time, whisking continuously to ensure that no lumps form.
Once all the milk has been added and you have a smooth sauce, cook over a low to medium heat until it starts to bubble.
Cook for one more minute. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a little ground nutmeg to taste.Leave to cool.
For a richer sauce you can add 50g grated cheese, Cheddar or Gruyere work well, to the sauce while it is over the heat – make sure it melts completely.
For the slice
Mix the sweet dough ingredients in a spiral mixer on slow speed for four minutes and fast for six to eight minutes.
Rest for a minimum of one hour or for even better results in the fridge overnight.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 5mm then cut it into 12cm squares.
Spoon a tablespoon of béchamel in the centre of a square and then fold two opposite corners to meet in the middle.
Place a slice of bacon on top and then lift the whole slice onto a baking tray. Repeat with the other slices.
Place in a prover or cover with greaseproof paper and then a tea towel and prove for 45 minutes.
Glaze the exposed dough with the egg wash.
Sprinkle some of the cheese on top. Turn the preheated oven down to 200°C and bake them for about 15 minutes until they are a deep golden colour.