I'm making a bacon based chili with smoked pulled pork (orange juice marinade by injection, smoked dried pusilla/ancho/guajillo rub) where I reserve all the liquid at the end of the process, roux it up into a gravy and fold it back in.

I am entering this stuff into a bacon recipe comp and am looking for a good bread suggestion. I am considering a monterey sourdough loaf wedge for each of the six judges bowl-plates (i.e. heel up and out for effective scooping).

pulled pork plating

  • The texture and fit of the bread is great and it is very available, I am somewhat concerned about the flavor though. For my palette it is great, but I am looking for additional suggestions on what style of bread might have that bite of sourdough but maybe match the other dominant flavors more effectively.
  • Also, should I back off of the sour, or push it even further?

Additional dominant flavors will include mustard, honey, brown sugar, jalapeno, tien tsin pepper, chocolate, coffee, malty beer, carrot puree and shreds.


It may be a little soft for that compared to most sourdough (but I like a softer bread for something like pulled pork, it competes less for texture), but I'd try a potato based bread. It's a classic flavor pairing with many of those other flavors (especially bacon!).

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  • Most commercial potato breads are very soft, but whenever I've done them at home, I've gotten tender, but much denser. That might work better for the wedge, if mfg's willing to do his own baking for this. – Joe Aug 26 '11 at 0:58
  • Well, I'd assume if you're going to be entering at a competition you'd hopefully be doing that yourself, or at the very least a decent local bakery with options. At home, I usually add a bit of extra gluten to combat potato bread density. – rfusca Aug 26 '11 at 1:02
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    I've even put bacon in potato bread and used bacon grease for the fat in bread - it comes out very much smelling like bacon! – rfusca Aug 26 '11 at 1:20
  • I skipped the bread portion in plating due to the bowls I selected for sampling, however, a soft potato bread would have been ideal. I think the crustiness of what I would have used would have worked on just the outside, but the texture of the bread would have been too coarse considering there were 4-6 textures of pulled pork, plus the bacon. – mfg Aug 29 '11 at 2:02
  • @mfg - so the contest was this weekend? How'd it go? – rfusca Aug 29 '11 at 2:03

I keep both of these recipes bookmarked because they are great and I believe would be a strong fit for your situation:

Home made soft pretzels Or hard pretzels.

one change I think would be a nice complement is substitute either "original" or "hickory" Bacon Salt for pretzel salt.

Good luck with your competition.

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