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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beer Bread

Imagine what delicious sandwiches you can make on this bread. This is from the folks over at www.honestfare.com. I'm truly inspired.

Beer Bread, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold Bread scares me. Not eating it. It’s the making of it that I’m terrified of. Floored with fear, I tell you. The whole yeast thing gets me. It seems too temperamental and unforgiving. Then there’s the kneading and waiting…
Au contraire—there’s beer bread.
Looks and tastes impressive, but couldn’t be easier to prepare. A totally nonthreatening process. Even for a yeast-a-phobic like me.
There’s actually no yeast to worry about at all. The main ingredient is beer (which contains your bubbly yeast). And there are only four ingredients total.
Beer. Flour. Baking powder. Sugar. Butter (optional for the top). Smush and bake.
beerbreadprocess1
You can use any old beer you want. Some say the cheap beers work best. (Miller time!) But I’ve seen that people make Guinness beer bread too (totally next on my list). * Update* So I tried making it with a really hoppy Samuel Adams and it increased the bake time by about 25 minutes for some reason. The bread turned out okay, but a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I also found it too dense. Might just recommend sticking with a cheapo beer or something with less flavor. Perhaps hoppy beers are too heavy? who knows.
Either way, it’s a sweet and salty bread with a golden textured crust and deep yeast flavor that really and truly tastes like beer. Leave the dough virgin for that full beer flavor or add in your favorite herbs. Oregano. Rosemary. Caraway seed. Fennel seed. I kept this one straight up and cracked black pepper on just about every slice I ate. It was magic.
beerprocess2
Beer bread makes excellent toast. Have it with a fried egg. Also glorious with soup. Go crazy.
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Recipe

Makes 1 loaf bread. Coating top of dough with butter before baking in optional, but really adds to the crust’s texture. Omit for vegan. Cheap beer seems to work best. I tried making it with a really hoppy Samuel Adams and it increased the bake time by about 25 minutes for some reason. The bread turned out good, but with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Maybe just stick with a cheapo beer or something with less flavor.

You need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • One 12oz can or bottle of beer. (any beer)
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Sift well with fork. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed, but don’t over mix (best to just use your hands). Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Melt butter and brush across top of dough. This is optional (if you’re vegan), BUT it really adds to the crust. Makes it golden and crusty!
  4. Bake for about 40 or so minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.Bake time will vary with beer type.

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