Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Boozey Bread!

Okay ladies - how many times have you made that delicious lasagna or that perfect stew and then wished you had a nice crusty bread to go with it? Homemade breads are something you either love making or dread making, but all of us love eating them. So wouldn't it be nice if we had a quick and easy alternative to the mix-knead-rise-punch-rise-punch humdrum of yeast breads?

Then look no farther! Beer bread is here to rescue your dinner in 60 minutes or less!
Photo by Wildflour

Ingredients:

12 oz Beer (we'll talk about what kind later)
3 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup Melted Butter (divided)
3 Tbsp Sugar (more or less depending on sweetness preference)
Optional for herbed/dipping breads:
    1-2 tsp Garlic Powder or other preferred seasoning blend

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 9x5 loaf pan.
Mix flour, sugar, herbs (if added) until blended.
Add half the butter and beer then blend gently until a fairly uniform dough ball forms. Don't worry about a scattering of lumps - it's a thick dough.
Spoon evenly into the loaf pan then drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top is springy and golden brown.
Set on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and serve with butter or dipping oils.

Choosing your beer:

This recipe is easiest for those of us who tend to have a few beers in the fridge for grabbing since most of the rest of the ingredients are things we tend to keep on hand at all times. But if you're not a beer drinker and wondering what kind to choose, here's a quick rundown of some to avoid and what to try for variation:

  • KISS Bread (Keep It Simple, Stupid) - If you like something tried and true for a mild flavor, stick with a mild ale or lager. This could be anything from Budweiser/Coors to Heineken/Warsteiner. 
  • Bread with Bite - If you like a little more tanginess to your bread, try a wheat beer or a citrus wheat beer. Blue Moon brings out some definite orange notes under a sour dough taste. Red ales (think Killians) or barleywines can also add some really interesting flavors.
  • Nutty and Rich Bread - This is one of my favorite categories to play in. Try toasted lagers, brown ales, dark lagers, and schwarzbiers to make fantastic winter beer breads. If you want to add an extra measure of nuttiness, try mixing half oatmeal stout with a dark lager.
  • AVOID - Not all beers are created equal when it comes to making bread. Notice above I said only use half oatmeal stout? Stouts, porters, and wheatwines have great complex flavors, but tend not to rise very well in the oven. These turn out more like beer-scented dough bricks.  Others to avoid are IPAs and other beers advertised as extremely hoppy. That hoppiness gets emphasized in the baking process and leaves your beer bread tasting like you ground SweeTarts into the flour. Sours should also be avoided - these beers are brewed with bacteria rather than yeast and won't perform the way you need in the pan.

No go forth and make bread! (and tell me how it went :-))


2 comments:

  1. To keep it cheap, do you think Natty-lite bread would work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would totally work! Although I wouldn't suggest Bud Light Lime ;-)

      Delete

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