Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beer Bread

Just in time for your St. Patrick's Day festivities, this hearty bread is not only easy to make, but delicious to eat.  This works with any kind of beer you have on hand, though different kinds will impart a slightly different taste on your final product.  I would recommend a lager, but please feel free to experiment with other varieties and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients You Will Need: 
  • 3 Cups of Flour
  • 3 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. of Salt
  • ¼ Cup of Sugar
  • 12 Ounces (1 can or bottle) of Beer (any kind)
  • 1/3 Cup of Butter (melted). 


Step 1:  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2: Grease a medium loaf pan (about 8.5 x 4.5 inches) with butter on all sides.  I usually grab a quarter-sized wad of butter with a clean paper towel and wipe down the inside of the pan with it until it’s coated with a very thin butter layer. 

Step 3:  Using a large spoon, scoop the flour into a 1-cup measuring cup until it’s full.  Pour the cup of flour into a large clean bowl.  Repeat this two more times to make 3 cups total.  This is just like sifting the flour, and will ensure that your loaf bakes to the correct  consistency.

Step 4: Add the baking powder, salt, and sugar to the flour and stir everything together using a whisk. 

Step 5: Pour the beer into the dry ingredients and stir everything together with the whisk or a spatula.  Stir until everything is combined and moist, but do not over-stir.

Step 6: Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan, making sure it spreads out evenly to all ends.  Use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl. 

Step 7: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for 20 second intervals in the microwave, taking it out in-between intervals to stir.  Make sure to use an oven mitt when handling the bowl of hot butter.  Repeat until the butter is completely melted. 

Step 8:  Pour the melted butter into the loaf pan on top of the batter.

Step 9: Place a baking sheet that is wider and longer than the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven

Step 10: Carefully, place your loaf pan on the top rack of the oven so that the baking sheet is directly under it.  This will allow the baking sheet to catch any butter drippings while your loaf bakes. 

Step 11: Bake your beer loaf for 50 minutes to an hour.  A simple toothpick test should tell you if it’s ready.  Check at about 50 minutes to see if it needs the full hour.  A finished loaf should be slightly browned on the top edges, but not burned.  The included picture should give you a good idea. 

Step 12: After removing the loaf pan from the oven, gently loosen up the sides of the loaf from the pan.  Be careful, since it’s probably still hot from the oven.  Remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a plate.  Wait 15 minutes before serving. Your loaf will stay fresh under saran wrap or tin foil for a few days. 

Serving Suggestion: Slice your bread and spread on some Nutella, honey butter, or just regular butter.  Whatever you put on this hearty loaf, it’s bound to taste delicious!  This bread also goes very well with cheese spreads. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: Fox Run Vineyards’ Arctic Fox.  This white is on the dry side with flavors of tropical fruits and melon.  Its clean finish will refresh your palate, preparing you for each bite of hearty beer-bread-bliss.