Sunday, December 13, 2015

Quick Beer Bread

My husband's epicurean aunts were visiting from NYC. They were telling us about their new food kicks: vegan food and beer bread. 

Beer bread?

Honestly, I thought I knew my baked goods. I had never heard of it but I was curious.

Beer instead of yeast? Quick bread? 5 minutes to assemble? Customizable? Great for winter soups and stews? I was in! 

I grabbed a couple bottles of lager and got to experimenting.

I morphed a few online recipes to find my favourite mix but it seems that you can't really go wrong here. 

The beer provides nice lift, a bit more tender than a standard Irish Soda Bread, but apparently sparkling water provides a similar rise.

Here is the recipe I settled on. So good for winter soups and stews. And a perfect addition to my recipe repertoire. 

Beer Bread
The aunties' original recipe calls for only 3 ingredients: 3 cups self-rising flour (harder to find in my area), sugar, beer and any customizations. You can sub the first 3 ingredients for self-rising flour. It is fantastic toasted the next day, slathered with butter and marmalade.

3 cups all-purpose flour (up to 1/2 can be whole wheat or spelt)
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp melted butter, divided
1 bottle of beer

Optional customizations: grated cheese and ground pepper or chopped chives, chopped dried fruit. 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease loaf pan with butter or butter wrapper.
3. In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and sea salt with a whisk. Pour in beer and 3 tbsp butter and gently stir with a large spoon until somewhat smooth, using hands only if needed.
4. Spoon into loaf pan. Smooth top a bit, drizzle with last 1 tbsp butter.
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.