Monday, December 10, 2012

Cooking: Beer Bread (Recipe)

I have always been intimidated by bread-making. It seems like it takes a full day commitment to let it rise, punch it down, rise again...  And even then seems it doesn't always go as planned. (My husband however has tackled sourdough breads and does an amazing job.) Maybe it has to do with my constant multitasking. I'm not too confident I would notice when the bread has risen to the right height. I am convinced I would blow it.
I am excited to try some of the new (at least to me) no-fuss breads such as this recipe one of you shared with me, but for the past decade or so I have been making this super simple and very yummy beer bread recipe. You won't believe how easy it is and it is the perfect thing to serve warm with soup or chili.
I have also wrapped up this bread in parchment paper and a cheery dishtowel to give with homemade jam at Christmas. It is pretty hard to beat delivered warm on a snowy morning!
Click for the recipe...

  • 3 cups SELF-RISING flour (this is the kind that has baking powder and salt added to it. If you don't have it, or can't find it you can use this substitution of 1 cup flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 t salt)
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 bottle of beer--12 ounces (I have always used Miller Genuine Draft)
  • 1 cube of butter (the regular kind with salt) for later
Now, I have to tell you that we don't drink alcohol, so I don't know that I can offer a lot of commentary on the secret ingredient, beer. I will tell you I have always used MGD except for once when I tried a darker beer, which I didn't like as much. The yeast in the beer is the trick here. This recipe may very well work with a non-alcoholic beer too, but I haven't experimented with that.

It's very important to use a big bowl and mix this dough by hand with a wooden spoon. I made the mistake once of trying to do this more quickly with a mixer and it ruined the texture of the bread.


Preheat your oven to 375-degrees.

Mix together in a large bowl your flour and sugar. I usually whisk this a few times to be sure the sugar is evenly incorporated. Then the fun part: pour in the bottle of beer.

It foams nicely. Mix until the dough forms. Don't over mix. Lumpy is good.

Pour dough into a heavily buttered large bread pan. The dough will be quite wet. I use a bread pan sized 9.5"x4.5". You need plenty of room in the pan for what comes next...

Put the bread in the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.
Melt your cube of butter.
When the timer buzzes., open the oven and pour 1/3 of the cube of butter over the bread and then close the oven and continue baking. The bread should be developing some nice cracks, perfect for absorbing the butter. I also like to be sure butter is getting down around the sides to form a rich crust.

Set the timer for another 15 minutes and repeat with 1/3 of the butter.
Set the timer for a final 15 minutes and when it buzzes your bread is done.
Take it out of the oven and pour the remaining 1/3 of the butter over the bread in the pan. Let it cool a few minutes and then dump it out of the pan onto a cutting board.

It is hard to resist! You'll want to slice and eat it right away--with, of course, another slab of butter. It crumbles quite easily when warm so if you can wait for it to cool just a bitter it will be easier to slice. But why wait?


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

That looks really good - I may have to give it a try.

Bari Jo said...

This looks good! I want to try it soon with a big pot of soup! Thank you for sharing! Love your recipes! :O)

Erin said...

That is really interesting. I have seen plenty of bread recipes calling for beer, and during the Christmas season, plenty of recipes for everything else calling for alcohol of some sort. I always shy away from them because the research I've done says that the alcohol isn't completely cooked off. But I know others who say differently. I will have to keep reading--I really want to made homemade vanilla extract, but buying a bottle of vodka is tripping me up!

Alison said...

I made this recipe the day that you posted it. We were having posole with red chile, and needed something to go with it. Not only was this bread SUPER simple to make (my 21 month old and 4 year old helped), it is delicious! Thanks for posting this's definitely one to put in the recipe box. :)

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious what is the quantity of the beer. Desperate to make it.

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday and it was fantastic! Wonderful flavor and texture. I always use unbleached flour and you can't find self-rising in unbleached, so I used the substitution and it worked great. Also, I used Miller High Life, as it was readily available. I did some research on the alcohol situation, so I could tell my Facebook friends the scientific truth about it. Thanks for sharing.

Delia said...

I am intrigued! I'll have to give this a go. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother taught me this year's ago but forgot all the ingredients...thank you so much for posting.

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