I’m not a beer lover, but…

7 Oct

I am today! No, I’m not drinking beer this morning. Yuck. I hate the taste of beer. Don’t even ask what I’ve often referred to it as being similar to.

Part of my Mission: Organization project (ongoing…still) was to rid my home of old magazines. In the process of reorganizing kitchen cabinets, I came across a huge stack of really old magazines — dating back to 1996 and 1997. I have no idea why I still have these. Anyway, I took the stack with me when we went camping last weekend so I could just tear out any recipes that I thought I might make and then pitch the magazines. Out of about 15 magazines, I think I pulled only seven or eight recipes.

Today I made one of the recipes. It’s my new favorite. Honestly, you won’t believe this recipe. In a magazine called Eating Light, there was a recipe for Beer Bread. The basic recipe has two ingredients. TWO. That’s it. You stir the two together, dump it into a bread pan and bake it. When you’re done, you have a loaf of beautiful, crusty bread that tastes very much like a sourdough. I baked a loaf this morning. It’s fantastic. It would be the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a nice salad.

Make no mistake: this is not sandwich bread. It has a very crusty outside and soft, somewhat crumbly, inside. You can’t get really thin slices — so cut it thick and spread it with something yummy or make a panini with it (the panini press will flatten your thick slices).

Since the first loaf came out so well…um…I couldn’t stop! A little messing around in the kitchen and I came up with two delicious variations for the base recipe — Caramelized Onion & Herb Bread and Cinnamon Pecan bread. I can’t wait to make panini on the onion one. And the Cinnamon Pecan will be lucky if it’s still around after my kids get ahold of it at breakfast tomorrow! Spread with butter and jam or peanut butter, it’s sure to be a hit.

Three tasty breads baked in no time at all. I don’t think Jason will be too upset that I used three of his beers from the fridge, once he tastes these!

Left to right: Cinnamon Pecan, Caramelized Onion & Herb, Original Beer Bread

Beer Bread
makes 1 loaf

oil for greasing loaf pan
2-2/3 cup self-rising flour (not self-rising cake flour)
12-ounce can or bottle of beer, unopened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a standard loaf pan.

In a large bowl, place the flour. Open the beer and pour in immediately. Stir until completely blended. Scrape dough into loaf pan and spread out as best as possible. (Somewhat smooth out the top or you’ll end up with a really lumpy top.)

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

Caramelized Onion & Herb Bread
makes 1 loaf

oil for greasing loaf pan
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, halved, and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2-2/3 cup self-rising flour (not self-rising cake flour)
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
12-ounce can or bottle of beer, unopened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a standard loaf pan.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet, over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion slices. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent and golden brown (about 10-15 minutes). Add thyme and sage and stir well. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, place the flour. Stir in the pepper and then the onion mixture. Open the beer and pour in immediately. Stir until completely blended. Scrape dough into loaf pan and spread out as best as possible. (Somewhat smooth out the top or you’ll end up with a really lumpy top.)

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

Cinnamon Pecan Bread
makes 1 loaf

canola oil for greasing loaf pan
2 tablespoon vegan butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2-2/3 cup self-rising flour (not self-rising cake flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
12-ounce can or bottle of beer, unopened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a standard loaf pan.

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in pecans. Saute until butter is bubbly and pecans are beginning to toast. Stir in brown sugar and cook a few more minutes until sugar is incorporated. Spread mixture out on a small plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, place the flour. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Then stir in pecan mixture. Open the beer and pour in immediately. Stir until well blended. Scrape dough into loaf pan and spread out as best as possible. (Somewhat smooth out the top or you’ll end up with a really lumpy top.)

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

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3 Responses to “I’m not a beer lover, but…”

  1. Bob October 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Sounds awesome. I will have to give it a try.

  2. Erin Michel October 8, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    I love beer bread! I discovered it by accident once, and I love it with soup, too! I never thought to put things in it; thanks for the suggestion.

  3. tamiespears October 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    After reading this post, my dad sent me an email and I had to post it here. I literally cracked up laughing!

    He wrote: HELP STARVING CARPENTER. SEND BREAD.

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