This was my first time ever baking bread. I consider it a moderate success, and have learned a few things for next time. The most important learning is that it was so simple I should do it more often! I had been too intimidated to bake bread until I stumbled across this recipe for beer bread, and I knew I had run out of excuses. There is no kneading, resting or rising involved! Just a quick mix of ingredients, then into the oven. That being said, I do need to try a proper bread recipe eventually, as I need to make use of the dough hook on my KitchenAid Mixer that is currently far too shiny and new.
I originally thought the yeast from this bread came from the beer, since there is no additional yeast in the recipe. Apparently, there isn’t live yeast in most beers these days. The rising comes from a combination of the baking powder as well as the carbon dioxide in the beer. Since that`s all it takes, this recipe is supposed to work with any fizzy drink – ginger ale and apple cider have been mentioned as some to try! You can taste the beer in the bread – the stronger the beer, the stronger the beer taste – so if you don`t like beer, try one of the other options and let me know how they turn out!
Let me say again how easy this bread was. So easy, in fact, that I’ve already come up with a list of changes I plan to do next time…
– Split the flour three ways between white, whole wheat and Red Fife. The full wheat / Red Fife combo I used here made the bread a little denser than I like, and I think incorporating the white will make it more versatile.
– Buy a proper bread pan. I used a 9 x 9 baking pan I usually use for banana bread which allowed the bread to spread out more. This is the not the best scenario when you’re already working with dough that has less of a rise. Next time I’ll buy a proper pan. (Any advice on what to look for in a good loaf pan? Leave me a note in the comments!)
– Use a local, less processed sweetener – I’d love to try honey or even maple syrup instead of white sugar.
– Add herbs and spices. Roasted garlic and rosemary immediately come to mind. Maybe not in the same batch as the pumpkin ale.
I’m excited to play around with this recipe and change some things up to see how it turns out next time!
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups Red Fife wheat flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
12 oz local microbrew beer
2 tbsp melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix flours, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. Add beer and stir just until ingredients are combined and moistened.
3. Gently pat dough into pan (don’t squish it too much!) Pour melted butter over top.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top is brown. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
Goes great with Chicken Soup from Scratch!