Red Fife & Hogsback Beer Bread

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!)

–       Change up the beer.  I liked the flavor of the Hogsback Vintage Lager, but I think it would be fun to use a seasonal brew, such as St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale from Montreal.

–       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!

Ingredients

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

Directions

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!

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6 thoughts on “Red Fife & Hogsback Beer Bread

  1. Pingback: Beef and Tomato Stew with Beyond The Pale Beer Bread « Locavore Girl in the City

  2. Pingback: Squash and Goat Cheese Mac & Cheese with Beer Bread Crumbs « Locavore Girl in the City

  3. Sounds delicious! This is a lot like an Irish soda bread, also unleavened apart from the action gained through using baking powder. My favourite soda bread recipe uses a combination of unbleached and rye (only a little bit) flours with a good portion of oats (ground into a flour), along with soured milk, but it would be greatly enhanced by some flavourful beer, I feel certain.

    I like this kind of bread to remain more indistinct in shape; pulling off hunks to butter is very satisfying. To get a sliceable loaf, however, I can see why you’d want to gravitate towards a loaf pan.

    Now, my husband is the bread baker in our family (I prefer to bake most other things than to tango with yeast), and the best thing I ever gave him was an awesome bread pan. He struggled with bad loaf pans that took a bite out of baked loaves and were awful to deal with. I found the following pan on Amazon last Christmas and it is an absolute dream: USA Pans 13 x 4 x 4-Inch Pullman Aluminized Steel with Americoat. Can’t recommend better!

    • Thanks for all the great info! I’ll keep an eye out for a pan like the one you mention and in the mean time I’ll try a freeform shape the next time I make it. Hadn’t thought of that!

  4. Pingback: Chicken Soup from Scratch « Locavore Girl in the City

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