Although I haven't given up on making good bread -- that is, real bread, not quick bread, not bread machine bread, not no-knead bread -- I needed to shore up my confidence a bit with a couple little successes before I tackle it the real deal again. And that's where this beer bread comes in.
My stepdaughter introduced me to beer bread and, I have to admit, that although it's not traditional bread, it's very good. It's denser, heartier and heavier but it's not the brick I've manufactured in the past.
And I've successfully made it a few times. The last time our granddaughter came to stay for an overnight, she had a hankering for the beer bread and was hoping we'd have it toasted for breakfast. (We didn't. I'm sure I had something infinitely fancier planned. Had I known she would have been tickled with beer bread!)
Not too long ago, I shared this recipe with an acquaintance. Alas! It didn't turn out too swell for her! She wasn't blaming me but she did quiz me a lot about all the steps. And after I'd told her how easy it was!
So I promptly went home and made a loaf. I was afraid I'd done the unthinkable -- had the measurements written down wrong or the temperature, or even forgotten a step. I'd revisited what I'd given her, and it was all correct. So I had to prove to myself that it was all right and make it again. And it was great.
I have to emphasize -- just as the original source of this recipe did -- that sifting is very, very important, particularly in this recipe. (But my friend told me she did sift, so I'm still puzzled.)
Without further ado, here's the recipe, and baker beware!
Beer Batter Bread
Makes one loaf, six to eight slices
3 cups flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer
½ cup melted butter (1/4 cup is enough)
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a loaf pan. Mix the dry ingredients. Be sure to sift well. Even though this is an easy recipe, you cannot skip the sifting.) Blend the beer into the dry ingredients. Spread into the prepared pan. Pour melted butter over the top.
Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool another 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This produces a thick and hearty bread; it’s not a biscuit and it’s not traditional bread. But bread it is and I’ll take it! Shredded cheese and herbs are great additions. This is a perfect companion to chili or any kind of soup.