It's no surprise to most of you that beer plays a significant role in my life (see Exhibit A: homebrew as wedding favors ;)). And although I enjoy drinking good craft beer, I also enjoy baking with it! I have posted a beer bread recipe on the blog before, but this one is different. It's actually much more basic in terms of its ingredients. And it is oh-so-delicious! I think this recipe should become a staple in our kitchen. It comes together in no time at all and is the perfect dinner accompaniment or breakfast treat.
This recipe isn't from anywhere in particular. There are so many beer bread recipes floating around the internet; I just took the basic ingredients that seem to be in so many of them and put them together for this one!
-3 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half AP)
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-1 bottle (12 oz.) beer (again, your choice)
-1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheese (exact amount and flavor of cheese are your choice)
-4 Tbsp. melted butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5 (or 8 x 4) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a spoon or spatula, mix in the beer until well-incorporated (it will likely be foamy at first, but it will settle down and incorporate nicely after a little time). Next, stir in the shredded cheese.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and then drizzle the melted butter overtop. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes (baking time will vary per oven) or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 to 20 minutes before removing to cool completely on cooling rack.
For this particular bread, I used a beer that we had in the house - a Mayflower Autumn Wheat Ale. At any given time in our house, we have SO many beers, so it was hard to choose. I knew I wanted something slightly maltier and less hoppy (even though I looove my hops - IPA's tend to be my go-to beer style to drink). But for this bread, I just didn't feel like hops for some reason. Anyway, the autumn wheat ale from Mayflower worked out well (it's a darker wheat than most). And also, another reason I chose this beer was simply because it's been at our house since Mike's bachelor party last September (his brother did an awesome beer tasting event at the party, but there were some beers leftover), so I figured it was time for it to go! The cheese I used was a blend of three different cheddars.
Feel free to experiment and try different beer styles when you make this bread. And the same goes for the cheese...and you also don't even have to add the cheese at all if you don't want to!
In my opinion, this bread tasted better 2 or 3 days after I made it. The day I made it, we ate it with some homemade chicken soup, and it paired perfectly with the soup. However, I thought the overall flavors of the bread were more enhanced a couple days later... Guess the bread had to sit for a bit for the flavors to really come through!
And the melted butter adds a nice flavor and gives the top and sides of the bread a slight crunch (very slight, but noticeable!). It's almost like the bread has a very thin crust. :)
Sorry for my not-so-great photos. I took these at night in our kitchen, and our lighting is really not great for food pictures!
Beer. Cheese. Bread.
What's not to love?!