I’m not really a beer person. Neither is my husband. We have affectionately (and I would say aptly) named the confusingly popular beverage troll urine. (As opposed to wine which is deliciously majestic unicorn urine.)
That said, I think it goes without saying that you’ll pretty much never find beer in our fridge, unless its left there from visiting friends.. and then gets turned into beer bread!
We were hosting some traveling friends awhile back who were on a street activism tour with Bloodstained Men and the Their Friends, and they left some bottles tucked away in our fridge. They left last month, and they live states away, soooo… finders keepers? Aka, IT’S BEER BREAD TIME!!!
Beer bread is so easy to make, and tastes fantastic! My mom used to make this every year at Renaissance Faire, where we Faire Brats would run around barefoot munching on loafs and biscuits made with pumpkin ale and other brews around a campfire or hopping from hay bale to hay bale listening to gypsy drums.
So this is quite the nostalgic comfort food for me. And it’s tasty to boot! The strong beer flavor (and a great percentage of the alcohol) cooks away until there’s just a mild yeasty bite to the wheat bread. It comes out with an almost breakfast pastry texture, all with just four easy ingredients!
Just make sure whatever beer you use, it has live yeast cultures in it or the bread won’t rise! Many mass market beers have the live yeast filtered out. Your best bet is to find gourmet or craft beers, many of which have visible live, but dormant, yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Without sufficient leavening from the beer, a loaf of beer bread will be fairly dense and heavy unless an additional leavening agent like baking soda and / or baking powder is added.
This recipe is pretty much a blank slate that you can jazz up to your heart’s content. For instance, using a stout or dark beer will give a darker bread with more pronounced flavor. Using a beer that is spiced, or has a flavor added (like pumpkin!), will make a bread with a similar flavor.
You can also add any flavorings to this simple recipe when mixing the dry ingredients. Some suggestions include cheddar and dill, sundried tomato and herb, garlic and feta, etc.
Butter Crust Beer Bread Recipe
You Will Need:
2 cups whole wheat bread
3 tablespoons sugar
1 12 ounce can of beer
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
How to Make:
Butter a standard loaf pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and beer and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and sticky, about one minute.
Pour dough in prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and pour melted butter over the top. Bake for 30 minutes more until lightly browned.
Cool in pan then serve! Best enjoyed with whipped butter and a cold beer! (Or a glass of wine if you want to be ornery!)