I would almost venture to call this bread "foolproof" - and that's a legitimate claim, coming from me. I make many foolish mistakes in the course of recipe experimentation. One of these days I'll post blooper pictures. No, I probably won't. But seriously, make this bread. My husband & father-in-law couldn't stop saying "MMMMM!!!" when they tried it. Of course, they had been working outside on my much-anticipated, someday-maybe-might-materialize chicken coop and were hot, tired, and starving. So they might not have been the most impartial guinea pigs. But I stand by my recommendation: make this bread! If you have last minute company (summer is coming - it happens!) and want something impressive to serve but don't have time to go to the store - make this bread. You probably already have all of the ingredients.
|Beer bread, fresh out of the oven.|
I found the recipe on another blog - leave it to the blogger community to rise to a challenge - and I ended up bookmarking it for future reading because she has it all: clever name, creative ideas, pretty pictures, great recipes - it's a good blog! Go check out Jam Hands.
Like I said earlier, you probably have all of these things in your fridge/pantry already:
- 3 cups flour ***sifting is recommended, but I didn't do it because I hate sifting, and it turned out great anyway!
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer ***I used Newcastle, because it's my favorite and therefore what I had. I could taste a bit of the nutty-caramel flavor in the finished product. I'd like to experiment with different types of beer (I think a hefeweizen would be particularly good) but I really don't think it matters what kind you use.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter ***I recommend using salted butter, but use what you have. You can just sprinkle a little extra salt on top if using unsalted butter.
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a med-large bowl. A whisk works especially well for this part.
3. Pour in the beer and mix until just combined. It's going to be very thick, like biscuit dough. A whisk does not work well for this step; a wooden spoon will work better.
4. Pour some of the melted butter (about 1/4 to 1/3 of the melted 1/2 cup) into the bottom of a loaf pan; swirl to coat the bottom thoroughly.
5. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. It's going to be in giant, spoon-sized chunks. That's OK. Don't worry about smoothing it out much. The butter will seep into every nook and cranny and that's what creates the wonderful, crunchy crust on the outside.
6. Pour the rest of the butter over the top of the loaf, giving it a good coating.
7. If desired, sprinkle a little course sea salt on top.
8. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
9. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board or cooling rack. Best if served warm, but really, this bread is good anytime!
|Close up of the buttery crust: can you see the sparkling sea salt?|
**posted by Jacqueline**