Tired of Drinking Beer? Use It to Make Bread Instead!
I had always wanted to bake my own bread but (a) didn’t own a bread machine and (b) didn’t have the patience to wait overnight for the dough to rise. One day last spring my housemate showed me a recipe that makes baking bread into a task that takes no more than an hour, tops. The secret ingredient? Beer.
The bread that my housemate baked used a locally-brewed dark ale, which gave the loaf a distinct and delicious taste. When making my own beer bread I have resorted to using much cheaper beers (think Miller and Coors). The flavor definitely comes through, so unless you’re okay with biting into a slice of bread and thinking, “Wow, this really does taste like High Life,” I would suggest using something a little nicer.
The best part, as I mentioned, is that this bread is incredibly fast and easy to bake. The yeast in the beer makes the dough rise instantly, and the bake time is usually around half an hour depending on the size of the loaf. No kneading, no bread machine, no waiting overnight. This recipe also makes excellent beer muffins or biscuits. Feel free to add herbs, nuts and seeds, cheese, or leave out the sugar for a more savory taste.
3 cups flour
1 can (12 oz.) beer
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (optional)
Bake time: Roughly 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together (if you’re finicky, sift the flour, but I’ve found that it doesn’t really make a difference). Add the beer, stir and make sure that all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Pour into a generously greased loaf pan. Bake for half an hour but check because oven temperatures vary. If you want, pour melted butter over the loaf after you take it out of the oven. Alternately, for a crunchy, buttery, crust, pour the butter on top before you put in the oven.
Pair with a soup or chili—or if you just can’t wait, tear off a hunk of still-warm bread and smear with honey and butter. Enjoy!