Monday, April 25, 2011

Beer Bread, 4 ways

You might as well know...I like beer.  I come from a family of beer drinkers.  "I come from a family of neurosurgeons" might sound more impressive, but there ya go.
Even though I'd never had a beer until I was 21 *cough*, I'd gotten a little taste from my mom's famous beer bread.  It couldn't be simpler to make (FOUR INGREDIENTS), no kneading, no rising....just stir, bake, done.

Since my sister and her family were coming over for Easter, we decided to do a little "beer bread sampling."  Four beer breads, made with 4 different New Belgium beers.

Our breads were:
  1. Mom's Classic, made with Fat Tire,
  2. Gruyere & Rosemary, made with Blue Paddle,
  3. Orange Nutmeg, made with Mothership Wit
  4. and Cinnamon Chocolate Chip, made with 1554
Now, this was a tough, tough assignment.  Eat bread and drink beer. But we survived...and one bread came out the winner...
Gruyere & Rosemary was hands-down everyone's favorite.  And it IS delicious....especially served warm, with butter running down the sides.

I have to tell you though, I really loved the sweet versions.  (You're shocked, right?)
The orange nutmeg bread had these little flecks of orange zest throughout and the sweet orange glaze on the top? Oh so yummy.  And smells SO good!
Let's talk cinnamon chocolate chip bread, shall we? It's is calling my name right now.  This bread was so decadent at room temperature with its little pockets of bittersweet chocolate chips, but toasted? With butter? For breakfast?  Yes please, I'll have another.
And I can't forget the's classic beer bread.  Seriously, try it.  Warm bread, straight from the oven in one hour?  Try it with dinner tonight. You'll be glad you did.

Mom's Classic Beer Bread

3 c. self-rising flour
3 TBSP sugar
12 ounces room temperature beer
melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x 5" loaf pan with shortening.

Stir together the flour and sugar.  Add the beer and stir until combined.

Spoon into prepared loaf pan,  and bake 1 hour.  Remove immediately from pan and place on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet.  Pour melted butter on top of the bread, letting it drip down the sides.  Enjoy!

  • Gruyere-Rosemary: use a beer such as New Belgium's Blue Paddle Pilsner-Lager.  Stir in 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese and 1 TBSP fresh rosemary to the basic dough.  Brush the top with melted butter after removing from the pan.
  • Orange Nutmeg: use a wheat beer, such as Mothership Wit. Zest a large orange and add the zest and 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg to the basic dough.  While the bread bakes, juice half of the orange.  Whisk with some powdered sugar to make a glaze.  Remove cooked bread from the pan, poke several holes in the top with a toothpick.  Pour the glaze over the bread, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  • Cinnamon Chocolate Chip: use a dark beer such as 1554.  Substitute brown sugar for the granulated.  Stir in 3/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli) and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the basic dough.  Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon-sugar before baking.  Rub the top of the bread with butter after removing from the pan, if desired.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a stipend to purchase New Belgium beer and ingredients. Thanks, FoodBuzz!

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