This quote is often attributed — most likely erroneously — to Benjamin Franklin.
Regardless of the authenticity of who did or did not say it, though, I know many folks who agree with that sentiment. 😉
While I enjoy drinking a nice, cold beer, I also enjoy cooking with it, especially in Fish and Chips or to add as the liquid to chili or TexMex dishes. A few years ago, I came across a really easy recipe for Beer Bread in a Brookshire’s Celebrate Cooking magazine, and I’ve been making it ever since — much to my bread-loving hubby’s delight.
This Beer Bread is a quick bread in every sense of the word — this non-yeast bread (meaning no rising time required) mixes up quickly with only a few ingredients, and you can forget about it once you pop it in the oven. Compared to most breads, it bakes at a relatively low temperature — 350F — so you can usually bake it right along with other dishes in your oven and it won’t overheat your kitchen unduly in the summer months.
Also, it’s fat free! 🙂
Beer Bread is a great accompaniment to any dish that you would drink a beer with, such as barbecue, a homey meatloaf, or other such dishes. The texture is a bit like that of a muffin. It would even make a tasty base for open-faced Sloppy Joes, if you wanted. You can vary the flavor a bit with whatever beer you have on hand. It really does put the “quick” in quick bread!
You start off with 6 tablespoons of brown sugar:
Then, pour in 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of ROOM TEMPERATURE beer and stir until the brown sugar is dissolved.
After that, stir in 3 cups of self-rising flour and up to 1 teaspoon of salt, if desired (I usually add in about 3/4 teaspoons of salt).
Don’t have self-rising flour on hand? No worries — for each cup of all purpose flour, simply sift in 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. So to make 3 cups of self-rising flour, you would sift 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder AND 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt WITH 3 cups of all purpose flour.
Spread into a lightly greased (or sprayed with cooking spray) 9″X5″ loaf pan. It won’t look smooth — don’t worry.Pop into a preheated 350F oven and bake until done (browned and sounds hollow when tapped), about an hour.
Remove from pan and let cool (about 15 minutes or so) on a clean, lint-free kitchen cloth on a cooling rack.
Then slice and enjoy!
This smells — and tastes! — so yummy, you’ll find yourself singing and dancing the polka while it bakes. 😉 (Go on, take not quite 2 and half minutes out of your day and enjoy — you know you want to!)
Beer Bread (Makes 1 loaf)
- 6 Tbs brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 (12 oz) beer, at room temperature (use whatever beer you like)
- 3 cups self-rising flour*
- 1 tsp salt (optional) (I used about 3/4 tsp salt)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour in beer. The liquid will foam and bubble. Mix well with wooden spoon until all sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt (if desired); slowly pour in liquid. Or, alternatively, sift in flour and salt.
- Mix until ingredients are incorporated.
- Spread dough in 9″ X 5″ nonstick loaf pan.
- Bake until browned and sounds hollow when tapped, or when a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Remove bread from oven and let cool on rack. Makes one loaf.
- Wrap cooled leftovers in a clean, lint-free kitchen towel and store in a sealed bag or other tightly sealed container.
*NOTE: If you don’t have self-rising flour (I often don’t), for EACH CUP of all purpose flour, sift in 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.