100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #2: Bread
My quest for greatness moves onward to number two: beer bread. This one brings me back to the great nights of bar hopping in college and finishing the night strong at the local bagel shop. We all had or still do have, a place where the night closes out by indulging in a whole lot of carbs. Beer bread is a quick, easy, and cheap substitute for late-night bagels or pizza.
Last week we headed to my girlfriend’s shore house for a weekend of relaxing and getting some school work done. Luckily we picked up two Saison du Buffs and I had one left over. With featured ingredients like thyme, sage, rosemary, and parsley, it seemed like cheesy beer bread was a worthy use of the brew.
The nice thing about making beer bread is that there are so many ways you can customize it. You can use several different varieties of beer and can add a variety of additional ingredients to the bread if you want. The only things that must be there are the flour, sugar, butter, salt, and beer! Some say it doesn’t matter what beer you put in the bread. Wrong. You can taste it in the bread and you want to pick a beer that complements the rest of your “add-ins,” as well as whatever you are eating with the bread. General rule of thumb is to use ale (preferably pale ale) for savory and wheat for sweet. Dinner that night not only consisted of delectable beer bread, but also hummus, fruits, veggies and, obviously: cheese. With this in mind, the savory Saison Du Buff was the clear choice of beer.
Honestly, the most difficult part about making the bread was refraining from drinking the beer and eating the cheese beforehand. The recipe is included below. There are just two things I’d do differently next time. First, I’d use Gouda cheese rather than cheddar for even more flavor. Second, I’d add a little more salt and throw in some chives. Just remember, there are no rules to what you can add to this bread aside from the flour, sugar, butter, and beer. Have fun with it, experiment, and enjoy! You’re welcome.
Cheesy Saison Beer Bread
- 3 cups of flour (self rising — if you use regular, you will need to add 1 tbsp of baking powder)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- ½ cup of chopped cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup of melted butter
- 12 oz. of Saison Du Buff (or your savory beer of choice)
Preheat oven to 375° F
First, mix the dry ingredients together. Then, pour beer into dry mix and add between ¼ and ½ of the melted butter. Toss in the chopped cheddar cheese. Mix with a spoon and use your hands if needed.
Grease your bread pan and put the mix in. For a crispy crust, pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter in the pan and spread with a brush if you have one.
Open up a cold one, and bake for 45-60 minutes.
Let it cool and enjoy your homemade bread with beer and friends. Yup, it’s that easy.