I love quick breads. I’ve told you this before. They’re just so, well, quick to make! And I’m all about tasty results with minimum fuss. Except when I have moments of major fuss and kitchen destruction… but that’s another post for another day.
Most of the quick bread recipes I’ve posted thus far are for sweet, fruit-flavored breads. We’ve had cranberry orange nut bread, banana bread, lowfat oatmeal banana bread, banana chocolate chip oatmeal bread – are you seeing a trend? I like me some bananas. (Plus quick breads are the perfect way to use up dead, mushy bananas.)
On the savory side, I’ve told you about a delicious, rich, savory cheddar-chive bread. That one was good, but today’s recipe takes the cake in our house. Beer bread – so easy to make you will not believe. Take six ingredients and less than five minutes and you can have homemade bread baking away in the oven. (Minus the scary yeast part. The natural yeast in beer does all the work for you!) I’ve made this bread three times in the past two weeks and have the recipe committed to memory.
Beer bread is great with dinner; it’s great with eggs for brunch; and man, is it good alongside a steamy bowl of soup. The recipe is also quite adaptable. Use more or less melted butter to adjust the richness (and calorie count) of the bread. Throw in a handful or two of grated cheese to make it a little gooey. Try adding some seasonings like garlic or onion powder. However you make it, just try it. And then be sure to tell me if you come up with something delicious!
One Year Ago: Savory Cheddar-Chive Bread
Adapted from The Pastry Queen via Ezra Pound Cake
* When it comes to the beer for this recipe, I use an inexpensive lager from Trader Joes, but feel free to use any variety you like. Try a flavored beer to add a little pizzazz to your bread. Test out the difference between light and dark beers. Any beer will do; it’s the yeast that is important, not the particular variety.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. can or bottle of beer, any variety (see above)
4 to 8 T. unsalted butter, melted (use more or less according to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Pour the beer over the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
You should have a shaggy, sticky dough.
Pour half of the melted butter into the prepared loaf pan. Place the dough on top of the butter, pressing it into the corners. Pour the remaining butter on top of the dough.
Place the dough in the oven with a sheet pan underneath to catch any butter that spills over the sides. (I skipped this step and have had to deal with my oven smoking from burnt butter for the last few days. Save yourself the smoke detectors going off – use a drip pan!) Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the bread to a cooling rack. Cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. (The bread tastes best warm, but is difficult to slice until it has cooled a little. Aim to slice it when it is still warm, but not steaming hot on the inside.)
Makes 1 loaf.
Note: This bread tastes best the day it is made, but you can salvage leftovers by crisping up slices in the toaster.