Beer. Cheese. Bread.
Hard to find much wrong with those three words.
Combine them and you’ve got one serious loaf of awesomeness.
What do you think about having our own little Oktoberfest here at Idiot’s Kitchen?
For the month of October, we will feature recipes that include the second Secret Ingredient – Beer!
Where this gets a little weird is that I don’t like beer. Or I should clarify that and say, I don’t like to drink beer….which is sort of unfortunate since I have a bunch of friends who are great home brewers.
However, I do love to cook with beer….especially the beer and cheese combo.
Let me tell you, this bread is a winner. Easy enough for those of you who are phobic about baking too. No yeast required…the beer brings that to the party.
Here’s what you need:
Beer*, Cheese*, Butter, Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt & Pepper.
*The original recipe says to use a pale beer like ale or pilsner. However, I’m using a nice nutty, brown ale — Cigar City Brewing Company’s Maduro Brown Ale from right here in Tampa for you beer enthusiasts who want to know. I would just stay away from really dark, strong, or bitter beers like Guiness or other stouts for this recipe. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Guiness recipes soon enough. The original recipe also calls for Gruyere cheese (which is what I’m using here), but I think this bread would also be fantastic made with a really sharp, white cheddar.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter and set it aside to cool while you mix the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour with 3 Tablespoons of sugar.
Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Grate 1 cup of Gruyere (or sharp cheddar) cheese and add it to the flour mixture.
Stir all of the dry ingredients together being sure that the flour helps the cheese to separate and not get all clumpy.
Pour in 1 1/4 cups beer. You’ll be happy to know that you’ll have a little sip left in the bottle for the cook or in my case, for the cook’s husband.
If you’re a beer drinker, you’ll undoubtedly be better at pouring beer than me. Be sure to pour sloooowly down the side of the measuring cup to reduce the foamy head on the beer if you want an accurate measurement.
Add the melted butter and stir just until the ingredients are combined.
Do not over stir.
Use a little extra butter to grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top lightly with the spatula.
Melt one more pat of butter (about 1 Tablespoon) and gently brush the top of the batter with the melted butter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes and then cool it on a wire rack for at least 40 minutes (or as long as you can stand it) to keep the bread from falling apart when you slice it.
Beer + Cheese = TheBestBreadI’veHadInAges.
Here’s the recipe – Adapted slightly from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book