This month’s Gourmet Dinner Club (GDC) theme was “cooking with alcohol.” It’s not just drinking while cooking (although that’s fine with me, too) – the food itself had to contain alcohol. Our hostess, Marty H, was making a beer chili and since I had a side, I decided to make some beer bread to go with it (as one can never have enough beer).
I have made beer bread in the past, but wanted to try a new recipe and found a perfectly simple one from Sara Moulton (supplied to her by one of her fans) that I could adapt. The recipe called for “good quality beer.” I took this directive very seriously thanks to my dad as he made learning to appreciate “good beer” part of my college education. His tutelage paid off as I headed for the single bottle beer section at Wegmans and picked out a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout to make this bread knowing a dark beer or stout works well in beer bread.
The bread turned out well – great combination of good beer, whole wheat flour (so it’s a bit healthy), rosemary and butter (okay, maybe not so healthy). The beer acts as the yeast in the bread making it so easy to make – there are no excuses not to make up a batch of this bread.
I did enjoy the extra beer since the bottle was bigger than 12 ounces. So, I guess “cooking with alcohol” had a dual meaning after all.
|Whole Wheat-Rosemary Beer Bread|| |
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
- One 12-ounce bottle of good-quality beer (recommend a dark beer or stout)
- Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the butter in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish or pan and set it in the oven while the oven is preheating.
- Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and rosemary in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the beer until it is just incorporated (The dough will be sticky and heavy.) Pour 5 tablespoons melted butter out of the pan into a cup; tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides with the remaining butter (1 tablespoon).
- Spoon the bread dough into the pan and spread evenly; drizzle the 5 tablespoons melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bumpy top is golden brown.
- Halfway through baking tilt the pan to distribute the butter (in case it has pooled).
- Remove the bread from the oven to a cooling rack; cut the bread into rectangles and serve warm.
* You can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, if you prefer (use 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour instead of 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour).
* Rosemary is optional (but recommended).
* I used Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout.
Source: Variation of a recipe from Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners (2010)