Saturday, February 6, 2010


It is no secret that I love to make bread - and that I love to EAT bread. Any size, shape, form or flavor. However, I don't always love the work and rise times of making yeast breads (especially with a mountain of homework I have to do for my M.Ed program!)

Anyway, as I watch the snow storm of the century coming down outside my window with some french onion soup simmering away; I thought that it would be delicious to have some fresh, hot bread - but I wasn't in the mood to proof yeast, mix, knead, wait for two risings, and all that today so I thought I would make one of my old standby recipes of beer batter bread. One is savory, a basic beer cheese brad that can be made with any number of beers and cheeses (although a lager is generally best). I made mine today with a Samuel Adams Winter Lager that we have in abundance in the drink fridge.

I am not a beer drinker, save for a Guinness now and then; so I have made beer cheese soup, beer sorbet and yes, beer bread with leftover beer we get for guests.

This is adapted from the recipe from November 2008 Cooking Light - they added 1/2 cup of sauteed onion with a bit of black pepper and garlic.




13.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar, pepper jack - whatever)
1 (12 ounce) bottle lager-style beer
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cooking spray

2 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in the center of the bowl. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist and mixed. Don’t over stir.

4. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of butter over the batter. Cook at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Drizzle other tablespoon of butter over batter. Bake another 25 minutes or until the bread is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool five minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove the bread from the pan.

Cool completely before slicing.


Now, here is a great sweet-ish bread made with Guinness.

This is just about the easiest sweet bread I know; it takes precious little thought to make, tastes wonderful with sweet butter or cinnamon sugar, and, as an added bonus, this bread keeps for several days.

A few pointers on making this beer bread: The Guinness must be cold, the self-rising flour must be relatively fresh, and the loaf pan needs to be well-greased. If your self-rising flour is more than 6 months old, add a tablespoon of baking powder.

Can you sub in other beers and sweeteners? Sure. For a lighter beer bread, try using Harp and light brown sugar – it’ll still be Irish. I initially learned this recipe using Budweiser and white sugar, so your possibilities are endless. One caveat: Do not use hoppy beers such as a Pale Ale, as the bitterness will taste odd to you, unless, of course, you are into serious bitterness.



This is fantastic eaten fresh, and nearly as good the next day toasted with some more butter. Do not use stale beer for this recipe, you want the carbonation.

* 3 cups self-rising flour*
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/3 cup molasses
* A pinch of salt (roughly 1/8 teaspoon)
* 12 ounces of Guinness beer
* Butter for greasing the pan and painting the top, about 3 tablespoons

* If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute using a ratio of 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, for every cup of self-rising flour. Have made both ways though and got better results from the self-rising flour.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan well with butter.

2 Pour the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

3 Slowly pour the Guinness into the flour mixture. (The “pub cans” are larger than 12 ounces, but they have better carbonation, so I pour most of it out and leave a swig to drink. This has never failed me, but if you are a stickler, use a 12-ounce bottle of Guinness instead.) Start stirring the beer into the dry ingredients, and when you are about halfway done, add the molasses. Mix well, just to combine. Don’t work the heck out of the batter – because that’s what it’ll look like – but you don’t want lumps, either.

4 Pour into the loaf pan to no more than 2/3 full. Pop into the oven immediately and bake for 50 minutes. Since ovens can vary, check the bread after 40 minutes and see if a toothpick inserted into the deepest part of the loaf comes out clean. If it does, you’re done.

5 Let the loaf cool a bit, maybe 5 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack. Paint it with lots of soft butter, which will melt as you go.