Sunday, August 10, 2014

Easy Beer Bread // Butter Compound

I'm not a beer person, or any type of alcohol person, in general, but I had leftover beer I needed to use up. Well, after this bread, I like beer. A lot.

This recipe adapted from Food.com has a crunchy, buttery crust and a lovely golden brown color thanks to the poured butter on top. It's the easiest bread recipe ever and absolutely foolproof. Plus, all the ingredients are probably in your kitchen right now.
I thought beer bread was the most bizarre idea, but both beer and bread are similar in that yeast is used to turn sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. We've been drinking beer since forever; in fact, there's a pictogram on a seal dating from the 4th millennium BC found in Mesopotamia. Beer has been mentioned in ancient texts in Egypt, Greeks, Germans, English, and pretty much everyone. The only exception seemed to be those fancy Romans, who preferred wine (Ekaloria, Foodtimeline)
 Sifting 101
- Sifting flour for bread recipes prevents compacted flour, which can turn your bread into a "hard biscuit."
- If you do not have a sifter, use a spoon to spoon the flour into the cup measure or a whisk to fluff up the flour.

- my secret: I sifted and didn't sift two batches and both tasted good. Perhaps the sifted version was marginally flufflier (or maybe it was the fact I used a freshly opened can of beer).

Fun fact - how to check if your baking powder is still good. Add a little to some very hot water and see if it fizzes.
Now bread goes with butter, but an easy way to kick it up is to make compound butter - basically mix softened butter with whatever ingredients of choice and chill in the refrigerator. It makes for a pretty gift if you wrap it up as the directions indicate.

Or you can just mash it in a bowl like I did. I'm sure ancient civilizations didn't waste time tying perfect bows around their butter.

Beer Bread

Ingredients
3 cups flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer
1 1/2 Tbsps melted butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk. Open and pour your can of beer. Mix until just combined (do not overmix).

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over mixture. Bake 55 min, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.

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Compound Butter

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature for each butter roll

ROSEMARY GARLIC
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

SWEET CRAISIN AND WALNUT
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon craisins, chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped

JALAPENO PAPRIKA
1 tablespoons paprika
1/2 small jalapeno, finely minced
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Directions
Add your ingredients to a bowl and combine with a fork or a mixer.

Set in the fridge for 15 minutes and you're done.

To make logs, place a piece of plastic wrap onto a clean, flat surface. Spoon the butter mixture onto the center of the plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the butter, rolling and forming a log shape. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap  like a tootsie roll and place butter in the fridge to set.

2 comments:

  1. yummm!! this looks really easy and delicious. Does it taste sweet kind of like a dessert bread or more neutral like a dinner roll sort of bread?

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    Replies
    1. More neutral like a dinner roll sort of bread with a touch of sweetness. It goes excellently with steak!

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