A few years back my mom resurrected a recipe that I remember having regularly as a child when the weather turned cold. It is a very simple, but very versatile and delicious beer bread recipe. Growing up I had enjoyed this bread regularly through the not-so-harsh Midwestern winters, and mom or dad usually prepared the dish with a Pabst Blue Ribbon -- that's a different story for a different time.
One New Year's Eve I tried to expand on the traditional PBR part of the recipe. I grabbed a Boulevard Winter Sampler 12-pack and made a loaf with each beer. I can honestly say that I don't remember all of the varieties included that year, but by far the best for the purpose of bread was the Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat.
Knowing what I know now about beer, through drinking a lot of it and home brewing, I know more of the "why" each loaf tasted the way it did.
- The dominating beer flavor you will taste in the bread is the tail end of the brew. Of course in most beers this would be the flavor hops.
- Most "sweet" beers will have the sugars cooked out throughout this process, or will be dominated by the immense amount of butter used -- you will see -- in the recipe, so do not count on fruity beers to give the bread a real fruity flavor.
- The bread will absorb the color of the beer. Not completely, but a darker beer will bring a noticeably darker hue to the bread.
- For most "non-beer" people's taste, I would suggest a wheat or wit beer for a loaf lighter in color, and for a darker loaf use a porter with a traditionally low IBU.
A couple things that I should qualify about this recipe. One, this is technically not "bread" when looking at the true definition of what bread is. Two, apparently the definition of "whole wheat" wasn't quite the same in the early 1980's as what it is today. Third, one of the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever had was fixed with two pieces of this bread -- fixed with Fat Tire -- and hard cheddar cheese.
- 2 1/2 Cups of Self-Rising Flour
- 1/2 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 Tbsp of Sugar
- 1/2 Cup of Butter (don't use margarine)
- 12 oz. Beer of your choice
- Preheat oven to 375
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix.
- Add beer and blend with a wooden spoon. (The batter will become lumpy)
- Place the dough in a greased loaf pan.
- Pour 1/4 Cup of the melted butter over the dough
- Bake the bread for 40 minutes, remove and pour 1/4 Cup of melted butter on the loaf.
- Continue baking the bread for 10 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven.
- Remove the bread from the pan immediately to cool.
- Enjoy the bread while warm.