Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beer Bread

The weather has been strange, and Thursday was pretty chilly, at least by June standards. And on a chilly day, the best way to warm things up is to bake bread.

I wasn't in the mood for a yeast bread, not even the relatively quick Cuban bread from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Bread. I decided to make beer bread. I found the recipe year's ago in the Creme de Colorado Cookbook, and it is very easy: 3 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 3-4 tablespoons sugar, and a 12 oz bottle of beer. Mix it up, put in a greased loaf pan, pour a stick of melted butter over it, and bake at 350 for about 50-55 minutes. Easy.

Many years ago I cut the butter down to 1/2 a stick. Tastes just as good but isn't nearly as greasy. Now, the same recipe appears in Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Bread but with an interesting twist: he adds 1/2 cup of chopped fresh oregano to the batter. I decided to give it a try, especially since my oregano is trying to take over the herb garden. Harvesting 1/2 a cup worth sounded like a pretty good idea.

And yes, it was. The oregano gave the bread a completely different flavor. Very tasty. A good way to keep the herbs in the garden in check, use up a cheap bottle of beer, and get a fresh loaf of bread for dinner.

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