I’m sorry I didn’t have a post for you last week. I had a big breakfast and was all ready to buckle down and start writing and then I made the mistake of going into the bedroom for something. And there, in the sunlight falling on my beautifully made bed, was Biscuit.
Biscuit is my cat, and not a baked good. So, for the record, there wasn’t a lonely biscuit growing stale on my comforter.
Anyway, Biscuit was lying there in the sun all fat and black and curled up and then he flexed his paw in such a way that it appeared he was beckoning me to nap in the warm rays with him. I’m never one to say no to a nap, especially if it’s a cat that suggests it in the first place, and I was full of breakfast potatoes and french toast and eggs which made it really hard to be upright so….I woke up in time for dinner (actually, James woke me up in time for dinner). Which means I didn’t have time to compile a post of the incredible caliber that you so expect and deserve. Which leads me to:
All is forgiven, right?
I made me a loaf of Beer Bread. I felt like doing something different, and though beer bread is technically a quick bread, I had never made it before. So it’s like totally relevant to this blog. Also, it’s a super-fast and easy recipe and I know a lot of my readers must be drinkers so, even if you haven’t invested in yeast, you can totally sacrifice a bottle of Sam Adams or Fat Tire or whatever you have in the fridge/garage/man cave and make this. AND! It requires a lot of butter, which I know all sane people everywhere go crazy for, so I think you should go for it.
The lady blogger who wrote the ‘Gimme Some Oven’ post I got the recipe from is also named Ali and she spells it right and everything, so you know that she has to be at least somewhat awesome. Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
Honey Beer Bread
STUFF YOU NEED:
3 cupsa flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey* or agave nectar, for you vegans and hippies out there
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 oz. beeah, as we say in New England (that’s about a bottle’s worth – any kind you like will work).
(at least) halfastickabuttah (that’s 4 tablespoons of butter)
Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon OR 1 cuppa shredded cheddar. Don’t do both or you’ll get Frankenbread.
STUFF YOU GOTTA DO:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease yourself up a loaf pan. Or, just grease yourself up if that’s how you roll. No judging here at Ali & Bread.
In a good-sized bowl, mix your white ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Here’s a picture of how that looks – although, for all you know, this is flour, sugar, cocaine, and Gold Bond foot powder.
That is possibly the most boring photo I’ve ever taken. I feel bad that you just wasted .3 seconds of your life looking at white on white on white in a white bowl.
If you’re using honey, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds so it’ll be easier to incorporate. If you’re using agave because you’re a Mexican, a hippie, or a combo of the two (in which case, we need to hang out, maaan) you don’t need to worry about that.
If you have the standard 12 ounce bottle of beer, you don’t need to do any measuring. Because I’m not a big beer drinker and the liquor store I visited only sold standard sized bottles in six packs, I bought a single larger bottle (of Newcastle Brown Ale) that was 18.6 ounces. Which meant I needed to measure, as will you if you have a big bottle or multiple cans.
Gently pour your beer into the white ingredients and add the warm honey/room temperature agave.
Mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. If you’re adding the optional cheese OR cinnamon, do it now.
The dough will be mildly sticky and lumpy, like the underside of the 27-year-old desk you sat at in pre-algebra class.
Take half of your melted butter and pour into the loaf pan. Now spoon the lumpy dough into the pan. It’ll be hard to manage (harder to manage if you’ve been drinking), but do your best to distribute it evenly.
Once you got all your dough in there, pour the remaining butter on top – spread it over the dough if you have a silicone brush or don’t mind sucking butter off your fingers. Now pop that greasy boozy mess (describes one of my college roommates to a tee) in the oven.
Clean up your work space and get ready to hang out for 50-60 minutes.
After 50 minutes, the top of the bread should be goldeny or blond, if you will. Stick it with a toothpick to see if it’s done. If it cries out in pain and the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done, but if it remains silent and leaves some sticky stuff on the toothpick, give it another five minutes and try again. Once your beer bread passes the test, pull it out and put it on the stove so you can pick at the hot loaf while it cools for a few minutes. This bread is best eaten warm, so as soon as you can touch it without wincing or yelling expletives, carve that sucker up and devour him.
And there you have it! BREAD that tastes like BEER! ..If you added sugar and flour and baking powder and salt and butter to it and then put it in the oven.
*Honey, as you well should know, is sticky. I find it super helpful to give my measuring equipment a spray of Pam before I add my honey, as it will just slip right out for the most part and not be such a pain in the ass to wash.