Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At last!

The internet/phone/cable is really, truly fixed!  I'll probably be blogging like mad to make up for lost time, lol.  And speaking of blogs, how about B.'s post with her weekly menu?  I think she should post a couple of recipes, don't you?

Speaking of recipes, I took advantage of yesterday's storms cooling everything down and made some bread!  Now, I am totally a baking noob when it comes to bread.  I can make cookies and cakes from scratch without batting an eye, but bread scares me.  So I'm challenging myself this month and baking more.  I started simple, with an easy, no-fuss beer bread.  It was a pretty good ringer for the expensive-yet-tasty Simply Tasteful beer bread!  Just a word of advice-consider how strong the flavor of the beer you want to use will be.  I used a stronger ale this time, and Big Dude and I both thought that it was a bit strong for the bread.  Not that it stopped us from eating it, lol.  We decided to freeze the remaining bread and use it next time I make beef stew.  It's a thick, hearty bread that is ideal for soups, stews, and chili.

  • cups flour, sifted (can sift twice, if you wish).  Can use wheat or white, but do NOT use self-rising flour.
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 12 oz. can or bottle of beer, can be cold or room temperature.
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (can substitute with light olive oil)
Preheat oven to 375.  Mix all dry ingredients together, then add beer.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.  Dough will be a sticky ball.  Pour into greased loaf pan.  Pour melted butter over dough.  Bake for 45-60 minutes until done, crust will be crunchy.  Remove loaf from pan, allow to cool 15 minutes.  

If you prefer a softer crust, stir the butter into the dough instead of pouring it on top.  Also, if you want to try a non-alcoholic beverage instead of regular beer, make sure to add a packet of dry active yeast to the dry ingredients.  And play with your ingredients!  Add some cheddar, garlic, and italian seasonings.  Another suggestion is to use a pumpkin based ale, and to add some cinnamon and extra sugar for a sweet bread.

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