Beer Bread (You Read That Right)
Shelley and I received this Beer Bread kit in a Christmas hamper from her parents. This olive, garlic, and rosemary bread was one of the easiest I've ever made. After emptying the contents (basically a dry mix) in to a mixer bowl, I added 12 oz of beer! That's it!
A soft stir with a spatula, and then a little kneading with the mixer and a dough hook, and we're ready to let the loaf rise and then bake.
From the package:
"Beer bread can be a simple quick bread or yeast bread flavoured with beer. Both beer and bread have a common creation process: yeast is used to turn sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. In the case of bread a great percentage of the alcohol evaporates during the baking process."
"Beer bread can be made with simply flour, beer, and sugar. Some bottled beers, especially craft beers may intentionally have visible live but dormant yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. However, many mass market beers have the live yeast filtered out."
"Without sufficient leavening from the beer, a loaf of beer bread will be fairly dense and heavy unless an additional leavening agent, e.g. baking soda and/or baking powder, or baker's yeast and sugar, is added. Self-raising flour may be used because it is a mixture of flour and leavening agent. Beer bread without a leavening agent is very sturdy and tends to not lose moisture if it is overcooked. The only consequence of over-cooking tends to be a thicker crust."
"Different types of beer bread can be made using different beers; for instance, a stout or dark beer will give a darker bread with a heavier flavour. Using a beer that is spiced, or has a flavour added, will make a bread with a similar flavour, but less intense than the beer."
"One can add any flavourings to this simple recipe when mixing the dry ingredients to enhance the flavour taste of bread. Some suggestions include cedar and dill, sun-dried tomato and herb, garlic and feta, etc. A consideration when choosing flavours is that if the beer bread is not going to be eaten straight away then the flavours will become enhanced upon storage."