Monday, March 23, 2009
The beer bread is truly remarkable for its speed, ease, and tastiness, so it wasn't exactly begging for improvement, but the addition of some wheat flour did prompt me to post yet again, and consecutively, at that, about beer bread, so useful do I find this recipe. If you're looking for just a wee bit more nutty flavor, I'd add a cup of chopped walnuts to the mix and then spread some triple creme cheese on a slice the second after it hits the cooling rack. It kind of negates the fiber from the wheat flour, the triple creme does, but aw, what the heck?
Beer Bread Revisited:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces warm beer (One can. In my case, a Miller Lite for this particular execution)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
softened butter for greasing the loaf pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt, and stir well to distribute all evenly. Add the beer in one swift pour - my warm Miller Lite foamed up as I poured it into the mix, and your can of beer may as well, but it will settle down once you start stirring, I promise. Stir the beer into the flour mixture until all of the flour mixture has been combined with the beer. If you read the previous post, you are well aware that the mixture will be lumpy, and yet, you are not afraid.
Transfer the beer and flour mixture to the greased loaf pan, brush melted butter over the top - be generous about it, now - and bake on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf emerges clean. This symbolizes wheaty beer bread victory, this clean toothpick does. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool before slathering with triple creme brie, or better yet, Brillat-Savarin.
I am now so enamored of the beer bread that I may actually have to force myself to continue baking other types of breads. This despite the fact that I do truly enjoy kneading dough and tasting all types of bread. All I know is that for busy humans, a fresh-baked loaf of bread in 5 minutes of preparation time is undeniably lovable, what with its any-night-of-the-week, no-knead scrumptiousness.
Dinner tonight: Let the random dinners begin. In very, very exciting news, I am working on a cookbook, and so I have started testing recipes for said book. As such, when I roast 6 pounds of carrots in a day, carrots will be the side dish for a few nights, whether they "match" the entree protein or not. So tonight, we will be having Sweet Italian Sausage with Pan-Sauteed Cabbage and Oven-Roasted Carrots. Typically, white beans would be in the spot the carrots now occupy. Estimated cost for two: $5.73. The sausage was $2.57 for two links. The cabbage was the remaining half-a-head from the pre-Saint Patrick's Day boiled dinner. The full head cost $1.04, so 54-cents goes to tonight's meal. The olive oil is around $1.00, and a head of garlic, which I roasted for this dish is 50-cents. The carrots cost 80-cents per pound, and we will eat one of the six pounds roasted. The olive oil for the carrots was 22-cents, and the thyme was around a dime. Thyme and dime rhyme. In any case, I apologize as dinners may become stranger before they become more normal, but then, you can just consider a return to normal, "matching" dinners a sign that I've delivered my manuscript. I'll keep you posted.