Saturday, March 3, 2012

Easy Beer Bread

The beer seems to be multiplying in our fridge. Every time I open the door, I swear there are ten more bottles in there. Neither of us drink much beer. Sure, we enjoy a bottle every once in a while, but not often enough to take care of the hoppy population in the fridge.

Not to worry. A few years ago I discovered there are other uses for beer -- fertilizing, cleaning gold jewelry, trapping insects.... But the one that tops the list by far is beer bread. Due to the yeast in beer, it makes for a lovely loaf, pairing well with a hearty soup or steak dinner.

Come to think of it, this would be a perfect accompaniment to a St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef dinner. Might help keep the Guinness consumption at a reasonable level...nah, probably not.

These mini-loaves were a hit because the crispy, buttery crust was more prolific than it would be in a large loaf. Although, don't let that hinder is every-bit-delicious in a regular loaf pan too!

Beer Bread
Adapted from

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
1 - 17 oz. bottle or can of beer, room temperature (I used Red Tail Ale)
1/4 c. salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add beer all at once, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour into regular bread pan or divide evenly into a mini-loaf pan. Brush the top(s) with a generous dollop of butter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes for large loaf, 25-30 minutes for smaller loaves. Bread is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

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