Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sage & Cheddar Beer Bread

By now, it's no secret that I am addicted to bread.  You know what else I'm addicted to? Sage.  Yup.  It's a new addiction.  Thyme was always my favorite herb...for years...but this year sage grabbed ahold of me and just kept holding on.  You could substitute whatever fresh herb tends to hang out at your place in place of the sage...or switch out the cheese for another...you could use dried herbs in a lesser proportion, as well.  Guess what...it's even great without anything other than the dry ingredients and the beer.  It seems far too simple a process to turn out something so divine, but it does. 

Sage & Cheddar Beer Bread
adapted from Farmgirl Fare

2 1/2 c. unbleached ap flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbs.sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder

2 1/2 Tbs. fresh Sage, chopped
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 oz. beer, at room temp.

1 egg
2 Tbs. water

Heat oven to 375° F. Combine flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, sage, and cheddar in large bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased loaf pan.  Beat the egg and water together and brush gently over top of loaf.  Bake until golden, ~45 mins.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and cool it directly on rack until ready to serve... either warm or at room temp.  
I'm planning on making up beer batter mix gifts to give out for the holidays this year...and I'm so excited!!  Along with the liqueurs I have planned...my holiday shopping is looking good.  Well, minus the kiddos.  They'd be pissed if they got beer bread mix and liqueur.  Pissed. HA! Get it? Pissed That's a Britishy term for drunk, right?
Okay, the bread won't get them pissed...unless of course they drink the beer and ditch the mix.  Mental note...don't give children alcoholic beverages as gifts.  Wine coolers don't count.  Kidding.  Garsh.  Wine coolers DO count. ;-)
This is great toasted and slathered with butter, too.  I loved it warm and spread with some homemade jalape├▒o butter.
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