by / Sunday, November 11, 2012

All-in-One Beer Bread Kit + Apple Cheddar Beer Bread

There is almost no bread in the world that is easier to make than beer bread.  No joke.  Now, I'm not talking the yeasted variety, though that's honestly not that much trickier, I'm talking the quick bread.  If you can measure, stir, and open a bottle of beer, you're golden.

Even simpler?  Eating it.

It's an all-purpose sort of loaf.  Toast up a fat slice and slather it with butter for breakfast.  Set the loaf out to eat alongside a pot of steaming soup.  Give it some sweeter add-ins like dried fruit and top it with sugar and cinnamon before sliding into the oven to get a nice, sugary crust that makes for delicious dessert or even french toast.
And there is hardly ever a time that I take it along somewhere to share it that I don't get asked for the recipe.  Now, I don't mind sharing.  But how 'bout...as a gesture during the holiday season...putting together a little "kit" and giving it as a gift?  You do all the heavy work (uuuuhhhhh...measuring) and they get the magical smell of yeast and hops perfuming their kitchen.  Totally worth it.  I mean, I'm thrilled when I receive a homemade gift...something from the heart.

The basic recipe is open to so many interpretations and flavor-additions, as well.  You (or they) can personalize their loaves to their mood.  And my mood?  Apples.  Apples and Cheddar, actually.  This loaf would be right at home alongside a bowl of Cheese Soup.  Or even bean soup.  Oh, with sausage! Mmmm...

Apple Cheddar Beer Bread (+ All-in-One Beer Bread Kit )
How to make an all-in-one beer bread kit, and some suggested add-ins for baking up a comforting loaf of bread.
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Apple Cheddar Beer Bread
by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake bread beer flour American

Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 2½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • add-ins (optional- see below)
  • 12 oz. beer, at room temp.
  • 1 egg beaten w/ 2 Tbs. water
Apple Cheddar Beer Bread (add-ins):
  • 1 smallish apple, diced small (peeled, if you wish...to yield ~1 c.)
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. minced, dried onion
  • ~6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped a bit
Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously grease a loaf pan.

Combine flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder (as well as any add-ins, if you're using them) in large bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined, it will be thick. Dump the dough/batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Brush the egg wash generously over the top of the loaf. Slide into preheated oven and bake until the top of the loaf is golden, ~45 mins.

Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Jiggle bread a bit to make sure that it is loose from the bottom and edges of the pan, then turn it out and finish cooling on the wire rack. Delicious warm or at room temperature.
To make an All-in-One Beer Bread Kit:
Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl (no add-ins) until well combined. Transfer to a quart-sized zippered baggie. Place the mix into a new loaf pan and add a 12 oz. bottle of beer. Write out the instructions on a note card (or something fancier, if you wish), including a few "add-in" suggestions.

If you like, tuck a new kitchen towel underneath for color and tie the whole thing off with some raffia or ribbon.  If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can even break out that cello-wrap stuff and wrap the whole thing up in a pretty little package.

Suggested add-ins for beer bread:
-Apple Cheddar (see above)
-Cheddar & Sage (1 c. shredded sharp cheddar + handful chopped fresh sage)
-Garlic & Herb (1 tsp. garlic powder + 3 tsp. dried, mixed herbs or 2 minced garlic cloves + 3 Tbs. mixed chopped fresh herbs)
-Feta & Herb (4 oz. crumbled feta + 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano or rosemary)
-Italian (½ c. freshly grated Parmesan + 2 cloves minced garlic + 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning)
-Onion (½ c. finely sliced green onions)
-Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomato (4 oz. crumbled goat cheese + ½ c. finely diced sundried tomatoes)

SO MANY MORE - use your imagination

adapted from Farmgirl Fare
With thoughts of the holidays are closing in, the #SundaySupper gang is bringing you Gifts from the Kitchen this week, hosted by Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian.  Check out all of the amazing homemade gift ideas below, I know you'll find a lot of inspiration.

Soups and Snacks
Please join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag.

We’d also love to feature your Gifts from the Kitchen on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too. So tell me - do you make "kitchen gifts" to give away during the holidays? If so, I'd love to hear what you make, I'm always looking for inspiration. Feel free to leave the link to any in the comments.

Heather is a Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.

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