Mar 5 08
by cara
at 11:13 PM
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Beer Bread

This time I used a recipe from Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen cookbook I stole borrowed from my mom.  This is one of those cookbooks that I can just sit and read like a novel.  It’s got great pictures, great recipes, and interesting notes about each recipe.  Ms. Rather really seems like someone you’d like to be friends with.  Her bakery, Rather Sweet, is just a hop, skip, and a jump from here in Fredericksburg, Texas, and she used to live and work here in Houston.  My parents have been to her bakery and experienced first-hand some of the divine desserts featured in this book.  Hopefully I’ll get there someday too, but The Picky Apple is a homebody, and not big on traveling.  (Raise your hand if you are surprised…)

I’ve made beer bread several times before, and when I saw this recipe in the “Lunches and Light Dinners” section of the cookbook, I knew it would be a perfect side for the entrees I’m serving this week.  Beer bread is simple and delicious, and best served hot from the oven.  For the beer, I used Shiner Bock, which is made in Shiner, Texas.  Shiner is halfway between Houston and San Antonio, and is home to the infamous Bocktoberfest, a celebration of beer and music.  This is my entry into Emiline’s St. Paddy’s day Pub Crawl event.  This is her first time hosting a blogging event, so go check out her blog, Sugar Plum, on March 20 to see the roundup of recipes containing beer and liquor!  And be sure to check out all of the other great dishes she’s created and written about on her blog.

I made two easy variations for the bread: Jalepeno Cheddar Beer Bread and Ground Beef and Monterey Jack Beer Bread.  At one of our favorite BBQ joints, they serve a jalepeno cheddar bread that The Picky Apple loves.  So I thought I’d just throw some jalepenos and cheddar into one batch of the beer bread to make it extra yummy and spicy.

The other variation came about because I’ve been thinking lots lately about bread made with ground beef and cheese that I tasted once upon a time.  I can’t for the life of me remember where I tasted it, but I know it was homemade and not from a restaurant.  I discussed this with my mom, and she swears she never made any like that.  It is really driving me crazy that I can’t remember.  Maybe I just dreamed about it.  So that’s the inspiration for the other variation, the Ground Beef and Monterey Jack Beer Bread.

beer-bread.jpg

Beer Bread

from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle good-quality beer or ale  ()
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Pour in the beer and stir until just incorporated.  (The dough will be sticky and heavy).  Pour half the melted butter into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.  Spoon in the bread dough and pour the remaining half of the butter on top.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the bumpy top is golden brown.  Remove from the pan and serve immediately.

Jalepeno Cheddar Variation: After stirring in beer, add 1-2 chopped jalepenos (remove seeds) and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to dough.  Continue with original recipe.

Ground Beef and Monterey Jack Variation: Brown 1/2 pound ground beef with 1/2 cup chopped onion.  Transfer to paper towels to soak up any extra grease.  After stirring beer into dough, add ground beef and 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese to dough.  Continue with original recipe.

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