The other night, I realized halfway through my second beer that I was in a rotten mood. Down in the dumps. Grouchy. Depressed. So, I, being my mother’s daughter, stopped drinking it. Coming from a family of alcoholics lead me to become a very cautious drinker. Partly because I know I can’t support an addiction. I can’t really afford much of anything right now. See, part of my crabs ridden mood that night was a result of my complete unemployment. Ok, I pick up enough side jobs to not be completely doomed, but I definitely don’t get a steady paycheck or collect unemployment (do not pass GO*). I’m working on fixing that but it’s slow going and a bit demoralizing to be bashed over the head with rejection.
I figure I’m gonna need something positive to balance things out.
So I’ll be here turning half empty bottles of beer into bread and telling you about it.
This beer bread habit of mine began when I was sorting through different brews and stumbling upon plenty that I didn’t care for. The cast off’s either went into bread or something stewed. Or cake. But we’ll get into that some other time.
Beer bread is like Irish soda bread… minus the baking soda… and with a totally awesomely rich flavor. I tend toward dark beers in general but especially for breads because they add a bitter caramely-ness that I really like. Plus they’re pretty. But use whatever you’ve got around. It’ll all be good once it’s toasted and buttered.
Drink 6 oz of your, like, fifth favorite beer while the oven preheats to 375.
Grease a small loaf pan and melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter.
Sift together, or cheat and fluff with a fork, 1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry but all purpose or a whole wheat/a.p. mix would work too- if using self rising flour, omit salt and baking powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Stir into the dry ingredients the other 6 oz of beer and 1 tbsp of butter. (If your beer didn’t start out as 12 oz… sorry… go open another one! Or add water, milk or buttermilk- if going with the latter, add a pinch or two of baking soda.)
The batter will be thick and a bit wet. Press into loaf pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pour the remaining tbsp of butter all over the top.
Bake until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean- about 25-35 minutes (I rotated the pan halfway through, but that’s because my oven’s a butt. Know your ovens, people). Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then eat fat, toasted slices smeared with butter, cream cheese or broiled with a hunk of cheese on top and a bowl of soup.