Who knew baking could be so easy! Read on to find out how I got by with a little help from my friends and ended up with a wonderful loaf of home made bread.
Before I start my story, I have to recognize Foodbuzz and the New Belgium Brewing Company. They partnered through Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program to put beer in my hands to get creative with. I say “Cheers” to that!
Its All About the Beer
New Belgium is a craft brewing company Located in Ft. Collins, CO. You might know them for their wildly popular Fat Tire Amber Ale. I’m a fan of Fat Tire, but while deciding what beer of theirs to cook with, I wanted a darker beer, like a dark ale or stout.
Fortunately, they have one in their line up: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, named for its origin from a Belgian recipe written in 1554. Upon sampling the beverage, I was immediately impressed with its chocolaty, malty flavor and an almost silky mouthfeel.
Now that I had my beer, I had to figure out what to do with it.
A Recipe That Even I Can Follow
To me, cooking with beer means sipping on a cold one while watching something sizzle on the grill.
While I tried to think of a more elgant approach to my situation, I came across a tweet from Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen:
I knew right then I had been saved! Checking out the recipe on her website, my thoughts were validated: the ingredients were few and easy to find, the prep time was short (5 minutes!), and her kids loved the results. I figured I couldn’t lose!
My only modification to the recipe would be to increase the bottle count from one to six: one to enjoy while the oven heats, one for the recipe, one to sip on while the bread is baking, one more to enjoy with the bread, and two to share with friends while they admire your baking prowess.
Here’s a link to the recipe for Erika’s Beer Bread:
Following are a few pictures of my preparation.
1. Mixing the dry – I used a whisk to make sure all the flours and and other dry ingredients were well blended.
2. Adding the wet – Pouring in the beer was fun!
3. Out of the oven – I let the bread cool for as long as I could stand it! Then I cut a few slices to enjoy, literally hot from the oven. The bread was aromatic and dense, with a nutty, wheaty flavor.
4. Cheese Bread – I slapped a slice of pepper jack on top of a couple slices of bread and put them back in the oven for a few minutes. The cheesy beer bread went great with barbecued chicken and a chilled glass of 1554!
Thanks again to Foodbuzz and New Belgium for introducing me to a wonderfully textured dark ale, and thanks to Erika for the great bread recipe. Cheers to you all!