Sunday, March 8, 2009

Easy Beer Bread

I love quick breads - without all the kneading and rising, they're pretty simple, and you can have a loaf of bread in no time. One of my all-time favorites is beer bread - it's ready to go in under 5 minutes, and there are endless variations.

I tend to like the sweeter version, so I rarely stray from my basic recipe. However, you could cut back on the sugar, and add herbs and/or cheeses for a more savory recipe. Really, this one is up to your imagination. It's also an excellent breakfast toast.

Easy Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour*
1/2 cup sugar
1 16 oz bottle of beer of choice (Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan is my current fave)
2 Tbsp melted butter, optional**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a bowl, stir the flour, sugar, and beer until mixed (batter will be thick and lumpy). Transfer to the loaf pan, and pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until top is brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*If you don't have self-rising flour, just add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt for every cup of AP flour. Combine these before adding the other ingredients.

**You can also mix the butter right in with the batter. Or, if you want to skip the butter altogether, you can brush an egg wash on the top of the bread after it's been in the oven for about 30 minutes or so - basically once it has enough of a crust to take the egg wash.

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