A few weeks ago, my wife Cindy made corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s day using Schooner Black Lager from Mully’s Brewery (see Corned beef and cabbage). I enjoy cooking too — my favorite thing to do in the kitchen is baking bread, so since I hadn’t posted a beer-bread recipe here, I thought now is as good a time as any. We went to Calvert Brewing Company, Production Brewery & Taproom in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, on Friday afternoon, April 14, 2017, to get some of their Senor Besos porter for my bread recipe, as well as to taste all the other brews they had on-hand (see Visiting Calvert Brewing Company, Upper Marlboro).
I’ve made a lot of different types of bread, including:
- classic breads where you use yeast and have to knead them and wait for them to rise for a few hours;
- sourdough breads, which use a sourdough starter instead of yeast;
- no-knead breads, where instead of kneading you let them rise for 12 or more hours;
- rolls and biscuits using baking soda and/or baking powder for a rising agent;
- and then, of course, there’s self-rising flour for another way to get the dough to rise.
But this beer-bread recipe is a bit different, and about as simple as can be, as you’re about to see.
The beautiful thing about this beer-bread recipe is that it needs no time for the dough to rise. You’re using an effervescent liquid to start with to which you add some baking powder, and then the bread rises as it bakes. From gathering your ingredients until you pull a fully cooked, crusty loaf out of your oven will run about an hour and 10 or 15 minutes. Let it cool a bit, and then it’s ready to slice. You can butter it as is, or pop a few slices in the toaster for a nice crust all over. Note: the more flavor your beer has, the more flavor your bread will have; that’s why I chose a porter.
I cooked my loaf in a stone-ware loaf dish with a lid, called a cloche. The lid keeps the moisture inside, causing a steam effect that makes for a crustier bread. Another technique I’ll use is to bake a loaf on the middle rack while placing a pan of ice cubes in the bottom of the oven, which then creates steam in the oven to help make the bread crusty. Professional bakers use steam-injected ovens for the same effect.
Quick & easy beer bread
Yield ~20 slices
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 (12 ounce) can of beer (the more flavor the beer has, the more flavor your bread will have)
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F
- Place dry ingredients into bowl, add beer, and mix
- Pour dough into greased loaf pan or cloche
- Bake for 55 minutes
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing
This video was shot with an iPhone 6+. It was edited on the same phone using the Splice Video Editor from GoPro. ♦
Get your own bread pan/cloche
If you’d like to purchase a bread pan just like the one shown in this article and video, please click here.