Saturday, April 02, 2011

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

I've known about beer bread for a while, but never saw a recipe that looked very enticing. Seems strange, right? But most recipes have very little fat--basically just flour and beer--making me think that the results would be rubbery and bland.

Well, not so. Not at all. I'm a big fan of quick breads. I make skillet cornbread a couple times a month at least, and Irish soda bread every so often. I think this is my favorite, and it's the easiest of the bunch to make. You just whisk up the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir in the beer and drizzle the batter with melted butter before baking. It has a light, soft crumb with a slight chew to the texture. The beer not only contributes its flavor, but a fabulous yeastiness.

I made this when I braised beef brisket, and it was the perfect go-with. It's amazing with butter, especially some really good stuff, like Kerrygold. You probably already have the ingredients, so there's no reason not to bake some right now.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Adapted from In Good Taste
I used Newcastle beer, and it was great. You will definitely taste the beer in this bread, so keep that in mind when you decide what to use. I would steer away from IPAs, which tend to be bitter. Most lagers and ales would work (Update: lately, I use something simple like PBR or Budweiser. DO NOT use light beer). I plan to try it with Guinness, and I think it would be amazing with one of my old favorites, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. You can substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat, as well as white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour.

Makes 1 (9 x 5-inch) loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour (250 g)
1 cup whole wheat flour (125 g)
3 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
12 oz beer
1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or line with nonstick foil, leaving some overhang (this makes it easy to lift loaf out of pan for cooling).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the beer and stir until flour is moistened, taking care not to over mix. Scrape batter in loaf pan and drizzle melted butter all over the top. Bake in the center of the oven 50 to 60 minutes (mine took exactly 55). When done, the top will be bumpy and light golden brown; the bottom of the loaf will feel hollow when tapped. Cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Jessica Clausnitzer said...

I have a six pack of guiness in the fridge and will be making this bread tonight! I try to reduce the sugar in most of the recipes I make. Do you have any suggestions on how to retain the sweet flavor with a substitute?

Welcome! said...

Jessica: All you can do is try! For me personally, 3 Tbs of sugar is very low as it is, and I think sweetener is needed to interact with the beer flavor. You could use honey, agave or molasses (not blackstrap), but artificial sweetener might not have the same effect as the ones above. I love Splenda but I don't bake with it...their baking blend might be the first thing I'd try.

Julie said...

I just fixed a typo in the recipe that was brought to my attention by a reader. It used to say, line the loaf pan with "nonstick flour." It should read "nonstick foil." Sorry for any confusion!

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MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Wow this sounds incredibly unique! I bet it was delicious

Recipe Club said...

Wow this sounds interesting. I am always looking for new recipes. I would think any brown ale would work for this bread. I think i am going to try a Brooklyn Brown Ale. Thanks for the recipe!


How To Get A Six Pack In A Month said...

Wheat beer bread, wow! Sounds like a fascinating contrasts for a health buff like myself. I guess the beer offsets the calories you don't get from the wheat bread so it's a good treat for my diet cheat days.