Baking this bread is easy, even if you’re a novice!
In the many years while I was still an aspiring chef, I loved to bake sweet treats at home. Lemon meringue pies, quick breads like zucchini or banana nut, yeasty Portuguese sweet bread or honey whole wheat, cookies, walnut-laced brownies, and more. My mother and I dreamed of opening a bakery and naming it Cafe Decadence! Yet once I started planning to attend the California Culinary Academy (CCA) in San Francisco, I decided I didn’t want to specialize, I wanted to learn all of the many styles of cooking. That was partly because CCA didn’t have a curriculum strictly for pastry chefs.
But because I eat a pretty clean diet most of the time, I haven’t baked in years. I just save those treats when I occasionally get a craving deep inside. Yet when I found this unbelievable simple recipe for baking a quick loaf of bread, I had to try it. I even had to dig around for my old 9 by 5 loaf pan and wash it first, so I could bake the bread. I found this online and just jotted down the ingredients and baking temperature and time, and it was the easiest bread I ever baked! That said, I had to share the recipe because I believe many will want to try it. I mean let’s face it, there is little that’s more irresistible than a freshly baked loaf of bread still warm from the oven. The fun part is deciding which beer you want to use. I chose Anchor Steam simply because I like it and thought it would add an interesting flavor. I’m thinking of using a stout next time to give it a chocolate flavor. Give it a try, you just might want to make it a regular addition to the dinner table.
Easy Beer Bread
Preheat the oven to 375 F, and oil or use Pam to spray a 9 by 5 loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, add 3 cups flour, I used King Arthur whole wheat (available at Trader Joe’s), 1 tablespoon baking powder, 3 tablespoons sugar (TJ’s organic brown sugar), and mix well. Next unceremoniously dump in a 12-oz. beer of your choice (the recipe didn’t suggest any specific type so I decided on the Anchor Steam from San Francisco). Do NOT over-mix the dough. Simply stir until the dry ingredients are just barely blended, and dump the lumpy loaf into the greased pan. Lastly they suggested using 1/4 cup butter melted to brush over the loaf before sticking it into the oven, I switched it to extra virgin olive oil. As you can see by the photo above it came out fine.
Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes our clean. I advise checking it at 35 minutes, and if the pick still hold crumbs, bake it another 5 minutes. Once it’s done, using oven mitts, remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a rack to cool. If you don’t have a rack, set tloaf of some paper towels or a dish towel to adsorb the meat coming out of it.
I must say, now that I’ve tasted the bread, it’s okay. I think I would go with a more flavorful beer, such as a stout to improve. If you don’t want to use whole wheat flour as I did, use white flour. If anything, it will give novices the experience and show them that baking a quick loaf of bread is easy.