There’s a thing that happens in the Fall and it always ends with random beers in your refrigerator. Which is fine if you’re normal, but perhaps you are a person who insists on being able to see the back wall of the fridge at all times and has a slight compulsion that causes you to remove price tags from foodstuffs and insist that all labels be facing forward? Because if you’re a person like that—not that you are—those stray beers rattling around inside your otherwise perfectly organized icebox might make you Shining-levels of crazy.
And sure, you could just drink the beers but perhaps you are also a person who likes a good recipe? Because if you’re a person like that, those stray beers might start talking to you as part of the whole Shining thing you’ve achieved and are all, “Make me into beer bread! Everyone loves a recipe with alcohol in it! BREADRUM! BREADRUM!” *makes creepy finger gesture*
Or maybe it’s just that beer bread can be as stupid easy to make as you want it to be, and it’s Fall and curling up with your needlepoint while a loaf of homemade bread bakes in your oven just sounds so cozy and delightful.
So shall we? Yes, let’s shall.
The first order of business is to get a big ol’ bowl, into which you should put these things. The goal here, besides putting beer inside you, is to end up with a product that looks like bread dough. Since beer comes in bottles, unless you live in a bar with taps and kegs (and, if you do, can I come live with you?), we’ll be working with a specific liquid measure. Let’s start here:
• 2 ½ cups flour (here you can go with white, wheat, or a
mix-y-match-y of things, like maybe wheat-and-rye?) with some
• 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
Now stir that stuff up so it’s mixed together. If you want to get fancy, and by all means you should get fancy, look at you, you fancy thing!, you can add a tablespoon or so of a spice blend you like (I often use this CRAZY HOT stuff a friend bought off the Amish) or you could mix in some cheese, say about a half cup of it, or you could use your imagination! Hell, you’re already talking to the beer bottles, I know that brain of yours is capable of creative thinking!
All that’s left to do now is add the bottle of beer, and we are referring to a 12-ounce bottle of it, and you should do this slowly because you can’t possibly be so stupid as to not know what would happen if you furiously beat a bottle of beer into a dry mix that has leavener in it, right? (Just checking.) (Dummy.) Ooh also? The dummies among us probably need to be told that the type of beer used will affect the flavor of the bread. (The kooks have already been told that by the talking beer bottle.) I saw some flap recently about pumpkin beer (which, ew yes ew, sounds pretty vile) but actually might be pretty delish in beer bread? Think about it. Ooooh, you know what would be super cute? Use pumpkin beer and then top the bread with salted pumpkin seeds (and then you could also bake a few razor blades into it and give it out on Hallowe’en! Oh my God, no don’t do that).
So, once you have incorporated all the beer, you may find this a wet sloppy mess. Add flour until this resembles dough—something between zero, ½ and a whole cup of flour will make it dough-like. Use your best judgment! (Ha ha!) It should be neither super-sticky nor super-dry.
Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 375 for 45
minutes, checking after 30. If you want a crustier bread, spray it
with water before and throughout, and/or put a roasting pan of ice
and water in the bottom of the oven. If you want a shiny bread,
brush the top of the dough with an egg wash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons
of water). That’s it! I know, right? So stupid easy! And/or crazy
Jolie Kerr isn’t even sure. Just… go with it.