Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bread Belly

I don't remember the first time I took a sip of beer.

It was likely one of those, "Dad, let me taste that" kind of situations. The only thing I am sure of is I did not like it. Beer is disgusting the first time you taste it (I don't care what you say). Only in the past couple years have I started to actually enjoy drinking the occasional ice cold beverage. I am pretty sure I started liking beer around the same time I really learned the meaning of the phrase "I need a drink." I don't mean to sound like a lush. It is just that in an industry where a single day can run you through a marathon of stress straight into the ground, it is nice to get your relax on at the end of a long one. I don't usually turn to beer (I prefer wine, red), but when I do, it is light. There is just something about a frosted bottle or glass with a juicy burger or some other meaty man food that really settles me down.

I realize there are still many of you that do not like the taste of beer (others of you need no convincing). I usually cannot even finish a whole glass before the relaxing, "ah"-factor wears off. However, whatever you may have against the beverage will undoubtedly disappear when you taste beer bread. I am willing to bet this is the easiest bread you will ever make, and it is the perfect pair for this chili recipe which just so happens to include beer as well.

Some people have asked me what beer is best to use. I used Heineken because, well, Zach said he would drink the rest of the bottle when I was finished with it. It was great and provided a nice subtle flavor with almost a hint of sweetness. However, I would suggest trying something with a little more flavor. A nice pumpkin ale might work well for this time of year. You can use whatever sounds delicious to you. let me know how it goes.

How Do Ya Like Me Now Beer Bread

(Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake, makes 1 loaf)

3 C all-purpose flour
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 oz of beer (any kind...I would avoid "light" versions)
1/2 C unsalted melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until mixed well.
Stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed.
Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Slide a baking sheet onto a lower rack to catch any butter that might overflow from the loaf pan.
Bake for about 60 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve hot!

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