Today was an unusual day for SE Arizona. It was overcast with heavy cloud cover all day long and had intermittent rain showers, downpours and light drizzle. The high reached 72 degrees when it was over 100 only a few days ago.
It put me immediately in a Fall mood when I woke this morning to no sunrise and cool temperatures. We don't get too many days like this, so I wanted to make something cozy and heart warming for dinner. I made a recipe I had made only a couple times before, Meatball and cheese soup. It's hearty, tastes like a cheeseburger, but has lots of great veggies in it and always turns out great. I was initially going to make a nice rustic, crusty round loaf to accompany it, but decided to peruse my recipe books to get some new ideas first. I was torn between corn sticks, the corn shaped bread that is made in a special cast iron pan, and beer batter bread. I didn't have beer in the house, but it sounded like it would really go well with soup, so I made a trip into town in the rain and got beer for the bread.
It's a really simple recipe that turns out fantastic and really, really delicious! The bread takes on the character of the beer you use, so I decided to try it this time with Fat Tire, a nice Amber Ale that has nice depth and taste. Next time I might try it with Guinness...one of my personal favorites. So, try it with your favorite beer or change it up to experiment with the taste each time you bake it.
Beer Batter Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar (well packed)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 bottle (12oz/375ml) beer, unopened at room temperature
4 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan
In a medium mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together the dry ingredients - flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Once mixed together, open the beer and add it to the dry mix all at once. It will foam up. Stir the mix together until it is just combined, about 20 strokes. The batter should be slightly lumpy still.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Put the batter into the greased loaf pan and once spread evenly, drizzle the melted butter over the batter and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until it is browned and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Allow the loaf to rest for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, cut into thick slices and apply plenty of butter!