Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dawn's Homemade Beer Bread

There's not much that makes me happier than fresh warm homemade bread.  With the extreme heat in Texas, my beer bread has been an easy fast bread to make!  Usually it takes longer to rise, but not this summer, and it's still just as delicious.  My husband LOVES this bread.  Loves it.  I love that it's yummy and so easy!  I can throw it together so quickly - sometimes as little as 2 hours from start to finish.  (Cold climates will take longer.)

Dawn's Homemade Beer Bread

3.5 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C cooked brown rice (I make up a batch and then divide it up into ziplocs, and then I throw them in the freezer for future beer bread.)
3 T packed light brown sugar
1 T plus 3/4 t active dry yeast
2 T wheat flour
1.5 t salt
8-12 oz of strong beer, ale, or stout at room temperature (I place it in a warm water bath if I forgot to take it out ahead of time)
1/4 C milk or buttermilk at room temperature (Buttermilk can be made by using 1/3 T lemon juice and 1/4 C milk, let stand for 5 minutes)

Mix all dry ingredients, including rice.  Add 8 oz. of beer and the milk.  Stir until combined.  Mix on medium speed with a dough hook until the dough comes together.  Add additional beer as needed.  Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Add olive oil to the bowl and turn the dough to coat.  Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm place (73-90 degrees) to rise until doubled in volume.  (In warmer weather, this can be 30 minutes.  In cooler temperatures, it can be an hour and a half.)

Grease a standard size loaf pan.  Punch down the dough; form into a loaf shape and place in the pan seam-side down.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume.  Same times apply as the 1st rise.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake loaf until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped, 35-45 minutes.  Remove loaf from pan, coat top of loaf with melted butter and let cool.


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