Monday, November 16, 2009

Dill Cheese Beer Bread

As you know, I have no patience for baking bread from scratch. That's why I love quick breads. No yeast = no waiting, rising, etc. This recipe, which I found on my favorite food porn site - Tastespotting, combines three of my favorite things: dill, cheese and beer. The couple times I've made it, I've used our Fuggles Ale, which is a slightly hoppy amber ale. Any light or amber colored beer should be fine, though I would shy away from dark beers.

Farmgirl Susan’s Beyond Easy Dill &Cheddar Beer Bread Recipe
Makes One Loaf
Basic Beer Bread Mix:
3 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1 c. wheat flour, 2 c. all-purpose flour.)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice - I like the sharpness/funk of gorgonzola)
12 ounces beer
Glaze: 1 egg & 2 teaspoons water, beaten

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan , brush with egg glaze if desired (I think it's must), and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (My oven runs warm, so it's usually done in 30-35 min.)

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Alternate Version:
Replace dill with herbs de provence
Replace cheddar with parmesan
Add chopped kalamata olives
After egg wash, sprinkle a handful of parmesan on top
(We like this version even better than the original.)

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