Get that (Beer) bread. Easy, homemade bread recipe for any baking novice

By Percy Mohn

Elm Staff Writer

While everyone is staying inside and practicing social distancing, many of those people are posting their baking escapades on social media. The most popular food that people are making is bread.

Personally, on my own Twitter feed, everyone and their second cousins are making sourdough loaves. However, sourdough bread takes a lot of time, taking several days and requiring a bit of attention. In addition, you may not have all the ingredients readily available, and a trip to the store is unfeasible in the middle of quarantine.

Sourdough bread and other kinds of bread can feel like daunting tasks to first-time bakers; however, there are some bread recipes that only require a few ingredients and an hour of your time.

The easiest bread recipes I have found are for beer bread, which only needs three or four ingredients that I generally have sitting around the house already and has a cook time of about an hour. I decided that I was going to be a genius and attempt to bake this bread about an hour before I had a scheduled Zoom meeting. I figured that if I could make it on time to my meeting, then the recipe was true to its easy nature.

The two recipes I used were from The Seasoned Mom and Sarah Hatfield from Go Dairy Free. Both recipes are very similar with a few minor details that were different. I primarily focused on Go Dairy Free’s recipe, however, because I am lactose intolerant and that seemed like a good website to follow in my case.

The recipes themselves are very simple. All you need is three cups of self-rising flour, 12 ounces of beer, and three tablespoons of sugar. First, I preheated my oven to 375o Fahrenheit and greased a 9” x 5” pan. The Seasoned Mom calls for 350o F, but since I was following Go Dairy Free more closely, I used 375 instead.

Then I whisked together the self-rising flour and sugar. I did not have any self-rising flour, so I made my own, as detailed in Hatfield’s recipe, by whisking together three cups of bleached all-purpose flour, a tablespoon and a half of baking soda, and a half teaspoon of salt. After whisking together the dry ingredients, you pour the beer in and stir until all the ingredients are combined.

After you pour your mixture into your pan, leave your batter in the oven for an hour or until you can stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. My bread was finished in 36 minutes and The Seasoned Mom’s recipe states that 45 minutes is the correct time. It all depends on your oven, so relying on the toothpick method is the best way to determine if your bread is finished.

I was surprised to see that my bread looked like bread and tasted good as well. It was spongy, not too crumbly, and had a sweet taste. My one complaint was that my bread had a mild after taste to it, but it was likely due to the fact I had used a flavored beer instead of a plain one.

All the beer is cooked off during the baking process, but, if you would like to make beer bread without alcohol, recommends using 12 ounces of club soda instead. The carbonation found in club soda replaces the yeast in beer which helps the bread rise in the oven.

Overall, I found the recipe easy to follow and quick to execute. The bread tasted wonderful and using a spread of butter or jelly would make it taste even better. So, if you find yourself bored and surrounded by an excess of flour and beer, beer bread might just be the recipe to try out.

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