Beer Bread

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “oh huh, it’s 10pm but if only I could make the house smell like magical little elves were slaving away on 50 loaves of bread all day wouldn’t that be great,” here’s your answer.

omnomIf you haven’t made beer bread before, you should do it. It gives you delicious bread without all the waiting-for-it-to-rise crap that accompanies traditional bread, since the yeast in the beer replaces the need for additional yeast in the bread. Not that there’s anything wrong with normal breadmaking (pretty fun to productively punch something i.e. a lil dough ball i.e. they call that kneading I guess) but waiting just sucks sometimes. Plus, you can create endless subtle flavors just based off the beer that you use. Pumpkin beer makes for a fun fall-flavored loaf, stout for a deep/strong flavored one–I’ve also made it with PBR though and the result is pretty fantastic.

For this one, I was going to use Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre. Or, I did use that, originally. But I forgot to add the sugar the first time, and even though it definitely resulted in a loaf of bread, it kind of just tasted like slightly glorified cardboard. Usually I don’t mind messing up (happens a lot actually, ask the weird pancakes sitting in my trash can) but this time I was just so sure that remembering sugar would have completely fixed the cardboard situation. Proved it to myself by simultaneous-fisting a piece of bread and a spoonful of sugar. There were only some regrets after that.

dat flowI couldn’t just start over though, because we were out of flour. And it was the very last beer. And it was midnight. And I was going to make some kind of joke about “Raison d’etre!! This bread is the reason to exist!!!1!!” So I mentally added beer to my mom’s current shopping list which reads “Irish whiskey, vodka, flour.” Today though, the supermarket was out of raison d’etre (yes, I exclusively buy beer at Shop Rite) so I picked up Sam Adams’ springtime Cold Snap. Look at that healthy-lookin’, springlike stream it’s got going on. This whole incident proved fortuitous primarily because I didn’t have to make that joke I had threatened about, but also because it’s fitting for the first day of spring! So happy spring. Eat some bread.

Team playersLook!! Only 5 ingredients! That’s less than my fingers. Amazing. I know this is secretly a total lie because I’m about to tell you that I used three different flours to make it fun and exciting-ish but STILL it totally works with using just normal flour soo it counts. Plus just focus on that totally-legit salt container instead. Or the equally-applicable springtime tablecloth that my mom busted out for today.

Dis mah handSince I made it in a 9-inch loaf pan, you can see that it was a bit shorter than if it were made in an 8-inch pan. So yes, the height is about the size of my thumb. And yes, I’m wearing one of those thumbhole shirts because you never know when your sleeves are gonna slide right off your arm and fall off. This has also been a learning experience in that I’m now 100% sure beer is spelled as such, and not b-e-a-r. Because that looked weird when I typed it. No bears were harmed in the making of this product.

Beer Bread

Makes one 9″ x 5″ loaf

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oat flour [OR feel free to sub 3 cups AP flour]

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar (lol don’t forget)

12 oz beer of your choosing (look at all that power you have)

2 Tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Or, use an 8″ x 4″ pan and just increase baking time by a bit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour the beer in, feel free to say “oOoOo bubbles,” and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. Melt the butter and pour on top, using your fingers to spread it evenly to coat the surface. I guess you could also use a brush for this but it’s kind of fun to do by hand. The butter is technically optional, but it’s what gives that nice, brown, crunchy crust and I super recommend it.

Bake for 45-55 minutes (towards the longer end for a smaller pan, for me it was 45 on the dot), until golden brown and firm. Let sit on a cooling rack for 15 minutes in the pan, and then invert on the rack to either cool some more or dig in. Enjoy!

artsy angles r usMmmm. I just want to curl up in one of those lil nooks and take a warm, carb-y nap.

Homemade English Muffins

I have a HUGE obsession with Thomas’ corn english muffins. Like, gigantic. When the blizzard came, the only thing I stocked up on were multiple packages of them. My suitemates and I then went through 2 packages in 1.5 days and it was awesome. I think they are quite possibly the best food in the entire universe that comes out of a package.


They are perfect just lightly toasted, no topping needed. I DID THOUGH recently realize that if you toast it and then melt a bit of cheese on top it’s like a poor man’s arepa. Too good. I’ve never had a real arepa though so don’t take my word for it.

So due to the fact that I 100% at all time desire to be eating one of these, I felt like having one this afternoon. But we were all out and I was sad for approx. 25 seconds and then remembered I was standing in a kitchen and it has things like flour and stoves. Not too much later, muffins existed!!

piled on a plate

I never knew that English muffins are made on a griddle, which was cool. It all made sense why one side is flat and the other is mound-like. Also it turned out that the corn taste in these is more subdued than the packaged kind and what I was maybe intending, so I would just call these normal english muffins. But though they aren’t corn, they’re much better than the kind you would buy in the store! And have the same nooks and crannies that you would expect in a store-bought muffin. Two days in a row of a surprise result but since it’s only been 5 hours and just a few of these remain…I would say I don’t hate it.

split in da middle

English Muffins

Makes 9 muffins

1 package (~2 1/4 tsp) yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup barley flour

3/4 cup cornmeal (+ extra for pan)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup almond milk

Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl and let sit for ~8 minutes, until it’s foamy and bubbly and such. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the yeast mixture and the milk, and mix on low til just combined. Then turn it up to medium speed and mix until a dough forms, about 6 minutes. It’ll be pretty damp still, but if it’s toooo moist, add a bit more cornmeal. 

Coat a cookie sheet with cornmeal and place round lumps of dough (should make about 9) on the pan. Spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with more cornmeal. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes (not gonna lie, sort of guessing because I by accident fell asleep for 2 hours), or until doubled in size. 

Heat stovetop to medium-low heat, and arrange the dough in a skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes, flip, and cook for 6 more minutes, until browned and firm but not burnt. Bite into it whole or split with a fork with butter or jam or egg or anything. Enjoy! 

fluffy and yummu

Oh also, went to get ice cream out of the freezer tonight (classic) and found TWO FROZEN PACKAGES OF CORN MUFFINS!!!! I dedicate the elation I felt to my mom for being prudent and stocking up. I also dedicate these muffins to her for forgetting.