The Art of Beer Cooking: Beer Bread

With the below zero temperatures outside, it’s a perfect day for a hot bowl of soup, or better yet chili.  And nothing goes better with soup and chili than a slice of hearty bread with butter.  Sure you can use some store-bought loaf that has a list of ingredients you can’t even pronounce, but you deserve better than that.  Your bread should have culture and not just yeast culture, but a cultural history.  People have been making bread even before they were brewing beer–in fact many speculate that the first batch of beer was made from bread and water–but maybe you just don’t know where to start.  Well, the answer is right there inside that brown bottle of beer in your hand.

There is a natural connection between the crafts of baking bread and brewing beer that makes their use together completely logical.  Both center around utilizing yeast to activate fermentation to produce something so satisfying you’ll think you’ve tapped into something sacred.  Beer bread is one of the simplest breads to make from scratch and melds these to wonders of the world together.  All you need is self-rising flour, sugar, and beer.  Really, that’s it.  Of course you can be more adventurous and add other spices, herbs, or even cheeses–there is always more to be explored, right–to complement the particular dish you will be eating your bread with, but it is just that simple.  Here’s a basic recipe for beer bread.

When you are ready to try something a little more flavorfully complex take a look at this recipe for beer cheese bread.

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