Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weaknesses/Cheesy Beer Bread

So after doing a little bit of math/seeing on Blogger that this is my 60th post, I feel like it's time for me to confess something. You see, as it turns out I am not perfect. Now, I am not going to get into the personal nitty gritty of my flaws and weaknesses. I do want to tell you, however, that you should never leave me alone with a plate of sweet potato fries or a wheel of cheese (should you choose to break this rule, any good cheese will do). The latter are definitely some of my favorites, but my absolute greatest weakness is savory baked goods. Don’t get me wrong I always love cookies, cakes and the likes, but that love pales in comparison the way I feel about these savory treats.
Quiches, focaccia (or good bread of any kind for that matter), cheese croissants, you name it and chances are it makes me weak in the knees. You may be asking yourself why I haven't posted many such recipes here at TBD and the answer is simple, I lack the self-control. I hate to admit it, but I am scared to have these around my house because in their presence I am no longer myself. It's like love, put me next to one of these treats and everything I ever thought I knew about myself goes straight out the window. Elegant, petite bites become chomps; finger sucking takes the place of napkins; and a 'portion' means the whole thing, no matter how big it is. So, as much as these are my favorites I only allow myself to make them on rare occasions. I think a 60th post is an occasion to be celebrated and in that spirit I made cheesy beer bread.
Trying to describe a savory quickbread to someone who doesn't cook is a challenge, but based on my experiences it sounds a little bit like this; "Imagine a banana bread, but then take out the banana, the sugar and everything else, then replace that with lots of cheese and herbs. Oh yeah, and it's salty." Although that is by no means an eloquent description, it’s pretty bang-on. This bread is leavened with beer, which also gives it that delicious yeasty undertone that quickbreads often lack. Cheese mazes throughout the bread and also gives it a crispy top. And finally, the rosemary and thyme give it a sophisticated herby flavor that you just wouldn't expect from something called 'beer bread.' Now that the pictures are done, the bread is in the kitchen staring at me, calling me name. Only time will tell what happens next, but I have a feeling it's going to taste very good.
Cheesy Beer Bread

2 1/4 c. AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. shredded cheese
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. drief rosemary
1, 12 oz. bottle of beer (any kind will do, but the more flavorful it is the better)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. water (if needed)

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard sized loaf pan.
2) Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the 3/4 c. cheese and herbs.
3) Add the beer and mix until just combined. Mix in the olive oil, at this point there should be no more dry flour left in the bowl, if there is add the water and mix gently.
4) Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5) Bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let it cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Phoebe and Cara, the Quarter-Life Cooks said...

That looks just wonderful. I've been toying with the idea of making this for the last month or two but haven't yet. Have you ever tried it with caraway seeds?

Thanks for posting about beer bread, and beautiful pictures!

Stefi Lara said...

This bread was absolutely delicious, but dangerousss to have around the house! It was both a pleasure and an honour to have tried it. Thank you TBD!!

Sophia said...

This bread looks amazing. The pics are fantastic. Anything that combines cheese and bread is on the top of my list of things to try. Here is my favorite beer bread:

carolyn said...

Never had but this makes me nervous. I think I would eat the whole loaf!

Kathleen said...

I'm printing this out right now! YUM!!!

carmig said...

I had the great fortune of tasting this delicious bread, and as a true good bread lover, I have to say it was incredible! Compliments to TBD!

rosemary elizabeth donahue said...

hello! i baked this and blogged about it here:

thank you for the recipe, it's great =)

Cande said...

I just made this, and tried the first slice! It's delicious! I followed the directions an used a sharp cheddar, but it still wasn't quiiiiiiite cheesy enough for me. Not that it's not gonna stop me from eating the whole pan! So yummy!