Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beer Bread Mix

Price: $1.99
Features: Add 12 ounces of beer, 1/4 cup butter, and in 40 minutes you get a dense 9"x5" loaf of yeasty bread with a tangy bite and crisp crust
Found in: New products section

We all enjoyed eating this beer bread fresh out of the oven, it even made the house smell like real fresh baked yeasty bread. So, why only 3-stars? I can't help but wonder why this mix is really needed. Sure, it is fairly cheap at $1.99 per box, but all you are getting is a packet of pre-mixed flour, sugar, and leavening, and some baking directions. If I make beer bread again, I will be mixing my own dry ingredients, but I suppose the mix may inspire people to make beer bread when they would not otherwise think of it (hey, it happened to me), so that's cool.

I made this with the last can of a light ale we had sitting around (better for baking than drinking on its own). The bread turned out fine with a good beer flavor, but I am really curious how it would come out if you made it with a nice dark stout or porter. According to the box, any carbonated liquid will do. You simply dump the mix in a bowl, pour a beer over the top, and mix sparingly to combine. Mixing even a little more than necessary will make the bread tough, which I may be have been guilty of. I didn't want dry flour globs in the finished product!

If I was to make this again I would make biscuits following the directions on the package rather than the one big loaf. The loaf had a crazy crisp crust on it from the 1/4 cup of melted butter you pour over the top of the batter in the loaf pan prior to sticking it in the oven. Honestly, eating the heal was like having a crisp beer doughnut fried in butter. Too over the top for my tastes, but the rest of the loaf with crisp crust all the way around the soft warm center was better. I had mine drizzled with honey, which I highly recommend. Hence the biscuit suggestion - brush, rather than drown, with butter prior to baking, then split open whilen still hot and let the honey melt in! These would make a fantastic companion to a bowl of hearty chili on the blustery fall days we've had recently.

No comments: