In case you weren’t aware, November 17th is national homemade bread day. This year I’m celebrating it with my wonderful beer-cheese bread. I make this in my bread machine instead of kneading it myself, letting it rise and baking it in my oven, which may be cheating a tad. However, as far as I’m concerned as long as it’s not store-bought and I assemble all of the ingredients myself, then it is homemade.
I like using a good dark beer in this recipe, such as Guinness (after all, Guinness is good for you.) Since the beer needs to be flat and you only use 7 oz., I recommend that if it’s already cold to go ahead and measure out what you need for the bread and then drink the rest so you don’t waste any of it. That would be a shame.
Ingredients (makes one loaf)
- 7 oz. warm, flat beer (I recommend something that is full in
flavor and either amber or dark)
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ¼ cups grated cheddar cheese (I like extra sharp)
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated
- 3 ½ teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika (I use Penzeys’ Smoked Spanish Hot)
- 3 tablespoons sweet onion, minced (make sure you eliminate the extra moisture by blotting with paper towels)
- 2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 2 ½ tablespoons butter
Follow your bread machine’s directions about the order in which to add your ingredients. For those of you with Zojirushi bread makers, here is the sequence:
Add the flat beer to the bread machine.
Mix the flour, cheeses, onions, mustard, paprika, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add this mixture on top of the beer.
Hollow out a small “valley” in the middle of the flour mixture, without touching the beer. Add the yeast to the valley. Slice the butter and place on the flour mixture, along the sides of the machine.
Choose the desired cooking settings on your bread machine and let it do the rest of the work. Enjoy the wonderful aromas in your kitchen, especially when the actual baking cycle starts.
I have made this with rapid rise yeast, which cuts the time to make this in half (2 hours instead of 4 hours.) For some reason, I have better luck with the regular yeast – the consistency of the bread is just superior. I suggest you try your own machine for the shorter cooking time – the sooner I can put this bread in my mouth, the better!
This beer-cheese bread is great by itself with just some butter as well as for sandwiches, like the one shown below with my homemade chicken salad (recipe to follow soon). It is a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table or as a Christmas gift. You can also make some tasty croutons with this bread after a few days, if any of it is left.
Eat, drink and be merry!