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Beer Cheese Bread

May 31, 2011

Call me crazy. but I don’t like beer.  Maybe it was too many bad experiences in college or the fact the mere smells makes my stomach quiver, but I’m not a fan.  Until it comes time to cook with it, then suddenly it is game on.  I have no idea why, but I’ve learned not to ask questions.

My favorite use of beer in cooking?  Good old-fashioned beer bread.  There is just something about the depth of flavor that beer lends that make it perfect for creating a savory loaf of bread.  Add in a little cheese and you’ve made my day!

Beer-Cheese Bread
Yields: 1 loaf

1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 cup Yellow onion (finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
1 Garlic clove minced
13 1/2 ounces All purpose flour (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Monterey jack cheese (4 ounces, shredded)
1 12-ounce bottle Lager-style beer
Cooking spray
2 tablespoon Butter (melted, divided)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
4. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Kate’s Thoughts

I am clearly not a beer connoisseur, but I would recommend playing around with different types of beer to create different flavor profiles.  My favorite is the lager recommend, but we’ve tried 3 or 4 labels and have never had a bad batch.  The recipe source even recommends playing around with the types of cheese to create different varieties.  The one I most want to try?  Pepper jack with a great Mexican beer and just a touch of jalapeno.

If you stick to the original recipe, the key to properly browning the onions is to cook them low AND slow.  I tend to get a little impatient when it comes time to cook something I really want, but black overcooked onions will not a proper beer bread make.

Recipe Source: Cooking Light

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