Here on our little hillside, in WV, we try to live a simple life. One where we can try to make the best decisions in regards to what we feed our family, and where we source our foods. We try to make green decision that are not only good for our family but for our community and planet as well. There is no place I would rather raise a family, than these WV hills! So I guess it is our responsibility to preserve them, and our heritage.

Monday, November 19, 2012

beer bread

I was first introduced to beer bread at a Tastefully Simple party.  It was a sweet, yeasty, heavy bread that was just so good.  I wondered what it would be like, if it was made with a good beer.  It was a little pricey, but I had to have it!  It was yummy!  I have seen a few different brands of boxed mixes since then, but had not stumbled across a recipe until recently.  The ingredients are so basic and inexpensive.  All you needed was a can of beer.

Mix your dry ingredients
(The recipe below is the one I found.  It can altered.)

3 cups flour                                                               
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

add 12oz of beer

It will be gooey, but that is okay, add it to a greased or well buttered loaf pan

Melt 2 tsp of butter and put on top..... this helps to keep the bread moist. 

Add to a loaf pan and bake @ 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes

As I make this bread I find myself wondering what it would taste like to add some Blue Moon beer and maybe some orange zest and cranberry.....or maybe a cheesy herb bread with a dark Guinness....I don't know?  After making this bread, I decided I like mine a little sweeter.  Next time I will probably add a few more tsp. of sugar to the recipe.   Have fun with this basic recipe and make it your own.  I would love to hear how you alter this.  Please comment below with your changes and additions....Enjoy!!

Breads- 5 minute bread

I love the fall, I mean, what better time to warm your house, and fill it with the delicious aroma of baked goods from your oven.  Throughout November I am going to be trying different bread recipes, and comparing to see which is the best bread for me to make.  I am also going to share with you some tried and true favorites.  Like my great grandmothers hot roll recipe.  This post will come around Thanksgiving.  My favorite time of year to have these rolls on the table, surrounded by family.
I recently tried the 5 minute bread.  It is a bread where you make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.  It is considered to be an artisan bread and was a very dense, heavy bread with a slightly stronger yeasty taste.  It was quite good.  Especially warmed with a little butter.  It was also fairly simple to make and bake.  I cut the recipe in half when I tried it to see if I liked it before I ended up with 4 loaves.

3 C lukewarm water
1 1/2 TBSP yeast ( 2 packs)
1 1/2 TBSP Coarse salt
6 1/2 C flour (27.6oz)

Mix salt water and yeast in at least a 5 quart bowl.
add flour all at once, mix with wooden spoon or use mixer

Since I cut the recipe in half, my dough seemed a bit too soft so I had to add more flour, should be a good bread dough consistency though.

Cover and let rise 2-5 hours
You can now make your first loaf of bread or put the dough in the fridge to firm up some.
 If not using right away store in an air tight container in fridge until ready to use.  Up to 2 weeks.

When ready, grab some flour, sprinkle on one corner of the dough and you hands.  Pull off a quarter of the dough, about the size of a softball tuck the side under until you form a dough ball.  It is easiest to transfer the dough if you is a pizza peel with cornmeal on it, if not, you can try to slide off a cookie sheet that was dusted in cornmeal, otherwise you may flatten the dough after it has raised, just be careful.

Let rise again for 30-45 minutes.   Cut 3-4 1/4 inch slashes into the dough ball and then put on hot baking stone or cookie sheet (that preheated in your oven).  Also place a Pyrex dish (or other oven proof container) of water on a shelf lower than the baking stone to raise the moisture level in the oven.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

This bread is yummy and perfect for grilled sandwiches or as a side to a good bowl of soup or stew.

Above recipe makes 4 loaves