Saturday, October 18, 2008

Basil Beer Bread

Bread has always seemed very scary to much potential for failure! When I read a thread on the Cooking Light BB posted by someone who shared my thoughts this recipe for Basil Beer Bread was recommended. It was originally posted by Elizabeth 13 and the source is Real Simple, and that is exactly what this recipe is. The name of the recipe says it all, Basil: Good, Beer: Good, Bread: Good, how can you go wrong!!??

Beer Bread

Source: Real Simple

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan
1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
Flour for the work surface
1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

1. Heat oven to 400° F.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil (or rosemary if subbing) and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet. Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I used two cups of whole wheat flour and used all purpose while flour for the remaining cup and 1/4. Basil Beer Bread is a perfect way to use all of the basil that I have growing out back. For years I planted basil plant after basil plant with my typical "black thumb" results. Kylie thought she would give it a try and she clearly has the magic touch! It has been flourishing in an almost out of control way. The basil really makes this dense bread taste fresh and the beer deepens the rich flavor. This Basil Beer Bread is excellent on its own, dipped into soup, or used to make a great ham and swiss melt. It is a crucial element in satisfying a comfort food craving!


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