There is nothing yummier in this world than freshly baked carbs, and there’s just no better freshly baked carb than a freshly baked *cue angel music* Beer Bread.
Beer Bread has all the yeasty richness of a regular homebaked bread, but without all the effort of having to get the water temperature just right or wrestling an enormous wodge of dough into submission, or having to find a warm spot on a cold day to coax the yeasty-beasties into doing acrobatics while waiting all those weeks (ok hours) for it to rise. This bread totally kicks regular shop-bought bread’s butt – once you have tasted it, you will sanctimoniously turn your nose up at the uniformly tasteless white cheap-mattress-foam lumps that they sell on shop shelves.
It’s salty but sweet at the same time, it’s got that whole farmbread vibe going with it’s close texture and nubbly top crust, it can be enjoyed hot, cold, with indecent quantities of butter, with cheese, with jam, as a dipping/mopping implement, toasted, french-breaded, toasted-sandwiched, bread-puddinged, enjoyed with a fox, in a box, in a train, or in a plane, on the plain, in Spain, in a boat, with a goat, while writing a note, and paddling in a moat… you get my drift.
PLU-US if all of that wasn’t quite enough to convince you – it has just 3 ingredients (4 if you count the butter, which is really just a bit of edible cosmetics) and since no-one buys a single can of beer there will be at least five cold one’s waiting for you to enjoy with your *moment of reverent silence* *bows head* Beer Bread.
For one perfect loaf:
3 cups of self-raising flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 can (330ml) of a solidly-built beer (Black Label, in other words)
melted butter for moisturisation purposes
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a small loaf-tin. Mix the flour and sugar together, followed by the beer – it will froth up and you will be tempted to climb into the bowl to submerge yourself, but exercise restraint here.
Mix it lightly with a wooden spoon to combine; you may need to get in there briefly with your (clean) hands but you don’t actually need to beat it or knead it or otherwise inflict pain on it. Loosely shape it into a loaf-y kind of thing and tip it out into the prepared pan. I try to smooth the top out a bit with the back of a wooden spoon, to make for easier slicing later on, but to be honest it’s going to go all crazy on you anyway like GHD’d hair on one of those rainy days in Cape Town… so just accept that it’s never going to be one of those battery-farmed-bread shapes and pop it in the oven for an hour. This gives you plenty of time to start working on the rest of those beers, but remember at the halfway mark to remove the loaf and baste the top liberally with melted butter. Not strictly necessary but it does make it look so much more visually appealing.
When it’s done, turn it out of the tin and allow to cool for as long as you can hold yourself back.
I recommend making two in one go – one for ripping apart and unleashing the savage beer-bread-beast, the other for the following day because it will calm down overnight and be far easier to slice neatly.
Either way, cut a hefty slice… the kind of hefty that could comfortably stop a badly-parked Boeing from rolling down a hill. If you find that the bread knife is not complying, lose it and just rip a large crusty chunk off with your bare (clean) hands. Slather it in butter. It’s perfectly ok if there is more butter than bread. It’s like one of those laws of physics but better – the amount of butter on a bit of bread is in direct proportion to its unbearable yumminess.
Fresh Bread + More Butter = More Yummy
PS: Assuming there are leftovers, pop it in the toaster the next morning!! Just don’t go drinking those 5 beers at that time of day, see.