Dec 27 2015
Food and Drink

Craft Beer Exploding Beer Bread

After our wedding, we had a bunch of craft beer left over. We were able to return a lot of what was not consumed, but we were left with some. A few of the cans that we were left with were damaged a bit (probably from all of the transit – from the liquor store – to our apt – to Ben’s parents’ house – to the caterer – to the venue – back again to Ben’s parents’ house – and back again to our apt – oy!).

Occasionally, these damaged cans would decided to pop or start hissing (a sign that they were about to explode) every couple of weeks. Example – one night (apparently) when we were sleeping, one of the cans was hissing at 3am, and Ben heard it — thankfully! (Or we would have woken up to a big bang and a beer covered apartment!) . . . I am a deep sleeper, so I am not surprised I didn’t hear it. In any case, he emptied it out, went back to bed, and told me about it in the morning.

Well — one weekend — I was sitting on the couch and I hear a loud pop. What-d’ya-know it’s one of the beer cans! It came loose and was hissing. I felt like I couldn’t possibly throw it out, so I decided to make beer bread with it! πŸ™‚

Then — as luck would have it, another beer can popped and started hissing . . . I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I opened them all up! Though I didn’t get so lucky with one of them: I was trying to get a photo for all of you and — bam! — the whole thing exploded all over my kitchen! Yikes — beer was foaming everywhere, ack! Well, Ben and I cleaned it up (after a minor freak out from me) and I was on my way. . .

[image - Union Craft Brewing Balt Altbier Beer Cans]
 

Since we decided to use all of the beer (minus two cans — the one that exploded all over the kitchen, and another that exploded in the sink), we had enough to make two loaves! So, I decided to make (1) an alternative pumpkin beer bread recipe inspired by Gimme Some Oven (though I made a few alterations to it to make it my own — see below for my version with photos) and then (2) a honey wheat beer bread.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Beer Bread

Prep Time: 10mins – 20mins   |   Cook Time: 50mins

Yield: 1 loaf

Before you gather your ingredients:
Preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack in the middle.

INGREDIENTS & THINGS

  • 1 1/2 cups regular white unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer (You could try a pumpkin ale, but I used of course the can of beer that exploded on me!)
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips + extra for the top
  • cooking spray
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1 | If you haven’t done so already, preheat the oven to 375°F — and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.

STEP 2 | Grease a 9in x 5in x 3in bread pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Then set it aside.

STEP 3 | Stir flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, honey and pumpkin puree together in a large mixing bowl until combined.

[image - Beer Bread - mixing the dry ingredients]
Mixing the dry ingredients

STEP 4 | Slowly add in the beer.

STEP 5 | Stir until combined and smooth.

STEP 6 | Fold in the chocolate chips.

STEP 7 | Spoon (pour?) the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

[image - Pumpkin Choc Chip Beer Bread - Right before going into the oven]
The Pumpkin Choc Chip Beer Bread – Right before going into the oven

STEP 8 | Bake for 50-60 minutes (or until until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean).

STEP 9 | Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10min.

STEP 10 | Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 15 – 20 more minutes before slicing.

[image - Pumpkin Choc Chip Beer Bread, Sliced]
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Beer Bread – Sliced

* * *

Honey Wheat Beer Bread

Inspired by Lemon Sugar, Gimme Some Oven, the NY Times, Wine and Glue, and Portsmith Company.

Prep Time: 10mins – 20mins   |   Cook Time: 50mins

Yield: 1 loaf

Before you gather your ingredients:
Preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack in the middle.

INGREDIENTS & THINGS

  • 1 1/2 cups regular white unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp honey (warm)
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted (You can half or double this if you like.)
  • 1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer (You could try a honey wheat / hefeweizen, but I used of course the can of beer that was about to explode!)
  • cooking spray
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1 | If you haven’t done so already, preheat the oven to 375°F — and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.

STEP 2 | Grease a 9in x 5in x 3in bread pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Then set it aside.

STEP 3 | In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.

STEP 4 | Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

STEP 5 | Helpful hint — I recommend sticking your honey in the microwave for 8 – 10 seconds right before the next step to make it easier to stir into the dry ingredients.

STEP 6 | Add the warm honey (into the dry ingredients) and then slowly add in the beer. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey until everything is just combined — DO NOT OVER MIX!

STEP 7 | Spoon (pour?) the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

STEP 8 | Pour (or brush) the melted butter on top of the batter.

STEP 9 | Bake for 40-60 minutes (or until until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean).

STEP 10 | Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10min.

STEP 11 | Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 15 – 20 more minutes before slicing.

[image - Honey Wheat Beer Bread, Sliced]
Honey Wheat Beer Bread – Sliced

* * *

Thoughts / For next time:

(1) Lower the oven temp and cook time for both breads. I cooked both breads on 375°F for 50 – 60min. I think I would do 350°F for 40 – 60min (check at 40min, set time for another 10min., stick a toothpick in it, and see if it really needs the full 60min.) Both breads were a little bit dry and dark on top.

(2) A different beer
It was very delicious for a last minute beer bread, but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to research recipes, and was limited in my beer choice — as in I only had 1 choice!

For the honey wheat beer bread, next time I think I would use a honey wheat beer (a hefeweizen) such as: Union Craft Brewing’s Steady Eddie Wheat IPA which is described as having a “light bodied wheat & honey malt base” or their Resonator – a hoppy wheat ale. Or I’d try some other local brewery’s hefeweizen, like Flying Dog’s In Heat Wheat or DC Brau’s El Hefe Speaks.

For the pumpkin chocolate chip bread, I bet a pumpkin beer or oktoberfest type beer would be really great with that!

(3) For the honey wheat bread: more “honey-wheat” taste?
I was wishing the whole time I was eating it there was more of a “honey-wheat” taste — kinda like those honey wheat pretzels I sometimes get at the grocery store. So I would change-up the ratio of whole wheat to regular flour next time:
— 1 cup regular white unbleached all-purpose flour
— 2 cups whole-wheat flour

I would also add more honey. I only put in 3 Tbsp honey in the recipe itself, but Veronica’s Cornucopia recommends 1/3 cup honey.

Also — I only put melted butter on top of the batter before popping it in the oven. One recipe I saw brushed 1 tbsp honey on top along with the melted butter over the batter. What a good call — I should have picked up on that!

(4) I am not so sure I would make choose a pumpkin chocolate chip beer bread again. It was interesting to try and I had a can of pumpkin puree I needed to use up, so it did the trick. But pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins (with or without chocolate chips) definitely taste better! I only used half the canned pumpkin in the beer bread, so I made pumpkin muffins with the other half of the canned pumpkin.

I think if I were to make a beer bread again and didn’t try to improve on the honey wheat recipe, I would try a cheesy beer bread.

(5) And finally — perhaps a great addition would have been a honey butter (to spread on the honey wheat beer bread)? – Ashley over at Cookie Monster Cooking has a great easy recipe for that! πŸ™‚

Otherwise I thought this bread turned out great! I can’t wait to make it again . . . though hopefully under better circumstances πŸ˜‰

[image - Beer Bread - Both Loaves]
Both loaves of beer bread

Ok – thanks for reading my marathon post! Now it’s your turn:

Have you ever made beer bread? If so – I’d love to hear about it – what kind? Or have you ever had beer explode on you? Leave a comment below or you can find me on instagram here: @ThoroughlyTamara or use the hashtag #ThoroughlyTamara. I’m also on Facebook — Facebook.com/ThoroughlyTamara .

[image - Tamara signature]

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