Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beer Bread

I can't lie; I stole this recipe from The Junior League of Seattle's Celebrate the Rain cookbook. My mom brought me this cookbook as a gift after she attended my uncle's Change of Command in Washington State and I have yet to make something from within it's pages that isn't fabulous! I'm sorry I forgot to take a picture of my finished product, but I promise the loaf turns out beautifully and tastes even better!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (I've used Splenda and like it just as much)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds, optional (I use them, and love the flavor as it mingles with the beer)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 bottle (12 oz) beer, such as a Northwest pilsner or ale (Blue Moon works well too, but I'm sure whatever your hubs drinks will be long as it's not Corona!)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.

Combine the first five ingredients and stir to evenly mix. Add the beer and stir until just combined (the paddle attachment on a Kitchen Aid mixer works perfectly). Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

The cookbook also mentions that "minced fresh herbs - such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano - can be used in place of the fennel seen in this recipe". I have not tried that version, but it sounds yummy! Either way, this bread is amazing along a bubbling pot of soup in the fall or winter and also makes a wonderful hostess gift next time you're invited to a dinner party!

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