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Baking with Beer

Over Columbus Day Weekend, I was lucky enough to take a trip up to New Hampshire to do some hiking.  The challenging 4.4 mile hike up Welsh and Dickey Mountains was a perfect autumn activity, filled with cool breezes and fantastic foliage (and it brought on a huge rush of nostalgia from my camp counselor days).  Even more awesome was travelling with a New Hampshire native – my friend Katie – who, after touring us through the quaint towns of NH, then decided to take the whole group back to Mom’s for a delicious meal.

We walked into a fantastic, heart-warming feast of steak, soup, roasted veggies and risotto.  I haven’t eaten this well in a very long time!  While everything on the table tasted great, it was the bread that had me at hello.  Katie’s mom mentioned in passing that it was Beer Bread, a fact which made my heart skip a beat and then ask for the recipe.  She told me it came from a Pampered Chef-type party (I think it’s called Tastefully Simple), and all she had to do was add beer (or soda, but who wants to add soda to a beer bread).  To top it off, she told me she used Sam Adams Lager.  Brilliant.  The bread was moist, surprisingly sweet and had a finish that was reminiscent of drinking beer – not too overpowering.  We had it for dinner, but I’ve since eaten it for breakfast too – yes, I took those left-overs proudly.

Thinking of testing our a brew-tastic bread for yourself?  If your feeling like more of a challenge then a “just add beer,” I’ve found a few easy-to-bake recipes that are sure to produce some delicious results.  Here’s a bread that looks more savory.  And another that might be on the sweeter side.  And finally, one with an extra kick (green chiles).  If you decide to give these a test, let me know how it goes!  Until then, happy baking, and cheers!

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