Beer Bread with Cheddar, page 381, June 11, 2015

The title of this one just makes me hungry.  It is time for another loaf to have here at home and this is the recipe I have chosen.  I am not a big beer drinker, so I am just using a can of Rainier I found in the fridge.  I imagine you could try this recipe with different combinations of beers and cheeses, and find a combination that best fits your taste.  I am also using a sharp cheddar cheese, although the recipe suggests a mild cheddar or Colby.  The author described Colby as, “a cheese known for its firm texture.”  In case the texture was the reason she recommended it, I froze my cheddar shreds before putting the dough together.  The beer also needs to be flat prior to putting the dough together, so I opened the can and let it sit out on the counter for a few hours.

After my research earlier today into the possible reason behind my recent string of crater loaves, I am adding my ingredients into the pan like this:  1 cup (8 ounces) flat beer, 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3 1/2 cups bread flour and 1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast.

I made a small well in the center of the flour and put the yeast into the weIMG_4176ll.

Ms. Hensperger describes this bread as rich “like a pound cake.”  With the amount of sugar in the recipe, that does not surprise me.  The pungent, tangy smell of the beer is already filling the kitchen.  I have high hopes for this loaf. As the bread begins baking, the cheddar smell is now more predominant than that of the beer.

Now, THAT is what I am talking about.  A nice, high loaf with a smooth rounded top and a lovely golden brown color.  I have to wait for it to come to room temperature before slicing it. Tick IMG_4178Tock Tick Tock. . .

Oh yum, oh yum yum yum yum yum.  This bread is delicious.  It is indeed rich, the beer adds a wonderful aroma and there is just enough cheese to flavor the loaf, without being overwhelming.  I don’t taste the sugar, I have had beer breads before that are very sweet, this one is not. The bread itself is tender, and slices easilIMG_4179y. The golden brown crust is crunchy and flaky.


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