Friday, October 2, 2015

Beer Bread Round Up

Catherine's perfectly golden Beer Bread

Rose describes her beer bread as having a non-beery flavor but an essential ingredient as dark beer gives this bread a "soft texture, subtle mellow flavor, mahogany crust, and dark golden crumb". 

Let's see how the Alpha Bakers fared with Beer Bread.

Peggy declares this to be "a very easy bread to make".  The biggest decision was which beer to use; Kilkenny Irish Beer won out.  Peggy's husband described it as half-light-half-dark.   Beer gives Faithy hives so she didn't dare but have a wee sip for taste testing.  She thew in a bit of sour dough for  more flavor.  Shaped into two boules,  they baked into  "quite flavorful and nice bread".   Peggy prefers the interior of bread, leaving the crust behind but is forcing herself to savor the chewy outside.  There is actually a word in Italian for those that prefer the interior of bread and those that prefer the outer crust, leaving the soft middle behind.  On your next trip to Italy, you'll be in good company, Peggy!  When in Rome....

Oven spring, where are you?  Catherine is calling your name and evidently so are a lot of other bakers.  After googling Why why why no oven spring? she found many kindred spirits united to lament their frustration at the lack of "spring" ie the rising of dough during the first ten minutes of baking, making for a lovely texture and crumb.  Catherine advises they might also consider therapy!  She ended up liking this bread, it was "dense and soft with a nice crumb", pretty much Q & E in a bread sense and great company for hearty soups and stew.  She used a pale ale made in her home town of Adelaide, which was mild enough for sipping leftovers. It may not have sprung to Catherine's dream height but it was an absolutely perfect golden loaf of bread. 

Kim has been looking forward to baking the Beer Bread since the beginning of the Alpha Bakers start up.  In her beautiful bowl she got to work, eager to see how beer would affect the bread.  She first found the dough sticky and unpleasant, but after a twenty minute rest it was smooth, and even more so after five minutes of kneading.  As Kim stretched the dough forming a perfect boule, she noticed a gluten skin formed over the top.  The more she stretched, the tighter it became and to her surprise, never broke.  She opted for a tricky spiral slash design.  The texture and crumb were nice and even, toasting up beautifully.  

Jeniffer proclaims this the best adult bread to "serve for BBQ entertaining, served with equally strong flavours;  spiced burgers, mushrooms bitey cheese, roasted capsicum dip and the like".
She also found a video of Rose actually making the Beer Bread and linked it on her site.
Cooper's Best Extra Stout from an Australian Brewery made its way into Jeniffer's bread, by way of recommendation from Catherine. Perhaps the most adorable memory this Beer Bread evoked was the robust flavour reminded Jeniffer of her mother, who always loved a high tea on one hand but partook if the opportunity arose, to share in a ploughman's lunch-no cutlery, rip apart bread, suck down a pickled onion and wash it all down with beer.  Doesn't she sound delightful and loads of fun?  Jeniffer, you must have been the envy of your teenage friends!  Her suggestion of topping the Beer Bread with hummus and spiced marinated pine nuts sounds delicious.

Kristina enjoys bread baking but observes there is not a lot of visual interest but one thing that is exciting, is the opportunity to bring out her deluxe flour mill.  Kristina grinds the most beautiful flour from wonderful selections of grains.  Jay, her husband, chose Old North Mocha Porter from Ontario.  She also pointed out that Rose bakes this bread a lot but uses water since her husband doe not care for beer.-the beer-less beer bread.  Good tip!  Kristina chose the lantern slash for her design and enjoyed slicing off a piece from the baked loaf, slathering it with softened butter from her butter bell,   all the while sitting on the counter while her husband made dinner.  Fair exchange for fresh Beer Bread.

Nancy baked the Beer Bread at the beginning of August and blogged about it at the end of September.  Nancy is quite the traveler, off to exciting places and still manages a full work schedule.  She remembers choosing Guinness and that the bread rose enthusiastically.  Nancy prefers the mixer method and with all the successful loaves of bread she has made, she has this bread thing down pat.  Claiming this to be a good tasting bread, a bit extra yeasty from the beer, it had a nice amount of "chew".  The picture on her blog show an amazing interior texture and crumb with beautiful height. 

Root-Beer Beer Bread.  Elle and Vicki made this bread together while under the same roof.  Neither being one for beer,  the perfect solution was beer that professed to taste exactly like root-beer.  Indeed it did;  both smelling and tasting like root-beer with nearly 6% alcohol content.  We found the dough easy to mix up with the Kitchen Aid mixer.  It was watched like a hawk for over browning.  The dark caramel root-beer gave the bread a lovely deep golden color and faintly sweet flavor, perfect with cream cheese and jams. 

Seven loaves of Beer Bread made with seven different beers and all excellent outcomes.  Another bread baking success!


  1. Catherines bread is perfectly golden!! I had missed her post but just popped over now. Thank you for the roundup, interesting reading about the bakers lives as much as the bread that brings everyone together. ---- Jeniffer

  2. You are amazing in roundup write ups! Awesome summary!

  3. Fantastic roundup, thank you for catching us all up on the breads. Really helped me feel like I am a part of a group again.

  4. Thanks Vicki. I was disappointed with the rise so compliments on the colour of the loaf are gratefully accepted! Elle - you're right, the round ups are important. Lucky your mum is so diligent and energetic!