Beer and bread have similar creation stories: Yeast meets sugar; sugar becomes carbon dioxide and alcohol; tasty carbohydrate is made.
So it's only natural that sooner or later, the two would get hopped up on each other, which is exactly what happens in this simple no-rise loaf. The carbonation in the beer, plus a hefty amount of baking powder, lifts the dough for a quick bread that tastes fermented, thanks to dormant yeast in the bottle. And aside from the speedy start-to-finish time (let's face it, waiting just sucks sometimes), the beer gives your final result a uniquely hopped flavor.
The beauty of this recipe is that similar to beer made with food, each loaf tastes different depending on your brew of choice. We went with a classic Stella lager for our standard version, but it's a good way to use any leftover pumpkin brews during autumn or fruitier ones in the spring. Experiment with ingredient swaps to complement your beer—say, a cup of oat flour to match an oatmeal stout—or adding cinnamon to a pumpkin-ale-based loaf.
Note: I've made this many times with PBR, and no one was any the wiser.
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes, plus cooling time
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
12 ounces lager (or beer of your choice)
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease an 8½-by-4½ loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar to combine.
3. Pour in the beer and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and top with the butter.
4. Bake the bread until golden brown and firm, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
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