Winter Doldrums

January 31, 2018

At this time of year I want to lay on the couch with a blanket, watch TV and eat things. I don’t do well in winter. We do have some outings planned, but a trip to warmer climes isn’t for a while yet and in the meantime I’m cranky. So when the temperature actually rose above 30 degrees and the sun came out it felt almost warm, and a walk to Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven slapped a bit of the crank out of me. I tried it again the next day with friends, but gale force winds made us feel like we’d been beaten, and we couldn’t get into the breakfast restaurant’s warm interior with their promise of hot beverages fast enough. I’m trying to be positive and counting my blessings, but I seem to end up doing it on the couch under my blanket. Netflix is my friend.

So is soup. And on the coldest of days I want bread with my soup, which I wrote about recently in an article in the Standard Times. For those who don’t get the paper or didn’t see it on Facebook I’m including the recipe here.

I don’t make bread often and rarely have yeast in the house, so what to do? You can’t make beer without yeast, so using beer in a quick bread recipe with sugar, salt and baking powder produces savory bread with no kneading or rising. Perfect for a cold winter day when the kitchen needs some warmth and you’ve run out of yeast. My friends J.C. and Esther Tetreault own Trillium, the popular craft beer brewery in Boston. Popular would be an understatement as RateBeer listed Trillium as the third-best brewery in the world for 2016 and the best brewery in Massachusetts. So I was lucky enough to have some Fort Point Pale Ale handy to use in my beer bread which is a sacrilege to some but means yummy bread to me.

I’m also a huge fan of King Arthur flour which provides consistency in baking I haven’t found with other flours. And if you can weigh your flour instead of measuring it you’ll get results more like the recipe. This Herbed Beer Bread is adapted from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, a must-have for any baker. It’s not only a recipe book but also an excellent learning tool with history and detailed instructions. The Cranberry Almond Coffeecake and Crumb Coffeecake are to die for.

Herbed Beer Bread

Makes one 9” loaf, about 16 slices

2 c. (8 ½ ounces) unbleached all purpose flour

½ c. whole wheat flour

½ c. semolina or cornmeal

1 T. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 T. sugar

12 ounces of beer

3 T. vegetable oil

1 tsp. each of dried thyme, rosemary and sage

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan (or spray it with cooking spray)

In a large bowl mix together the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the beer and the oil and stir until mixed. Stir in the herbs, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove it from the oven and cool for 15 minutes on a rack, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

The bread is great with a drizzle of olive oil.

Click on image to view full size

For those of you who need nutritional information: 166 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber per slice, or 4 very-worth-it Weight Watchers Smart Points.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cheryl January 31, 2018 at 9:55 am

Going to have to try that one. Looks delish!


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