You know that feeling, when you just think to yourself, “Gee, I really wish I could give beer to my impossibly small, wildly underage children”? Polite society can be so restrictive.
Blah blah blah brain development. Blah blah blah alcoholism rates and early experimentation contributing greatly to an increase. Blah blah blah bladdy blah.
Well, happy day! Problem. Solved.
My kids love this bread. And, yes, they’re well aware that the alcohol bakes off entirely. We’ve got the subject of drug and alcohol consumption wide open in my house. Along with every other taboo subject. Including how babies are made, the dangers of cigarette smoke and what happens when you die.
Wow did we ever jump into the deep end or what?
Let’s get back to the shallow end of the pool. Which is filled with Better Batter gluten-free flour, egg whites, butter, apple cider vinegar, just a touch of light brown sugar and your favorite gluten-free beer.
Hey, what is your favorite gluten-free beer?
I’ve had a sampling (Redbridge, Bard’s, Estrella), but far from all of them. Estrella seems to be the most authentic. And it makes a really nice beer bread. And since I’d generally rather eat than drink, that matters to me.
Oh, and I added finely chopped fresh oregano. It really complements the brown sugar and beer.
A word about measuring 6 ounces of beer (which is all the recipe calls for). To get an accurate volume measurement, use a glass measuring cup if you have one, and pour the beer slowly down the side of the glass while tilting it to avoid most of the foam. It’s impossible to measure the actual volume when there’s a tall head of foam.
The dough is soft and shaggy. Not dense at all.
Add the chopped herbs, and scrape the dough into a greased loaf pan. Smooth the top with very wet fingers and a wet spatula.
Tent the pan loosely with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Then cut a shallow slice in the top, rub some unsalted butter on the top, rotate the pan, and finish baking. Around that 25 minute mark, the bread will begin to smell so rich and buttery, you’ll be in danger of losing your mind. Be sure to let it finish baking, and to cool completely before slicing it.
|Oregano Beer Bread|
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons (40g) whey powder (I use Niblack – I get it at Whole Foods)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons (41g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 ounces gluten-free beer of choice
- 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced
- 1 extra tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease well a nonstick loaf pan that is no more than 9 inches by 5 inches, and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, salt, whey powder, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the cider vinegar, egg whites, butter and the beer, and mix to combine. The dough will be shaggy and soft. Add the minced oregano, and mix to distribute the oregano evenly throughout the dough.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan. With very wet fingers or a wet spatula, spread the dough evenly in the pan and smooth the top (see photo). Tent the loaf pan with a piece of aluminum foil, making sure you leave room for the bread to rise without touching the foil.
- Place the tented loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Slide the pan out of the oven, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and remove the foil. With a very sharp knife, make a shallow slice down the center of the bread lengthwise (without reaching either end). Rub the extra tablespoon of butter all over the top of the bread (it should melt completely into the hot bread). Return the uncovered bread to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (about another 20 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 15 minutes. Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
I have used various gluten-free beers in this recipe. This time, I used Estrella. I have also used Redbridge and Bard’s. So far, Estrella is the one I like best in beer bread.
Baking with beer is like cooking with wine. Don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink (the flavor doesn’t dissipate – it concentrates), and don’t bake with a beer you wouldn’t drink (same reason).