ranch dip makes everything better.

It’s been a long month.

I feel like I say that a lot. Or maybe, I’ve just been saying it a lot to myself these past few weeks. The truth is, I’m amazed I came out of October without a scratch or a dent on me, without dying my hair orange or learning a new shared language between me and my cat or wearing pajamas to work and forgetting to shower. The worst of it was watching entirely too much TV, but even then, I steered clear of long-winded “Real Housewives” marathons and stuck to the good stuff, like “Mad Men” (and my newest love, “Breaking Bad.” Wowza.)

beer.

beer + dough.

You see, the husband was in India for all of October, studying up on international medicine, feasting on dal and chapati and taking obligatory awkward pictures in front of the Taj Mahal. It was tough to let him go, but knowing how much I learned and absorbed during my month-long trip to India in college, I knew it was all worth it. Plus, it was a good opportunity for me to spend time with visiting family and friends (for whom I cannot be more grateful. Seriously. If you guys weren’t here, I probably would have dyed my hair orange).

bread fresh from the oven.

buffalo wing beer bread.

One weekend, when my dad and grandma came to visit, we headed off to the land of the Amish (aka the Amanas, aka not really the land of the Amish, but it sounds more exotic than “the land of old people eating good German food and buying overpriced antiques.”). It was there I happened upon this wonder that is buffalo wing-flavored beer bread — or a mix, that is. It was a tough call, but seeing as I’m not wont to make bread from mixes or in bread machines as much as possible, I decided I’d take the idea with me and develop it myself. And boy oh boy, I’m glad I did.

bread + sunshine.

You’ll have to use your imagination a bit with this recipe. It doesn’t taste exactly, 100 percent just like buffalo wings, but the idea certainly is there. It tastes more like a meal of buffalo wings and beer mixed together than anything, which I know sounds a little gross, but if you think about it long enough, it actually sounds amazing. And with a little bit of creamy ranch dip on the side, well, who even needs actual buffalo wings, amirite? OK maybe that’s a bit too much, but you know, this stuff is good. Good enough to surprise the husband with it after he surprised me by flying home a day early. He — and this bread — are keepers, that’s for sure.

Buffalo Wing Beer Bread
A Girl Versus Dough original

Yields: 1 8-by-4-inch loaf

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups light beer
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp buffalo wing sauce or hot sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine and stir all ingredients in a large bowl with a spatula. Pour into a lightly greased 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes in pan, then completely out of the pan on a cooling rack before slicing or serving. Serve with ranch dip or blue cheese dip.

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