I complain about it from time to time, but I like being an adult. I like doing adult things — like buying and eating ice cream whenever I want to (and getting to choose the flavor, too — bliss!). Or going on road trips whenever and wherever I want to (and not having to sit in the back seat with my brothers who insist on turning it into a jungle gym/wrestling mat/place to throw around their smelly socks). Or doing my own hair and wearing whatever clothes I want to wear and paying taxes. Oh wait.
Or, making beer bread and drinking the leftovers. Yes. Being an adult is (mostly) swell.
Ever since my mom used to make that beer bread that comes from a box, I’ve been a fan of the stuff. I love its naturally yeasty flavor, and I love that the outside bakes up all crusty-like but the inside is a soft crumb. And I especially love when I can add things to it like fresh rosemary and shredded Gruyere cheese — you know, fancy adult things like that.
The thing about this beer bread is that it’s got serious oomph in the flavor department. I used a locally brewed black ale which gave the bread a real (read: crazy good) depth of boozy flavor, but the creamy, savory tones of the cheese combined with the herbal freshness of rosemary offset any bitterness rendered by the beer. If you’re not the greatest fan of dark beer, you can swap it out for a lighter lager. You can also add other stuff to the bread, too, like bacon, or swap the Gruyere for gouda. Just be sure to always, always top it with melted butter. Because, I mean, it’s a Fritz Bernaise, ladies… I don’t think there’s a question. It’s pretty much what I love most about this bread.
I also love that it takes about, oh, five minutes to mix together and pour into a pan. It gives me more time to do adult things, like clean the shower or pay my taxes. Oy. I’m going out to get ice cream.
P.S. Did you know beer bread makes scrumdiddlyumptious croutons*? Well, it does. Especially on top of one of my favorite soups.
Yields: 1 9-by-5-inch loaf
3 cups bread or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (12-ounce) can of beer
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Add beer; stir until just combined. Fold in Gruyere cheese and rosemary.
Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Pour melted butter evenly over top of bread.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.
*To make beer bread croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut leftover or day-old beer bread into 1-inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top; toss to coat. Toast in oven until edges are a deep golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, flipping once during baking. Cool slightly.