Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Whiskey For My Men And Beer For My Horses

Or at least beer for my bread! I said I needed to post a new savory recipe, so I am going to do just that. My older brother had mentioned to me the other day, "Hey Deb you should use up some of the beer I have downstairs and make some beer bread or something." My little head got to thinking and it agreed with my older brother. And I made some beer bread, but me being me I can't only make normal beer bread I also have to make some strange type as well. That's just me being me.

I looked up some recipes and most require self rising flour, which I do not have on hand because I can just as easily look up the recipe and whip some up myself instead of having a huge bag of it that I may not always use, so I looked up how to make some and found a recipe:

Self Rising Flour
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Sift all ingredients together.

Easy enough. Then I looked in my cabinet and saw I had some bread flour that needed to be used, so I decided to add some of that to the bread. Bread flour just contains more gluten then normal flour which you want in bread. Gluten gives the bread that chewy-ness that we all love. The basic beer bread recipe went like this:

Beer Bread
3 cups self rising flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1 12oz bottle or can of beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a loaf pan.
Mix all ingredients, then pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden browned and crust.

So simple, I know. This is how I actually made my beer bread though:

Beer Bread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
1 12 oz bottle of Samuel Adams Noble Pils (I don't know, it was what was down in fridge!)
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
Mix dry ingredients together.

Add in the beer, it is going to get very fizzy and blubblely, I found that because of the bread flour you need the water, so add that in too if the beer does not moisten all of the flour.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until golden browned and a crispy crust forms.
Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove from pan and either enjoy warm or allow to cool completely.

But I can't leave it just like that, nope nope! So I did my own little twist to beer bread, oh yea...

Rye Beer Bread Muffins

1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 12 oz bottle Samuel Adams Noble Pils
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan (the one with 12 muffins).
Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Add in the beer, water, and honey (to be completely honest with all of you I forgot to add the honey in my recipe, don't ask me how cause it was out in front of me but I just didn't add it, all well) and combine.

Spoon equal amounts into each muffin cup. Before you bake them you may want to spray the tops with spray or brush them with alittle oil because mine did not brown like I would have wished.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely browned.
Remove from tin and enjoy or cool.

So there you have it! Beer for some bread oh yea! The alcohol is cooked, in this case baked, off; the flavor however remains, so if you do not really enjoy the taste of beer you may not enjoy it in bread form. I love yeast and the smell of fresh yeast when you make some yeasted bread and this is what beer bread reminds me of, so I enjoy it. I use to make it at Thanksgiving and then have a cranberry turkey sandwich on the beer bread- so good!

I also made a new type of treat for myself. I do not know about you but I really enjoy salty and sweet combination, as in a chocolate covered pretzel- yum. So I took that idea a step further. I combined fruit into the mix! (This recipe shows how much I love Trader Joe's too!)

Pretzel and Fruit Chocolate Clusters

1/4 cup chocolate chips (grain sweetened)
1/4 cup carob chips
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dried unsweetened blueberries

2 tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries

1/4 cup whole grain pretzel nuggets

2 tablespoons white chocolate chips (optional)

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and carob chips.

Add in the fruit and pretzels once the chocolate is ready.
Spoon nice sized amounts, maybe 2 tablespoons, of the mixture onto some parchment paper or a silpat over a baking pan.

Sprinkle a few white chocolate chips over some of the clusters if your heart desires.
Place in the fridge to harden.

There you go! I had some fun today.

What's For Dinner?
Friday, February 25th
Salad with my usual veggies and dressing.

Saturday, February 26th
Salad with roasted corn, tomatoes, white mushrooms, spinach, and roasted red pepper dressing.

Sunday, February 27th
Veggies and grilled cheese! Sun dried tomato wraps with 4 blend Italian cheese mix.

Monday, February 28th
Out with my friend to the Tomato Factory. I had a salad with pears, toasted almonds, and a Asian vinaigrette with some sauteed spinach (I was craving spinach, but they made it with like 3 whole cloves of garlic, although they did slice it).

Tuesday, March 1st
Roasted root veggies with cashews and parsley.

I really have to become more creative with my food choices!

(I will try to add pictures later because I am still having a problem with them sorry!)
3/2 problem fixed I believe! I had to purchase more picture space, so we will see how long that will work. tada!

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