Friday, July 5, 2013

Quick Bread Recipe: Basil Beer Bread

quick basil beer bread
Homemade herb bread doesn't get any simpler than this -- well, maybe if you use self-rising flour it gets a little simpler because you'd only need 3 ingredients.

Regardless, the following Basil Beer Bread requires no kneading or rising, and takes only about an hour from start to finish.

If you love basil and especially if you grow it, this is a great way to use it other than in pesto, tomato sauce and other more common recipes using basil.

Try the bread warm out of the oven with a little butter or softened cream cheese, or slice and spread with mayonnaise for tomato sandwiches. You can also slice and toast to serve as the basis for bruschetta, or to make homemade basil croutons.

basil beer bread dough
Ready to bake
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil*
1 bottle or can (12 oz) beer**, at room temperature

*Measure the basil after chopping. I started with 1 cup of whole leaves, coarsely chopped them and measured a loosely packed half-cup of the chopped basil. For a more intense basil flavor, you can use more basil, and/or finely chop the leaves and pack tightly in your measuring cup.

**Because the beer is one of only two sources of flavor for this recipe (basil obviously being the other one), use a beer that you enjoy drinking. I used a bottle of Beck's Sapphire, which was ok, but next time I'll probably use a better beer.

Basil beer bread
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x5x3 bread pan (I indulged and used bacon grease, but you could certainly use butter, shortening or oil instead). Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the basil. Pour the beer in and stir until totally incorporated and you have a fairly soft, sticky dough. Transfer dough into greased bread pan and bake at 350°F until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean -- about 50 minutes to an hour. Remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack until cool enough to handle, then slice and enjoy.

To store, allow bread to cool completely then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag. For best flavor, eat within two or three days.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS:  If you enjoy baking breads, whether quick breads or yeast breads, you'll find more recipes on the Carolina Sauce Company's Pinterest page where we have a Bread Recipes board. You can also search this blog for "bread recipes."

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