Friday, 2 January 2009
A rustic roll - no knead garlic beer bread
I thought I'd better have a break from all the festive sweet goods and post about a *very* easy and tasty bread I made for lunch when Vet Mum and Vet Dad (and Vet Grub though his tastes don't yet encompass bread) came to visit just before New Year. No-knead breads have been making its way round the blogosphere for a while now and I've had it on my yeasty wish-list for some time. It got promoted to the top on this occasion because I wanted to make a nice hearty and flavoured bread to go with our veggie shepherd's pie but also wanted to nip out for a quiet coffee with The Scientist before the guests arrived so lots of rising and proving time was out. I settled on a recipe posted by Farmgirl Susan, as it also used beer as the leavening agent - another of my bread-making goals. Susan suggests lots of flavour combinations to spruce up the basic dough, one of which is garlic and herb. I followed her recipe but omitted the cheese and used garlic jam instead of raw garlic, just because we had some in the fridge and hadn't been making any headway with it.
Making this bread is as simple as falling off a log, and it tasted absolutely great. It makes quite a soft and wet dough and since I fancied making rolls I divided it into muffin tins rather than try to wrestle it into stand-alone balls. I think it would have won had I tried. For a non-yeasted bread it was very light, although I made the rolls big enough that they had some heft to them (I'm always paranoid that guests might not share my small appetite, especially 6-foot ex-American football playing ones). We didn't particularly taste the beer in the bread but it might have been masked by all the garlic :) The rolls went really well with the shepherd's pie for a very hearty meal and I'm keen to try again using other flavours. Susan says that the bread also freezes well, and she's tried it with wholewheat flour, and even non-alcoholic beer. And it makes your kitchen smell as good as if you'd been slaving over the dough all morning.
Garlic beer bread (from FarmGirl Susan)
3 cups plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp each dried rosemary, oregano and thyme
2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp garlic flakes or a dollop of garlic jam/relish
12 ounces beer [I used a regular 300 ml sized bottle of Bud]
Heat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the beer and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick and wet. Spread into a greased 8-inch baking tin, or divide between greased muffin cups - I used a large 6-muffin tin. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean - about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool for a further 1o minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.