Mr. Stacy loves a good beer bread, especially when it’s soft, warm, and full of all the little things that he enjoys like good beer, cheese, and bacon. Can’t say I blame him. I think I am right there with him. It wasn’t until I moved to Germany where I found out what good beer bread was. I recall being in the kitchen with a friend as she cracked open a dark hefeweizen, took a long swig, thrust into my hand, and declared with an authority only found in German women. “If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. Unless you hate the person. Then I would have no idea why you’d want to cook for them to begin with.”
Well, Astrid, I adore cooking for my husband and we like this Scotch Ale from this place in Great Falls. Win win.
When choosing ingredients for your bread, it really is important to choose only your favorites. All those flavors will be coming out to announce themselves. One dud flavor and the whole loaf isn’t going to delight you. Which is sad. Beer bread is nothing but happy and fun, don’t let it be a flavor dud.
Select a cheese that has a good strong flavor. Nothing that’s going to overpower the beer, but will stand up to the beer and melt into the bread and disappear as an after note. Diced cheese will give you pockets of cheese and shreds will melt in a bit more. So, it’s all personal preference there.
With the bacon you’ll want to select a thick cut hardwood smoked type. Don’t let it get too crisp when cooking, also avoid being too undercooked. Too crisp and there will be no flavor, just tiny bacon shards. Too underdone and as it cooks, the fat will render out and create a soggy loaf. Find a happy medium and chop rather roughly to create bigger dices than you might put on a salad.
When choosing a beer, the darker the beer, the fuller and richer the flavor. Ales, bocks, and stouts make the most flavorful bread. IPA’s, blondes, and plain old beer make for lighter tasting breads and sometimes the flavor of the beer can be lost and hidden by other ingredients. So choose wisely.
Bacon Cheese Beer Bread
- 3 C all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 oz beer
- 1 1/2 C cheese, shredded or fine cubes
- 4 slices of thick bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 355 and grease a loaf pan.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt thoroughly.
Stir in beer and combine till well mixed, dough will be VERY sticky.
Mix in 1 C of the cheese and all the bacon. Once combined, dump into baking pan and spread evenly in pan. Spread rest of cheese on top before placing in oven.
Bake in oven for about 60 minutes. When done, removed and drizzle on the butter. Cool in loaf pan for 5 minutes. Remove and cool on rack.
Tastes good warm, tastes great anytime.