Chili Beer Bread

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

Seems I only like bread baking if I'm going with an extreme. No-knead varieties (like the pumpkin loaf, white-whole wheat loaf, and crusty garlic-Tuscan herb loaf) take over a day to rise. On the other hand, some of my recent favorites (like our pumpkin dinner rolls and wasabi dinner rolls) require only little rising time.

Today's beer bread recipe is also extreme. Indeed. Extremely EASY. You should have most ingredients on hand. And there's absolutely no time at all that you must wait for the dough to puff.

Just mix and bake. That's all it takes.


What you'll need . . .
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 ounces beer (we like fall varieties best for this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. You'll need to lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch bread pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and chili powder.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the beer and olive oil.
  4. Using the paddle attachment, stir on low speed and slowly pour in the beer/oil mixture. Once combined, remove from bowl and knead with your hands until well incorporated. The dough should be somewhat sticky, not too dry. If it is too dry, consider adding a bit of water -- 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too wet, add a bit of flour. You want an elastic ball.
  5. Put dough into bread pan and flatten just a bit to fill the pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then turn over onto a wire rack.

What results is a hearty, dense loaf. But not dense in a bad way. Just substantial. Filling. Delicious. And I can't wait to try this recipe with other beers (hello, stouts and porters!) and spices (maybe dill, curry, cloves, etc.). That's what I love about bread and cooking/baking in general.

The combinations you can create are endless!

How does the chili taste in the bread? Think of it this way: If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't know that the flavor you're tasting is chili powder. It just adds some flair to the mix. The fall beer, too, gives the loaf a nice spice. However, none of these flavors are overpowering. While this bread is great served with dinner, I also toasted and spread with peanut butter for breakfast before my long run.

What do you prefer: The satisfaction of waiting or instant gratification? Of course, for this question, I'm asking specifically about cooking and baking . . . but you can take it as generally as you'd like! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

Hope you all had a great weekend, we'll be posting our recap soon!

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