Thursday, September 2, 2010
Letting Summer Go ...
I know, I know. I've lamented about the loss of summer more than once. But .. but .. it's just that I'm so relaxed in the summer, and there seems to be so much more time to just be. Like every other summer, this once seemed to fly by. It was like all of July, I spent anticipating our trip to Moncton, and then once we got back, all I could do was think about school starting and counting the days till the end of freedom. Well, my friends, September has finally arrived and summer, for me at least, has come to an end.
But I'm not crying, because this summer has been one of the best and most exciting. I have one last summer story post for you coming up next week, but for now, I'll keep it short and sweet and present to you ... some beer bread. But this is not just ANY beer bread -- it's fruity, summery, memory-inducing beer bread, made first with Pump House Blueberry Ale that my best friend brought over one weekend as a funny surprise. Her and my partner drank quite a few of these when we were in Moncton. Over there, it was the specialty, brewed in downtown Moncton. It even had a little restaurant attached to the brewery called The Pump House.
A little research brought me to this wonderful blog, Farmgirl Fare, where I saw her recipe for whole wheat beer bread. I used the blueberry ale and added in a handful of fresh Ontario blueberries for good measure. It smelled wonderful in the oven, and even better when it came out. The blueberries had exploded and turned jammy and beautiful and I could definitely taste that slightly bitter tang from the beer. The texture was hearty and dense, as expected from a beer bread, but a little bit too moist and sticky. The next time I tried it, I used KLB Raspberry Wheat Beer and, you guessed it, fresh local raspberries provided by my sister's CSA. This time, I baked it a little longer and the texture was definitely better.
Don't be scared of bread. Go ahead and bake some. Use a fancy beer and throw in some fruit. Hey .. you could even try chocolate beer bread and use chocolate stout .. oh my ...
Fruity Beer Bread
adapted from Farmgirl Fare
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of honey
7 ounces of fruity beer (that's about 3/4 of the bottle)
a handful of berries to match the beer, washed and patted dry
1. Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the honey on top of the dry ingredients.
2. Open a bottle of fruity beer. Take a biiiig gulp. Pour the rest of the bottle into the other ingredients and stir gently until everything comes together in a sticky, thick batter. Add the berries and mix them in.
4. Pour in a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, and the top has browned every so slightly. Best served warm with a cup of coffee.