It’s the middle of summer in Australia and I've been spending most of my time trying to crawl into the fridge and feeding my mice frozen vegetables. The last thing I want to do is turn on my oven when the need to bake strikes. So I've decided to take my slow cooker for a whirl to bake some deliciously cheesy beer bread.
Step 1: Equipment
- 1 bottle of beer at room temperature
- 1 cup (125g) grated cheddar cheese
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 2/3 cups plain flour
- If you have self-rising flour, use that instead of the plain flour and baking powder.
- I grated about 125g of cheese and it was just over a cup.
- I recommend using the sharpest cheddar you can find, especially if you’re using a hoppy beer as the flavours complement each other really well.
- The flavour of the cheese is a bit muted once the bread is cooked so use sharper cheddar than you’d normally pick.
- Large Bowl
- Cheese grater
- Dry measuring teaspoon
- Measuring cups (1 cup and 1/3 cup)
- Baking paper
- Bamboo skewer(s)
- Slow Cooker
- cake tin (or just the sides from a spring form tin) – Optional
- Timer (I used my phone alarm)
Step 2: Preparation
Take your beer out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature.
Then line your slow cooker with baking paper. I used the sides from my spring-form cake tin to create a mold for my bread. However you can use whatever type of cake or loaf tin that will fit in your slow cooker; or if you want a more artisan style loaf then forgo a tin altogether.
If you don’t have any baking paper you could try oiling your pans / tins / slow cooker with some cooking spray. However I have never done this as I find clean up so much easier with baking paper.
Step 3: Mix
In a large bowl combine your plain flour and baking powder (or if you’re using self-rising flour then place it in a large mixing bowl). Stir in your grated cheese. Make a well in the middle then pour in your beer and mix well. It will take several minutes but you will end up with a large ball of sticky dough.
Plop your dough into your slow cooker. I used my spatula and my hand to flatten my dough and push it to the sides of my cake tin.
To prevent the dough from sticking to you when you touch it either dust your hands with flour or wet your hands a little bit.
Step 4: Bake
The first time you bake in your slow cooker you’ll need to keep a close eye on your loaf. It took 1 Hour and 45 minutes for mine to bake. However my beer was cold, our bread may be a different shape and our slow cookers are probably different so our cooking times probably differ.
Set your slow cooker to its highest setting / quickest cooking time. Check on your bread after 1 hour and then every 30 minutes thereafter until it’s ready.
Your bread is ready when:
- the top is no longer sticky. It will have gained a touch of colour but will still be pale and soft
- the bread will come away a from the paper lining a little
- the bottom will be a lovely golden brown
- a skewer inserted will come out fairly clean. It may come out slightly sticky due to all the melted cheese inside.
If you would like a browned crunchy crust then stick your loaf under the broiler / grill for a few minutes. I left my loaf as it was as I liked that it looked like a wheel of cheese to match it delicious cheesy taste.
Step 5: Enjoy
It’s time to enjoy the fruit of your labour.
While it is nice on its own or in a cheese platter, it’s delicious with some caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar. Or make some roasted garlic & caramelised onion jam. Or use it to make some awesome bruchetta.
perhaps you could add some bacon, semi dried tomatoes and onion to the bread and bake it in little metal pannacotta molds for savory muffins.
First Prize in the
Crock Pot Challenge