When I was growing up, we would often have beer bread. We often made it with cheap beer (probably Coors) and it was amazing, especially right out of the oven. Recently, I've discovered the glory of ginger beer. While I know ginger beer is more of a spicy ginger soda as it has not alcohol, it still is incredibly amazing. I was curious if it would be possible to make a ginger tinged beer which would combine the delicious beer bread of my youth and the spice of ginger beer.
Well, it is possible! I put together this incredibly easy recipe through some trial-and-error and I'm hoping to share it with you. Here's the most amazing thing: IT ONLY HAS THREE INGREDIENTS! Yes, you read that right, only three ingredients. Now, it is cheating a bit that one of the ingredients is self-rising flour which means that it is probably 4 ingredients because this flour has baking soda. But none-the-less you only need to gather three things for this recipe.
Let's get started...
*NOTE: I used the beer bread recipe from Food Network as a starting point for this recipe
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Step 1: Ingredients and Utensils
1) Ginger beer. 1 12 oz. bottle. I chose Reed's Stronger Ginger Brew which is a Jamaican style natural Ginger Beer. This cost around $4.50 for 4 bottles at our local grocery store. It's the strongest, spiciest ginger beer that Reed's makes and I chose it because with my experiences, less spicy ginger beers do not produce that strong of a ginger flavor or smell in the bread. There are a lot of ginger beers out there and it would be worth your time to try them all and to experiment.
2) Butter. Any butter will do, but I chose unsalted, sweet cream butter because it was what I had on hand. You will need approximately 2 tbs.
3) Self-rising flour. 3 cups. I chose Gold Medal Self-rising Flour . It was the only kind available at our grocery store and was also in our cupboard. You can get this for around $3.50 for a bag at the grocery store.
1) a mixing bowl which can hold about 4 cups of material. Mine was glass, but metal or plastic should be fine.
2) a glass loaf pan. Ours is pyrex, but I'm sure a ceramic or metal loaf pan could work as well. This may change the cooking times though
3) a spatula for mixing
4) a cooling rack
5) an oven
Step 2: Step 1: Butter Up!
Liberally butter your loaf pan. I just use a chunk of butter and rub it all around the bottom and sides. This keeps the bread from sticking and also imparts a delicious butteriness to your bread. While you're doing this, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celcius).
Step 3: Step 2: Mix It Up
1) Measure out 3 cups of flour. Don't pack this in your measuring cups. I used a sifter but this is optional. If you end up packing in your flour, your bread will end up dry and dense. It's better to have less flour than you need and add more later than having too much and having to crack another bottle of ginger beer. Put your flour into the mixing bowl.
2) Crack open your ginger beer and pour all of it into your bowl. Then mix it all up. Your mixture should be fairly sticky and wet. If you think it's too wet, add a tablespoon of extra flour at a time until it reaches the consistency you feel is right. This batter will be much wetter and more sticky than yeast leavened bread.
Step 4: Bake It Up!
When fully mixed, place your batter into your buttered loaf pan and slide it into your pre-heated oven on the middle rack. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes. With 3 minutes left, melt the rest of your butter in the microwave (20-30 seconds) and brush it on top of your bread. This will give you a nice buttery, crusty top.
Step 5: Cool It Down and Eat It Up!
Your bread will be done when it is nicely browned on top. You should also be able to smell a subtle ginger odor. Remove it from the oven and run a butter knife around the loaf to release it from the loaf pan. Then remove it from the loaf pan and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
When ready, cut yourself a slice and enjoy! The ginger taste is strongest in the soft center of the bread and nicely complemented by the buttery crust. I especially recommend eating this with nice cool Ginger Beer!
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