Thursday, December 12, 2013

Witches Stitches - The Best Bread

I have to apologize. I am so busy finishing Christmas orders, (not complaining), that I did not have the time to do a sewing related topic. I promise after the holidays I will be back to that. For this week I want to share one of my favorite bread recipes.  This is so easy to make. The great part about this bread is the different ways you can make it. It is wonderful warm out of the oven, but the other great thing about it is, it makes the best toast the next morning. It is like a meal in itself.
Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour

3 tablespoons white sugar

Whatever else you choose to add – I will have suggestions after the directions.

1 - 12oz bottle of beer (the alcohol does bake out, and you do not taste the beer)

Combine the flour, sugar and whatever your other choice of ingredient is. When well blended pour in the entire bottle of beer at once. Mix until blended and all dry ingredients are combined.

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

Butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan

Pour combined ingredients into buttered loaf pan place in the center of your oven and bake for 55 to 60 min.
The top will be golden brown when done.
Remove from oven do not remove from pan, coat the top crust with butter and let cool about 10 min. To remove from pan just flip pan over and shake a bit the loaf will come right out. If it sticks a bit just run a knife around the inside of the pan between the bread and side. Then flip and shake again.
Now for the best part, you can add almost anything you want to this bread depending on what you are serving it with.
Here are some suggestions; you can use any one of these at a time:

2 cups of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (great for serving with chicken)

2 cups of dried cranberries (After you butter the crust sprinkle a full tablespoon of sugar on the top too)
2 cups of raisins (After you butter the crust sprinkle a full tablespoon of sugar on the top too)
A full tablespoon of dried herbs:
Rosemary (Top the crust with olive oil instead of butter)

Sundried tomatoes (Top the crust with olive oil instead of butter)

These are the things I have used, I am sure there are many others. When I make it with the sweet ingredients I serve it the next morning as toast. This is great if you have overnight guests. It is so good with coffee or tea. I make a loaf the night before. When it is done I put the butter and sugar on the top then just let it sit in the loaf pan until morning. I sit mine in my microwave just to keep it safe from the cat. My cat loves bread. Yea, who would have thought.

The best way to make this bread into toast:  I know, I know how hard can toast be, but I have found the best way is to slice the bread about a half inch thick. This is a dense bread so after it is cool for a while it will slice easily with a good bread knife. Put it directly on the rack of a toaster over and toast it a little darker than med. When it starts to brown take it out and put butter on it right away. I find if you wait it may get a touch dry. You can also add tart jam also. So good!!

When serving it with dinner serve it warm, just slice and serve and watch it disappear.

I hope you give this simple bread a try. Nobody will know how easy it is and it looks like you really fussed.  Thank you for reading and if you have questions give me a shout.
Thanks, Faith