Baking Bread at Home


bread_cSeveral of the local bakeries are featuring a variety of delicious 'flavored' breads that are packed with everything from cheese to jalapenos to pepperoni and a variety of other spices and accents, in a quest to add a little diversity to the daily monotony of white or wheat bread, as well as help add numbers to the bottom line.Using a little ingenuity, you can create your own 'flavored' bread simply and quickly.

Karen Huber

Using a little ingenuity, you can create your own 'flavored' bread simply and quickly by relying on this basic 'Beer Bread' recipe and folding in your favorite ingredients right before popping the bread pan into the oven.

I've tried it a number of ways, including shredded cheese, chives, dill and with a combination of Cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeno slices, cut up even more.

I just really guess on the ingredients, but I would say 1½ to 1¾ cup of cheese is ample, spices a teaspoon or two, and anything else as much as your own personal taste calls for.

It might require a little guessing until you get the recipe 'down pat' to your liking, but it'll be worth it.

This particular recipe calls for self-rising flour or you can substitute regular flour, baking power and salt in lieu of the self-rising flour. I prefer the latter because I always have regular flour and the other ingredients on hand for other baking projects.

Most of the traditional beer bread recipes are similar in nature. The bread is moist and delicious and best when eaten the same day, fresh out of the oven. Serve it alongside a hearty salad, a large bowl of soup, or cut it in bite-size pieces for dipping into a huge bowl of your favorite dip. I can guarantee you it will disappear in an instant.

Because of the very small amount of time it takes to prepare, you could easily serve this recipe two or three times a week fresh out of the oven at your evening meal, as it can be baking while you are preparing the remainder of your meal.

Beer Bread

* 3 cups self-rising flour
* 3 tbsp. sugar
* 1 can beer (room temperature is best)

Grease (I use cooking spray) a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and have it ready. Measure flour into a bowl. Mix sugar and beer in another bowl and pour over flour. Mix until flour is absorbed without over mixing. Place in 375 degree oven and bake one hour. I like to take the bread out of the oven after 45 minutes and brush some melted butter on the top and place back in oven to finish baking. Makes it a little more golden brown.

Note: To make own self-rising flour, add 3 tsp. baking power and 11½ tsp. salt to the three cups of regular flour.

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