Beer bread seems to be a pretty popular thing in the food blog universe right now. (Food Blogiverse? Nope. Never mind.)
I have tried a number of blogger recipes and they’ve all turned out fantastically well. They’re all similar in that they require no yeast and no kneading whatsoever, but rather feature a healthy dose of bubbly beer and a drizzle of melted butter to produce soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-topped loaves of heaven.
I actually attempted my own version of beer bread months ago, only with different flavours. I thought it would be genius to use a maple-flavoured beer and add maple syrup to the batter, but my proportions must have been off because the end result of that endeavour was dense and dry and absolutely not blog-worthy. I’ll have to try that flavour combination again, thought, as I do think it has potential!
This version uses hard cider for the beer component (I used Strongbow – a dry cider made from “bittersweet cider and culinary apples”), as well as freshly grated Granny Smith apples and mounds of chopped sharp cheddar cheese. If you love the combination of apples and cheese, this bread is for you. If you hate the combination of apples and cheese, I still insist you try this bread, as it is so good I think it will make a believer out of you.
The grated apples make sure the bread stays unbelievably moist, and their flavour (unsurprisingly) pairs perfectly with the cider. The cheddar melts into every nook and cranny as the loaf bakes, and any lucky pieces of cheese that are on the outside edges of the loaf get crispy and brown, just like when you make a grilled cheese sandwich and the cheese oozes out over the edges of the bread. The overall flavour ends up being a nice balance between sweet and savoury.
I fully recommend eating this as soon as you can once it’s out of the oven and is still steaming hot. However, leftovers will keep for a day or so covered at room temperature. I suggest toasting leftover slices or tossing them in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.
One last recommendation: take a slice of this bread, top it with mayo, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon, and you will have made the greatest open-faced BLT of your life!
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or grated
- 12 oz (1 and ½ cups) hard cider, such as Strongbow
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add grated apple and cheddar and toss to combine. Carefully add cider and mix together gently, just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Drizzle the melted butter evenly on top. Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Serve immediately.