This whole wheat beer bread is one of the best recipes I’ve discovered in a long time. I happened across it when I was brainstorming ideas for a food swap on Monday. I needed something shelf-stable and inexpensive to take to the swap, and this simple, savory quick bread fit the bill. I stayed true to BLChrisman’s simple, original recipe and packed the dry ingredients into white paper bags for the swap. The resulting beer bread “mix” made for a popular, easy swap item. I think it was popular because the recipe will be easy for the foodies in attendance to adapt according to their tastes. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Here’s the basic mix recipe:
Whole Wheat Beer Bread Mix
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour (I used Richardson Farms‘)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
4.5 teaspoons baking powder
Preparation instructions: Combine dry ingredients with a 12 oz. bottle or can of beer. Put dough into a buttered loaf pan and pour 4 tablespoons of melted butter or vegan margarine over the dough and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.
Somehow I managed to attend the food swap, take my camera and forget to take pictures of my beer bread mix. So you’ll have to use your imagination here, and trust me that the finished products looked really cute. I found white paper bags similar to the one pictured below at All In One Bake Shop here in Austin for $.35 each.
I put one recipe of the basic mix into each white gusseted bag and labeled it with this sticker:
For an extra cute touch, I used a green patterned scrapbook paper as the background stroke on the packages. For ease of production, I printed the label stickers on Avery name tags using my home inkjet printer. Easy peasy!
In the past week I’ve experimented a lot with this recipe and two variations I have made really stand out above the rest: a broccoli cheddar loaf and a vegan rosemary garlic bread. For the broccoli cheddar version, I added one cup of minced broccoli, a clove of minced garlic, and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the basic recipe, then I topped it with salted butter and 1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese. The texture of the bread was richer than the original recipe, and the flavor of the broccoli came through without being overpowering.
The vegan garlic rosemary beer bread came about after the food swap. I got a bunch of rosemary and other herbs from Sarah of texpatsabroad, and on a whim I added a tablespoon of her minced rosemary and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the bread dough. I used Earth Balance instead of butter to top the dough and baked for 45 minutes. It was fantastic and crusty! I’m planning to make that again for Super Bowl Sunday.
Fellow food swappers, I hope you enjoy making your own versions of this beer bread! Please let me know what beers you cook with and whether you come up with any variations of your own.
Headed to your own food swap, or just looking to package up some hostess gifts? Here is the Microsoft Word document for the labels I designed for the beer bread packages, Avery name tag template 5395.