Bread can be expensive to buy each week, especially if you're drawn to those $4 loaves. We're going through ours by the end of the week. But cheap white bread abounds for ninety-nine cents. How healthy is that? Love my white bread, but I do try for enriched varieties.
I love bread. Toast is easily my favorite food. When I lived in Alaska I didn't realize how much I missed toast until I went home with a friend for Christmas and had access to her toaster. And bread. And butter. It wasn't like I was living in an igloo; c'mon now people, hasn't Palin dismantled all those stereotypes about Alaska? I was at college there living in a dormitory and only had regular access to a communal microwave. I passed on that. Anyway, we make a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Elsa...and ourselves.
Instead of eating out so often and spending all our money in restaurants, we've had to eat at home more often to save dough and to eat healthier. In fact, I've dusted off my baking stone and returned to making pizza dough and freezing it for later.
But then working with the dough was so much fun I decided to make sandwich bread as well. I've got the ingredients on hand anyway, so it's basically all paid for already. What is there to lose, other than time?
My cookbook library lacks titles strong on the bread baking variety, and none of the general ones feature them. I found a stout beer bread recipe in Bon Appetit Y'all.Surprisingly I didn't review it when it was published in 2008. But I sure like this little beer bread recipe. It's quick and easy. A trained monkey could make it.I'll stick with it for a while, though she offers a more complex honey wheat in which you actually use YEAST.
Instead of using stout, I used Red Stripe. It was on hand and it was at room temperature--one of the recipe's requirements. And I didn't want to wait hours for beer to warm. Normally I have oodles of Guinness on hand because it is the best beer to cook with when making DYI mustard or chocolate cakes.
The first loaf was Red Stripe. The photo documents the last piece. We ate it when it emerged from the oven. Oh we're fools for hot bread. Sorry, we actually waited a bit for it to cool before sawing off a piece or two. Delicious. Thick and dense, almost like cake. That's the way I like my bread. Not thin and airy. It was great, really. A wonderful treat.
Then I made another loaf the second night and used Killian's which is my most favorite beer of all. Naturally, the bread was excellent. A bit darker, but not quite stout. So when the next paycheck is deposited into the bank, I'll likely stop by the grocery store and pick up an assortment of six beers to further my experiments in beer bread.
I could wait for a while. I've got a bottle of each of these in the fridge: Sam Adams, St. Terese's Pale ale, Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Warsteiner, Budweiser, and St. Pauli Girl. I used to say that St. Paulie Girl was my favorite. And I do do love Sam Adams. Actually, they've been in the fridge for a long time. Does beer expire?
A few other beer-related tidbits. Um, I was in this group at university called Women's Issues Forum. It was for burgeoning feminists. One of our social events was meeting at a member's house and baking bread. One of the breads we baked was beer bread, but I was not so impressed with it. We were more interested in drinking the beer and socializing than baking it.
Something else: Ian's grandfather drove a beer truck. Ian doesn't drink beer though.
There was one more...I don't particularly like beer, either. But I prefer imports to domestic beer, unless the domestic beer is a locally produced item. I'll sleep on the beer anecdotes and perhaps something scintillating will appear in my dream and I can share it with you here.
Oh, I drank a lot of beer in Alaska. Mostly Rainer because it was cheap. I never really liked its taste. It was a means to an end.
It takes me longer to remember what my next point is these days. So I have this Amish cookbook and I threw some water and three packages of yeast into a container in my fridge. I'm making a sourdough starter! Tomorrow would be day 3. There's a 3 to 5 day window when you feed the starter, and then I don't know what because I haven't read that far in the recipe.
So I would be grooving on my sourdough starter tomorrow except I've got to go out of town for the day to KnoxVile (misspelling intentional). Boo the Vile Knox. But at least I have feeding my sourdough starter to look forward to on day 4 or 5.