Friday, March 27, 2015

Craft IPA Beer Bread

     IPA Beer Bread!
     Beer Bread is made wherever beer is made or served.  Beer bread is usually made with leftover flat beer or beer that is to low of a quality to be enjoyed on its own.  In this day and age of the western craft beer trend, some chefs use top quality beer to make tasty beer bread.  In my opinion, if the craft beer is great, it should be served on its own.  
     Believe me, I have tasted plenty of western craft beer and there are many craft brews on the market that are inconsistent in quality from one batch to the next.  The rule of thumb is if you do not like a craft brew's character, then use it in a recipe.  The flavor can always be doctored up!  

     Craft IPA Beer Bread:
     This recipe yields enough dough for 3 petite mini loaves of beer bread.  (2 1/2"x3"x4 1/2" loaves) 
     Any kind of hoppy western craft IPA beer can be used to make this recipe.  The more unbalanced and foul tasting, the better!   
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of IPA beer in a mixing bowl.
     Float 3/4 cup of all purpose flour or bread flour on top of the beer.  (flour island technique)
     Place 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt on the flour island.  (salt to taste)
     Place 1 tablespoon of sugar on the flour island.
     Place 1 small pinch of allspice on the flour.
     Place 1 small pinch of cardamom on the flour.
     Place 1 small pinch of white pepper on the flour.
     Place 1 small pinch of nutmeg on the flour.
     Place 2 teaspoons of baking powder on the island.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter or warm bacon grease.
     Step 2:  Use a whisk to mix the ingredients together to create a loose wet dough.  (sponge)
     Add a little bit of flour at a time, while mixing with a spoon, till a soft dough texture is created and the dough can be gathered in a ball shape.  (The dough should not be sticky or dry.)
     Step 3:  Bench the dough on a lightly floured countertop.
     Divide the dough into 3 equal size portions.
     Roll the dough into petite loaf shapes. 
     Step 4:  Place each dough shape in 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" petite bread loaf pans that are brushed with melted unsalted butter.
     Brush each loaf with melted unsalted butter.
     Step 5:  Place the mini loaf pans on a baking pan.
     Allow the dough to rise for 5 minutes.
     Bake in a 425º oven, till the beer bread is a golden brown color.  
     Step 6:  Place the bread pans on a cooling rack.

     Grilled IPA Beer Bread:
     Heat a griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Cut 1 petite IPA beer bread loaf into 1/4" thick slices.
     Brush both sides of each slice with melted unsalted butter.
     Grill the beer bread on both sides, till it is toasted golden brown.
     Keep the the grilled beer bread warm on a stove top. 

     Grilled IPA Bread is a nice accompaniment for marinated chargrilled steak!

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