How to Make Beer Bread on a Boat: Recipe | Cruising World

Reader Tip: Making Beer Bread

Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley shares a bread recipe that only takes about 5 mintues to prepare and can be varied in all sorts of ways.

Beer Bread

Carolyn Shearlock/ TheBoatGalley.com

I recently got a note on The Boat Galley’s Facebook page from a reader who found the sheer number of recipes in The Boat Galley Cookbook almost overwhelming. He suggested that I regularly post some of my favorites and tips to go along with them. Here’s the first — beer bread. I’ll first tell why I like the recipe, show the recipe as it is in the cookbook, tell what/why I’m modifying it, other tips on making it, and finally give the recipe as I actually made it.

Why I Like This Recipe: It’s very quick to mix up (about 5 minutes), works in almost any pan, can be varied in all sorts of ways and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. It’s a good choice whether you’re in a marina, at anchor or underway in settled conditions (that is, calm enough that you can use the oven).

Recipe as in The Boat Galley Cookbook (page 382):

Beer Bread and Variations
Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Makes 1 loaf—about 10 slices

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill OR 2 teaspoons dried dill
1 cup grated cheddar cheese or other cheese
12 ounces (1-1/2 cups) beer (use part water if needed)
Optional glaze: 1 egg and 2 teaspoon water, beaten

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased 9” x 5” loaf pan, brush with egg glaze if desired, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variations:
Garlic and Herb: Eliminate the dill. Add 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, oregano, thyme and garlic powder to the basic mix.

Rosemary and Feta: Eliminate the dill and cheddar. Add 2 teaspoon dried rosemary and 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces) to the basic mix.

Italian: Eliminate the dill and cheddar. Add 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and garlic powder and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to the basic mix.

**Situation and How I’ll Modify the Recipe: **
It’s only going to be Dave and I, so I’d like a little smaller loaf. Also, I’m going to use my small round Magma pan instead of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. This recipe is easy to cut by 1/3, so that’s what I’ll do. Since it’s about the same thickness in the pan, it’ll take about the same time to bake.

Dave is allergic to milk and milk products, and so can’t have cheese. I’ve learned that most recipes turn out just fine if I omit the cheese, so that’s what I’ll do here (for those who don’t have a milk allergy, you can use just about any kind of cheese — I’ve used all sorts of types in the past — and it’s even better).

I’m going to be serving this with pasta and a red sauce, so I’ll make the Italian version (without the cheese).

I’m not going to use the optional glaze as I’m out of eggs.

Other Tips:
The beer that you use will greatly affect the flavor of the bread. Using a fairly generic beer (Bud in my case) will produce a bit of flavor in the bread, but nothing particularly strong and it’s very unlikely that anyone will even identify it as beer. Very light beers, such as Corona, will be almost unnoticeable. Using more flavorful beers and ales — say, Sam Adams, will have more flavor and dark beers even more. These are great with chili and bean soups. If you have a choice of beers, choose whichever one you think would best accompany the meal if you were drinking it.

If you’re making a partial recipe as I am, it’s hard to measure beer since it foams. Pour slowly and let it settle between pours. This isn’t a problem if you’re making a full recipe as most beers come in 12-ounce cans and bottles in the US.

If you’re not comfortable using a toothpick to determine if the bread is done, a more definitive test is using an instant read thermometer — it should read about 200º F. (read more about using an instant read thermometer and get a downloadable chart of “done” temperatures).

For those baking in an Omnia Stove Top Oven, make the full-size recipe (for the 9″ x 5″ pan) and bake it 45 minutes. The top won’t be as golden brown, but the other tests for doneness still work.

The Recipe as I Made It

Italian Beer Bread
Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Makes 1 6″ diameter loaf

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and garlic powder
1 cup Budweiser beer (the cook gets the other 1/2 cup!)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine everything except beer in a mixing bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick.

Grease a 6″ round pan (this is the smaller saucepan in my Magma nesting pan set). Spread batter in pan and place in oven.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean (or instant read thermometer reads 200º F.), about 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

_Do you have a simple solution for a problem on board? Send your idea and a photo to HOS@cruisingworld.com. If we use your tip in the newsletter, we'll send you a cool **_Cruising World_ Hands-On Sailor t-shirt!**_

Click here to read more Boat Galley tips from Carolyn Shearlock.

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