DARLINGS, the snowpocalypse has arrived! We’re in blizzard #3 of this winter, and it is magnificent outside! The city is hymn-like in its hushed reverence. The building across from me has grown icicles, dropped those icicles, and is reforming a few new ones. Parking lots are meccas for snow angels. Trees have become snowbound free-standing art installations.
Days like this were made for blanket-bound havens, steaming mugs of hot chocolate, good music, and board games. Days like this were made for warm laughter and warmer bread.
My go-to bread, regardless of weather, is beer bread. It doesn’t need time to rise; it doesn’t need to be kneaded; it doesn’t need to be babysat through an afternoon. No starter, no timers, no cheesecloth. And the whole loaf takes only one hour to make, which gives you time to construct a blanket fortress or call up the gang and organize a snowed-in Scrabble extravaganza. Or whatever.
Ever since I stumbled upon this amazing concoction, it has become a firm staple in my life. And the lives of my friends, as I keep pressing variations upon them. And each one — from a VT wheat beer, to a heavy Guinness, to a nice PA lager, to the burble of Three Philosophers — has been better than the last. This is the bread that keeps giving.
Agave Beer Bread
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp agave (or honey)
- 1 bottle beer (12 oz)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease your loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir in the beer and agave.
Pour half of the melted butter into the loaf pan. Spoon batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown (or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).
Let cool, and serve!
There are plenty of cheeses you could pair with this, or you can just slather it with butter/jam. It’s an amazing winter treat, a good bread to (always) have handy, and a good way to use up those extra bottles of beer leftover after a party. Oh, and it’s pretty much foolproof!