Cheesy Beer Bread
This easy bread recipe uses beer and baking powder to leaven instead of yeast, producing a loaf with a lightly crisp crust and a beautifully soft interior. A strongly flavored cheese, like sharp Cheddar or Gruyère, complements the flavors of the beer. The brown sugar isn’t absolutely necessary, but it extends the bread’s shelf life, keeping the interior soft even after it’s been sliced. This bread is especially lovely served warm, but is also delicious at room temperature.
- Serves: 9 persons
- Nonstick spray
- 3cups/385 grams all-purpose flour
- 3tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
- 1tablespoon baking powder
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5tablespoons/70 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 1/4 cup/55 grams melted unsalted butter, for finishing
- 1(12-ounce/355-milliliter) bottle beer (1 1/2 cups), preferably a lager or ale
- 1 ¼cups/140 grams shredded firm or semi-firm cheese, such as sharp Cheddar, Gruyère or fontina
Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Step 2In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper to combine. Add the cubed butter and use your hands or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until you have fine crumbs.
Step 3Add the beer and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the shredded cheese. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.
Step 4Brush about 1/3 of the melted butter over the surface of the loaf and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, brush with more butter, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Brush with the remaining butter, and return to the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, another 20 to 30 minutes. (The internal temperature should read at least 200 degrees on a thermometer.)
Step 5Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the edges and unmold. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.