22 February 2008
On cold Bulgarian nights, when the Internet is not stealing my soul, I return to my source and I do the one thing that I know without a doubt I am super at: baking. I am absolutely ecstatic, and maybe a bit silly from drinking leftover beer, because I have come across the most fabulous recipe for beer bread from my : new favorite blog. I have experimented with several different flavors so far but first lets cover the basics. (Disclaimer: I don't measure in any proper or scientific way. And I never have. oops!)
First, establish your measuring base unit. For me, I use this nice 290 gram yogurt container.
What ever you use, try to make sure its bigger than a cup, and just stay consistent through out the recipe. :)
*3 Yogurt cups of flour. Use white, or combinations of white, wheat, rye, corn..... whatever. Be sure to use enough wheat (or spelt) to ensure gluten (stickiness) or use a gluten replacer (not available in Bulgaria!) Try to theme the flour to your overall flavor goal.
*Big spoon of baking powder (not soda!)
*Big spoon of honey or white sugar or brown sugar or molasses or maple syrup
*Little spoon of salt
*2 cups of beer. Be creative, and think about the type of bread you want. Use local beer if you can. Because local beer is special. Think about the flavor of the beer, it's sweetness and depth and think about how you want your bread to taste with it.
1) cirene, goat or sheep or cow 1/2 yogurt cup (or fetta if you are not lucky enough to live in Bulgaria) and rosemary and savory (big spoons)
2) Kashkaval 1/2 yogurt cup (again, Bulgarian cheese. substitute with a basic white cheese) walnuts, roasted cumin
3) Tomatoes and basil and cirene and garlic
Mix dry ingredients together. Add addons. Add beer. You want a thick, goopy dough. If you don't think it is goopy enough, add more beer. I don't imagine this will hurt it any. Be careful when adding the beer to the dry, it will fizzzzzz. Line a banista pan (if you don't know what that is, you are not in Bulgaria. In case you could not tell. Use bread pans or metal bowls) with sunflower or olive oil and add batter leaving 1 1/2 inch to the top for rising! I have found that if you drizzel a wee tid bit of beer on the top, it crusts in the nicest way.
oh yeah: bake at 375f for 45 mins. If the top of the bread gets toooo brown, pull it out. You could try to splash a bit of cold water in the oven to play with the consistency of crustiness. Let the bread cool for at least 10 mins because the bread will continue to bake on the inside from steam.