Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oh So Delicious Basil Beer Bread

Basil Beer Bread
Wow what a busy day. I just got home from work, and I figured I'd put this recipe up before I pass out from exhaustion.
My love for good, homemade bread began when I was just a wee little girl, growing up, my dad would bake bread almost every week. I love that first slice of bread fresh from the oven. Lately Ive been interested in trying out baking my own bread, but the whole process is a little daunting to me, especially since I've started eat'n vegan, and trying to eat low sugar, sodium, pretty much trying to be as health conscious as possible. Last night I found a recipe for Basil Beer Bread on one of my favorite blogs: Urban Drivel (\). This site is great for finding interesting, healthy dishes. Her recipe isn't vegan, and I was worried about finding a substitute for the cheese, but I just omitted it and kept my fingers crossed.
There was some confusion about the amount of yeast and the time the bread takes to rise. The original recipe called for a lot of yeast, so I reduced it to about 2 and a 1/2 teaspoons of yeast. Turns out, it called for so much yeast because there was no rising period. Since I put in less yeast, I had to rise the bread for about 40 minutes, but to be honest I probably didn't have to. Here it is:
Basil Beer Bread
Oil a baking sheet, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
3 and 1/4 of a cup of whole wheat flour
3teaspoons of instant yeast
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 12 ounce bottle of beer (I wouldn't use any beer you wouldn't want to drink...I used Keith's Pale Ale)
Beers for drinking as you work on this recipe! (Don't set your house on fire)
Flour for kneading
1 cup torn (or chopped) fresh basil
Separate the flour into two bowls.
In one of the bowls of flour, add the yeast, salt, pepper, and stir
Add the beer nice and slowly...don't pour too fast or you'll get too much head! (Apparently it helps if you warm the beer up a tad too)
Whisk it all into a nice smoothie consistency, and then slowly add the remaining flour and whip it all together with a fork.
Sprinkle some flour onto a counter, plop down the dough, and start kneading, sprinkling the basil as you go until it has all been Incorporated in.
Let it rise in a warm environment for 40 minutes
Shape the dough into a shape that pleases you ( I shaped it into a loose log), put it on your pan, and bake it for 40 minutes.
I was so nervous to try it when it came out! I've had some pretty unsuccessful flops, and I really was craving some bread. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the bread was so delicious. I'd say it was a wild success, and it's definitely a recipe I'll be trying again.

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