Saturday, November 24, 2007

Beer+Cheese=Bread

Which sounded like a fine idea to me, when I first heard about it. It seemed to be all the bakingblogging rage. A few weeks ago, of course. Which now makes it...well....either already out of style, or really fucking delicious. You decide.
Personally, I have had to make the bread a few times to decide. If it was worthy.
Because the first time I made it, it disappeared so fast I could not really taste enough to give an objective opinion.
And then the next time I made it; again with the disappearing so fast.
Is it that this bread really is ambrosia, or is it that all of my friends are so fond of beer and cheese that I just never get to try enough of it?
Dude, this shit is amazing.
I messed up the recipe slightly the second time and it was BETTER, so I am recording it here:


5 cups bread flour (I love the king arthur)
2 packets yeast

12 oz. beer
12 oz. processed cheese slices; any flavor (usually this works out to 12-16 slices)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (use less salt if you have only salted butter)
8 - 12 oz. Natural (block) Swiss cheese, cubed into tiny (1/8-1/4 inch) pieces (though you could really use any type of cheese)

  • prepare two loaf pans
  • In a heavy and/or nonstick saucepan, heat the beer, American cheese, sugar, salt, and butter just until melted and blended.
  • Remove from heat, and allow the liquid to cool until it's warm. As Belinda says: "Too hot, and it will kill the yeast, too cool and the yeast won't activate."
  • Keep this wise advice in mind when making bread or yeast sponges of any kind!
  • Combine 2 cups of the bread flour with the 2 packets of yeast into your kitchenaid mixing bowl (or equivalent) and set aside. (This is also the point in which you will realize that you need a kitchenaid dough hook for christmas.)
  • Once the liquid mixture has cooled, add it to the flour and yeast mixture; mix well. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour, blending by hand or mixer until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, working the Swiss cheese cubes into the dough as you knead the dough for several minutes.
  • Roll into a nice big ball and turn into a buttered bowl, coating all sides, and then let rise for an hour.
  • Turn the dough out (again) onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two portions, and then form into loaves or stretch out into a rectangle slightly bigger than the loaf pan, cut into 3 strips (leaving the top inch or so in-tact) and braid. Place these into sprayed or buttered loaf pans and let them rise again for another hour.
  • After they have risen sufficiently, *bake the loaves at 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. Cover the tops with foil for the last 15 minutes so they don't brown too much.
  • *I like to cover the top in an egg wash and sprinkle kosher salt on the top....extra yum.



2 comments:

Tricia said...

Really??? Processed cheese? I can't stand American cheese, but I confess i love cheese out of the jar- the little jars, that I then turn into juice glasses for the kids.

nailgirl said...

It looks and sounds so good but I am not a baker. Maybe santa will send me some.