Savory Beer-Cheese Bread

ethel's beer bread recipe card

My Great-Aunt Lora’s beer bread recipe written in my grandmother’s hand.

One of the first breads I learned to bake was my Aunt Lora’s beer bread.  It goes together quickly and is impossible to screw up. It had been my standby quick bread for years but there was always a slight off taste to it which I suspect was the self-rising flour. (I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head wondering Why would anybody would want to see an old recipe card on their computer????  Damn, I wish she was still around, for a lot of reasons, but the top two related to cooking would be to bake bread with her and to show her all the pictures I’ve taken of food and watch her shake her head in disbelief.  Who would be interested in what you had for dinner????  You’d be surprised, Grandma.)

Over the years my last-minute quick bread has been the cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s.  Throw in a handful of cheese and possibly a can of green chilies, bake in a cast-iron skillet and it’s as good as cornbread from scratch.

skillet cornbread

Yes, it’s Grandma’s cast-iron skillet too.

The beer bread I made today is my current favorite, a basic Beer & Cheese bread from Cooking Light.  The sauteed onions and garlic add a savory touch and makes your kitchen smell heavenly. I substitute white-wheat flour in place of the all-purpose.  In place of the Monterey Jack cheese I used a shredded blend from Trader Joe’s- it’s what was in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 13.5 ounces white-wheat or all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.

    weighing flour

    Get into the habit of weighing your flour. It is so much faster.

  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
    cheese/onions/dry ingredients

    Make a well and place the cheese and onions into the well.

    add beer

    Slowly pour in the beer.

    all ingredients

    Stir until ingredients are combined but do not overmix.

  4. 4. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.

    ready for the oven

    Ready for the oven.

  5. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter.

    par-baked

    Halfway done, time for the rest of the butter.

  6.  Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

    finished bread

    The recipe specifies 16 slices, I get about 8 but I like it thick to dip into soup.

OTHER OPTIONS:  Apple-Cheddar Beer Bread: Substitute 1/2 cup minced shallots for onion. Place 1/2 cup shredded peeled Gala apple in paper towels; squeeze until barely moist. Cook shallots and apple in oil over medium heat for 7 minutes. Substitute 1 cup shredded extrasharp white cheddar cheese for Monterey Jack. Substitute 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider for lager. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

4 thoughts on “Savory Beer-Cheese Bread

  1. Can’t wait to try the beer bread Wendy! I loved the recipe card from your grandma too. My grandma was also very very special to me and is one of the reasons I love to bake so much. I don’t know if you remember this, but last Christmas Eve while you guys were here, I was writing a recipe down on a card for someone….Steph? you ? I don’t remember….but Ralph thought that it was too funny , and that I was probably the only person who still copies down recipes on cards. Well, it’s just the way I roll:)
    Looking forward to following you my friend:)

  2. Thank you! I have to laugh when I try to write a description of how something should look or feel and all I can think of is my Grandma asking me if it looks right. How am I supposed to know if it looks right??? And she’s right, eventually you do know if something looks or feels right. How lucky we were to have someone in the kitchen to teach us these things. I am trying to get it all written down for my kids. I am saddened over the recipes that were just in her head and now lost to me. But they too will probably remember the stuff that I never thought to write down either.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been tnriyg bread for a while, but can never get it quite right so I give up and try a month or two later. I’ve decided part of my problem (not all of it…yesterday I forgot the salt!) is my pans so I want to find some nice bread pans. I like yours! So can I ask where you got them and how much they were? :)

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