Monday, December 25, 2006
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Friday, December 01, 2006
I suppose I'll just stop saying I'm not a baker, since I do keep on baking. However, aside from my Focaccia in May I've never made Bread before and, I have to admit, I'm still scared of Yeast. After all, it is bacteria and alive. Pretty Spooky.
Anyway, I had read that Beer Bread is one of the easiest breads to make, so I decided to give it a shot. I was feeling a little under the weather, which always makes me want to create something from scratch, something that will be completely different when I take it out of the oven from how it was when I put it in. Of course, baking is the best solution to all of these requirements.
Although most beer breads don't require yeast, the one I decided to make, Almond Ginger Beer Bread, which I found on CDKitchen.com, did. Nevertheless, the Bread turned out perfectly, with a soft crumb and very little crust. I don't know how much of a difference the beer used makes, but, since I only like dark ales, I decided to make the Bread with Guinness. I was really pleased with the result. There was a definite dark beer under flavor but even Mom, who doesn't like bread, loved it. I also added some Caraway Seeds to give it a slight hint of Rye Bread. Next time I would probably add a little more Ginger and Caraway Seeds to enhance their flavors. It was also faintly sweet and fantastic toasted with a little salted butter for breakfast.
Pain de biere, d'amandes et de gingembre
2 cups Almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 cups Guinness
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 tablespoon Water
Olive Oil, as needed
Beat in 2 cups Flour, Ginger, 1 Egg, Salt and Almond Extract. Add reserved Melted Butter and sprinkle on 3rd cup of Flour. Stir in Sauteed Almonds. Begin to knead dough in bowl, adding more Flour as needed, until the bowl is clean and the dough firm.
Place dough in food processor with dough hook, add a little flour if necessary, and knead about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Rub oil in the large bowl and place dough inside. Turn dough around inside bowl to coat it well with oil. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let it sit until double in volume, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half and, on a clean board, form 2 round loaves. Place on baking sheet, cover with towel and let rise again until double in volume, another hour.
Makes 2 loaves.
Food and Baking and Recipe and Bread and Vegetarian and Dairy