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No Yeast Bread?

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Even though most of us have hibernated during the summer instead of winter due to the shutdown of our state, I’ve noticed that people started making more homemade meals. This has made most of our grocery bills go up but on the positive side it made us explore new things and techniques. I found myself finding ways to figure out substitutes for different things. What do you do if you don’t have yeast and want to make bread? What if you don’t have self-rising flour? Can you use honey in place of sugar? Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

As a child, I remember my grandmother making bread when they lived with us. She and my mother would make a batch of bread with a recipe that made seven loaves of bread. Or, it would have made seven loaves; on most days it became three loaves, a large tray of sweet rolls, a pizza for dinner and some fried long Johns for dessert. Here is a little trivia; the Long John is a bar-shaped, yeast-risen pastry often coated with glaze or icing. They may be filled with custard or cream. The term is used in the Midwestern United States. Who knew that a maple bar was really a Long John? They were fried up and drizzled with maple frosting or just dusted with some powdered sugar. This would be an all-day process but I remember how wonderful it tasted. The house would smell so good on those days. 

After my grandmother passed, we got older and moved on to our own homes, my mother started making a quick one-loaf bread. This bread still made the house smell so good and was delicious. It took less time and energy and wasn’t an all-day project. The bread didn’t have yeast in it but used beer for its leavening. As I was wanting to bake some bread instead of running to the store, I remembered her making her beer bread often. Not having the recipe, I called my sister and she remembered what was in this amazing yet simple recipe. She said it takes only four ingredients to make the bread! As with all my conversations with her, we would remember stories and talk for at least an hour. We talked so long that I almost didn’t get the recipe for the bread. Now that I have it in my collection, I’m happy to share this recipe with you this month. Also I’m adding some recipes for substitute items that will come in handy. Plus, I had to use the recipe for self-rising flour myself the last time I made this recipe. Thank you to my sister, Jeannie, for all the wonderful memories that we share and for all the great memories we will be making. From our mom’s recipe box to my sister, to me, please enjoy this simple but wonderful recipe with love.

Mom’s Beer Bread
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 12-oz. beer, room temperature
6 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×5 bread pan by greasing the bottom and sides of the pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar and mix well. I use a whisk to make sure it is evenly combined. In the middle of the mixture, make a well. Now pour the full beer into the well, stirring the mixture with a spoon until combined. Pour the mixture into the bread pan and bake for 60 minutes. When you have 20 minutes cooking time left, pull the bread out and pour the melted butter over the top and return it to continue baking (it will bubble up). When it’s done remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm with butter. This also makes some wonderful French toast for breakfast.

No self-rising flour? Here’s the self-rising flour recipe I had to use when I made this bread last week. The bread turned out great and this can be used when you don’t have it on hand.

Self-Rising Flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Whisk together before adding to your recipe. I find sifting through a flour sifter will combine the ingredients evenly before using in your recipe.

Here are the most common questions that come up when this recipe is shared. 

Yikes! What kind of beer do I use?
I have found that the cheaper the beer, the better the bread. Personally, I don’t like the flavor of heavy dark beer or ale. The secret is to make sure it is at room temperature.

Can you use a stand mixer instead of hand mixing?
You sure can. Add your ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer and combine using the dough hook. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix or it will make your dough tough and it may not rise.

Can I double the recipe?
You can, but I suggest not all in the same bowl. Make two different batches. It’s a heavy dough; if you’re hand stirring it could be tough to get it all combined. Same goes for using a stand mixer.

Can you substitute honey for sugar?
When you substitute honey for sugar in any recipe, it is not one-for-one. If a recipe calls for ¼ cup sugar you a substitute 3 tablespoons of honey. For a full cup of sugar, use ¾ cup honey. So, when substituting with honey you would use about ¾ of what the recipe calls for in sugar. In this recipe I would use 2
tablespoons honey.

How do I store it?
I use a Ziplock bag or an airtight container. The bread will keep for up to four days. But I bet you won’t have to worry about that; it will get eaten fast.

Can the loaf be frozen?
This can be frozen up to six months. You will need to put it in an airtight freezer bag. Make sure you date the bag.

Can you add ingredients?
Remember, this is a savory bread because of the beer. Stay away from anything sweet such as cinnamon and sugar. Stick with things like shredded cheese; you could add 1 to 1½ cups, or add different types of herbs or herb blends, chopped jarred peppers like jalapenos or even crumbled bacon left over from breakfast.  

How many will one loaf feed?
Depends on how thick you slice the pieces. I would estimate 4-5 adults.

What do you serve it with?
My favorite would have to be homemade soups or stews. I have added jalapenos and cheese to this bread and served with chili beans, which was amazing.

Written by: Vickie Meidinger