Beer, cheese, and bread. Beer + cheese + bread. Can you think of a better combination? I can’t. Instead of making traditional Irish Soda Bread for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would make a variation of this Cooking Light recipe for Beer and Cheese Bread. This is the holiday for quite a bit of beer drinking, so why not incorporate it into some of my recipes? This bread is a quick bread recipe which is baked in a loaf pan. You can throw it together in just a few minutes, and the results are seriously a knockout.
What I love most about this recipe is how well the contrasting flavors work together. The beer adds a natural fizz to the bread, which makes it really light and airy. The hoppy taste from the beer gives it a nice sour punch, which is complemented by the melted sharp cheddar cheese. The secret to this recipe is the melted butter. Adding it in two stages gives the bread a crispy, chewy crust that is to die for. If no one was around I would have cut the whole crust away and devoured it. I’m a sucker for homemade bread, and this easy variation tastes like you’ve put hours of work into it.
You can make it for St. Patrick’s Day, but it would go well with nearly anything. If you look back to the original recipe, they have a number of ways to alter the flavors so that you can really pair it to any dish. I love the idea of adding apples and serving with apple butter in the fall!
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups (13.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 (12 oz) bottle lager-style beer (I used Hoegaarden)
- 2 tbs melted butter, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized. Add a bit of freshly cracked pepper and remove from the heat.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine and make a well in the center. Add the onions, cheese and beer to the flour, stirring until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
- Scoop the batter into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan that is coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the melted butter on top of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake for another 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the center is baked through.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Slice and serve with butter.
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