Monday, October 18, 2010

Steakhouse Beer Bread

This is a recipe for those "little" loaves of bread that are served up at restaurants prior to the meal.  This bread has a mix of honey which offsets the malty taste of the beer.  I used Shiner Bock brand beer in this bread, but I guess you can use whatever beer you prefer.  The things to remember when choosing a beer is that the darker the beer, the darker the bread.  Also, "extra" stout beer (Guinness) will give you a strong malty tasting bread which will cancel out the sweetness of the honey included in this recipe.

Steakhouse Beer Bread
adapted from recipe goldmine

1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup to 1 3/4 cup beer (flat, room temperature)

Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with oil.  Place warm water in large bowl and sprinkle with yeast.  Let sit to dissolve for 5 minutes.  Then whisk in honey and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, sift together salt and both types of flour.  Fold in sifted ingredients to yeast mixture. Then slowly add the oil and the flat beer.  Mix all together until totally combined.

Take dough out of bowl and knead, either with an electric mixer with a dough hook or by hand.  If kneading by hand, this should take 10-15 minutes.  The electric mixer should take less time.  In both instances you may need to add a little flour while kneading to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or dough hook.  You will know kneading process is over when dough does not stick to hands or is not sticking to mixing bowl. It should be smooth and have a spongy consistency.

Oil a medium size bowl and place ball of dough inside.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise.  Do not place in warm oven or drafty place, it must rise at room temperature to double its original size.  I placed my bowl inside the microwave to rise.  Rising time should be about 30-50 minutes.

Once dough has doubled, punch down and then let rest for 5 minutes.  Take out dough and divide into 4 round loaves.  Place each loaf on prepared baking sheets.  Each loaf will need to be scored twice with a sharp knife.  Each score will placed two inches apart and be two and 1/2 inches in length. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 30-50 minutes or until doubled in size.

During rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After bread loaves have doubled, place in oven to bake about 30 minutes.  Remove and place loaves on rack to cool.  Once cool, slice and serve.