As nice as a cold beer can be on a hot summer evening, there are other great ways to put it to use and one is beer bread. Beer bread is a type of quick bread that uses – you guessed it – beer as the main liquid in the batter. Beer gives a very nice, yeasty flavor to the finished loaf and you get a bread that is much more flavorful than you’d expect for something that only took a couple of minutes to put together.
Most beer breads I’ve had are savory – beer and cheese, beer and herbs, beer and garlic – but this particular bread is sweet because I started out with a sweet, light beer. I used Blue Moon Brewing Company‘s Honey Moon Summer Ale, which has definite notes of honey and a hint of citrus, and turned it into a cinnamon raisin bread. The bread uses a whole bottle of beer (the alcohol bakes out, so not to worry if you’re not a big drinker) and ends up with a great yeasty flavor that is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and studded with juicy raisins. It is very moist, and has the slightly dense-but-tender texture that you find with other quick bread loaves, so it makes for a very satisfying slice.
The bread is good plain and toasts up well. I liked it best when spread with a bit of salted butter, but it would also stand up to cream cheese or other more strongly flavored toppings. It actually goes very well with slices of cheese because of the beer notes and would make a neat addition to a cheese plate. Otherwise, serve this bread with breakfast or with dinner, because it’s a sweet and savory loaf that is easy to make and easy to eat any time of day.
Cinnamon Raisin Beer Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp vegetable oil
12-oz of a light, sweet beer
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and ground cinnamon. Add in vegetable oil and beer and stir well, mixing only until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in raisins to distribute evenly.
Bake for 55-6 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn out of the pan and allow the bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf