Makes 1 loaf
Baking bread, it’s meant to be one of life’s treasures, but in reality who has the time to? If you’re anything like me you barely have enough to scratch yourself (this is my favourite saying from my childhood) let alone knead bread, then let it rise, then knock the air out, then let it rest again to finally put it in the oven and pray that its going to work! Sounds way too complicated and we all just end up going to the shops and buying bread instead. Like many of you I wanted to bake bread at home, and although I do have a great bread recipe it takes the best part of a day and I wanted something that I could bake for family and friends that would fill my house with that wonderful smell of freshly baked bread all while introducing my children to bread making (And before you say anything yes I realise just how much pressure I am putting on baking bread)! So after much research and even more recipe testing I have come up with this little beauty of a bread recipe. Its a cross between Portuguese Beer Cake (yes thats an actual thing! And yes I will post a recipe for it soon!) and Irish Soda Bread. You can make one big loaf like I have or you can pour the mixture into muffin tins and make ‘buns’. This is a great bread recipe as it is, but if you want to get creative you can add fillings to it such as chorizo or semi sun-dried tomatoes or even beer soaked raisins just to name a few examples. Give this super simple recipe a go, you will be shocked at how simple it is!
1) Preheat your oven to 200C, or 180C fan forced. Line a medium sized loaf tin with baking paper, making sure that it hangs over the edge slightly as this will make it easier to lift the bread out later.
2) In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Then make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the beer in. Please note that this is a rather sloppy and lumpy mix so if it looks like that you’re on the right track! This is also where you can fold through any fillings that you like.
3) Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and sprinkle over the cheese, then place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 35-45 minutes or until its lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean. If you’re baking ‘buns’ bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
4) Allow to cool slightly before removing it from the loaf tin to cool more before serving.
5) You can serve the bread now if you like, however I like to place the bread on a baking tray and gently pull the baking paper away from the bread. I then place it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes which creates a crust around the whole loaf rather than just on top.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx