It’s a shame that this blog has gone so long without a beer bread recipe. Considering all the other beer-focused recipes I’ve featured on these pages (pancakes with stout, chili with lager, risotto with double IPA…you get the idea), it’s hard to believe I’ve bypassed such a simple beer recipe. Let’s change that, shall we?
Oddly enough, my inspiration for this recipe didn’t come from beer at all, but rather the bag of ramps that I had hanging out in my fridge. Yes, ramps! Yay! If you know anything about ramps, you know that they’re briefly available at the beginning of spring and are nearly impossible to find in the markets. So how’d I get them? From a generous friend who recently went to Michigan and brought home a huge stash that he foraged himself.
I sautéed the green tops with olive oil, salt and pepper, but thought the white parts would make a great addition to a beer bread. The final result? A seriously hoppy and chewy loaf with a nice cheddary, oniony kick that’s absolutely worthy of being featured on this blog.
It’s about time, wouldn’t you say?
Red Ale Bread with Ramps and 5-Year Aged Cheddar (makes one loaf)
What you need:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced ramp bulbs (the white parts)*
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 12 ounces Red Ale (I used Half Acre Ginger Twin)
- 1 cup shredded 5-year aged white cheddar
How you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch loaf pan; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced ramp bulbs and cook for a few minutes to take some of the edge off the powerful garlic flavor. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add the beer, cheddar and sautéed ramps and fold everything together with a spatula.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool before slicing.