This throwback isn’t all that vintage – the recipe was previously featured in the September 24th issue of The Spirit. Better late than never, right?
Each September, Joe and I attend the Newtown Beer Festival with my friend Kate, her husband, and their family. They live close to the location of the event and graciously host an after-party that’s always more fun than the actual beer sampling celebration, complete with plenty of food to absorb a few hours’ worth of sample-sized brewskis, a great playlist, a bonfire and, of course, more beer.
Things have drastically changed for Kate and I: she is expecting her first baby and, as for me, caring for a two-month old and all-day beer sampling aren’t a good combination – especially the following day. This year, Kate served as designated driver and we both hung at her house as the rest of the group celebrated the annual “tour de beer.”
We didn’t exclude ourselves, however, from the awesome menu typically served at Kate’s house, and she and I spent the day eating, chatting, and enjoying the beautiful weather on her back porch as Joey was lulled to sleep by the gentle breeze. In the spirit of tradition, I made an easy bread with the help of a bottle of Kenzinger, which was the perfect companion to Kate’s apple laced, fall salad.
5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, half shredded and half cut into cubes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1-12 oz. bottle of PBC Kenzinger
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8”x4” loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl with a standing or hand mixer, mix together cheese, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. With the mixer running, slowly pour in beer and continue mixing until just moistened and a dough forms. Transfer dough to the loaf pan and brush top with melted butter. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack. Slice and serve.
This homemade bread is especially easy and exceptionally quick; thanks to the lack of yeast, there’s no fuss with rising or resting times. The base is uncomplicated (flour, sugar, and baking powder) and its increments of three make this recipe one you can make from memory. The sharp cheddar works well with the slightly bitter taste from the beer, and Kenzinger’s flavor may even be more obvious than that of the cheese. The bread is soft and moist and delicious served with soft butter as an accompaniment to a main dish. If you like to experiment, switch up the cheese and beer to create your own version.