I have to warn you – once you make this roasted garlic and olives beer bread, you will want to make it again and again. It is quick to disappear. I can testify that it is amazing on its own – right out of the oven, crusty and warm… It is even better with a little bit (in my case a lot) of butter. I spare no effort on butter.
Here is how I had it for lunch today – it was such a treat. Having Italian salami in the fridge came in handy.
In our family we don’t eat bread with every meal. Sometimes we don’t eat bread for a whole week. Well, actually I think that Chris eats bagels once in a while after his gym work outs, even though he always tells me that he had a protein smoothie.
Anyways, bread consumption is a completely random affair for us. We cook such as variety of foods across a number of cuisines that bread is not always a good fit. So having a freshly baked roasted garlic and olives beer bread is not only exciting, it is a massive reason to celebrate (ahem, with a craft beer).
A beer loaf is about the easiest thing to make using beer. Besides a beer-ice cream float. I use a basic recipe which entails mixing together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and beer. Anything else added to the bread is left to the imagination of the baker (i.e. yours).
Today I was craving a saltier and more fragrant loaf. I started with the garlic. I hate the smell and taste of burnt garlic and to avoid this extreme unpleasantness I roasted a head of garlic for just over half of the usual time so that it could get fully cooked while the bread was baking later on.
I cut off the lower end of a garlic head, placed the head in tin foil, drizzled olive oil all over it and after wrapping it up I had it spend 25 minutes in a 400°F oven. It wasn’t completely mushy when I took it out, but significantly softened making it easy to squeeze the cloves out.
Today used a traditional English ale with caramel undertones, but this recipe will work with stouts, pilsners, browns, dunkels… You just don’t want to use a beer that tastes too bitter (too hoppy). Choose a beer brewed with Noble hops or a hop variety that is low in alpha acids (the bitterness containing compounds in hops).
Dice as many of the garlic cloves as you want to use ( I used 6 since I love garlic), they will still be somewhat firm and will lend themselves to being diced without much difficulty. Fold the sliced and pitted olives and garlic into the beer dough and then transfer to your baking pan. Somehow a round loaf seemed more fitting for the ingredients I used today.
Before baking, generously drizzle olive oil over the mixture. In about 45 minutes you will be able to pull out of the oven an inviting, crusty loaf like this below.
If for some strange reason you end up with a few slices of a day or two old beer bread, know this – it makes incredible grilled cheese sandwiches.
So here we go, the recipe is below. Try it and let us know how yours turned out!
Recipe for Beer Bread
- 3 cups flour
- 4½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 oz beer (choose a malty, low IBU (bitterness) ale or lager)
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more to drizzle
- 1 garlic head
- ½ cup pitted sliced olives (kalamata recommended)
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Cut off about half an inch from the bottom of the head of garlic. Place in tin foil and drizzle generously with olive oil. Fold foil tight around the garlic and place in the oven for 25 min.
- While garlic is roasting, prepare your olives and other ingredients.
- Squeeze the cloves from the cooled off garlic head (use about 6-8 depending on size, more if you are a real fan of roasted garlic) and dice them in small pieces.
- Turn oven down to 375°F.
- Line a loaf pan or a round cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients and mix them well.
- Add the olive oil and the beer and stir the mixture until everything is well incorporated.
- Fold in the olives and garlic and transfer to the parchment paper lined pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over the mixture (optional).
- Bake at 375°F for 45 min.