My family, especially my husband and son, love bread of any type. They especially love beer bread, because although I'm not a much of a bread baker or even a bread eater, beer bread is one bread that I make from scratch. I enjoy making beer bread over other breads because beer bread is so quick and easy. There is no special equipment required, no yeast needed, no kneading to be done or rising to wait on. You simply mix a small list of ingredients together and pop the pan in the oven.
This particular recipe is even easier to make than most beer breads, thanks to the use of self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour. (Don't have self-rising flour? Don't worry. See the blue box, right, for a modified recipe that uses all-purpose or whole wheat flour.)
I used to purchase little packets of dry beer bread mix from a friend who sells the "Tastefully Simple" line of cooking and baking products. These little packets were my first exposure to making beer bread. With the packets, all I had to do was add a beer and a half-stick of butter. The bread was delicious, but quite pricey. The packets ran about $4 or $5 each, which isn't crazy expensive. However, now that I know how easy and incredibly inexpensive it is to make up my own mix, I'll never waste money on the packets again. If you need an easy but inexpensive gift, perhaps for teachers or neighbors at Christmas, making up your own packets and giving them as gifts is easy to do and doesn't cost much. I can guarantee that the resulting bread is appreciated by the recipient!
You can use any type of beer in this recipe. It's fun to experiment with different beers to see which you prefer. We tend to drink dark beer most often here at our house; so I often used dark beer in the bread. It gives it a rich flavor. If end up with a few beers left in your fridge by your fun-but-cheap friends -- meaning, some type of beer you don't really like -- beer bread is a great way to use that beer up and not let it go to waste. The bread will be delicious no matter what type of beer you use.
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