I blame Netflix.
Not for lack of sleep or for distracting me from cleaning, cooking, and other chores. No, I blame Netflix for the recipe bug it gave me. I want to bake and cook and eat everything right now. See, Good Eats just arrived on Netflix, and Ryan and I have been devouring the 25 episodes each night. It’s our favorite Food Network show (and please tell me it’s yours as well).
Each and every episode makes me want to tie on my apron and cook my way through the culinary classics. I keep a notepad where I list recipes to make. I usually try to think of healthy and creative dishes. Now that list includes items such as chicken pot pie with a buttery pastry crust, pulled pork sandwiches, Yorkshire pudding, chicken tikka masala, bread pudding, and beer bread. It’s probably best for our grocery budget and waistlines that there aren’t more episodes on Netflix, lest we have a miniature feast each night.
Then yesterday a combination of a tough speed workout and foggy, humid weather made put a spark beneath the kindling from Good Eats. I wanted to bake something warm, comforting, and carby, something that struck the balance between sweet and savory. Images of pretzels and bread bowls and English muffins danced through my mind, but when I opened the fridge I discovered we were out of yeast.
But, as Alton Brown showed in an episode Ryan and I just watched, there’s more than one way to rise some bread. Beer, in fact, uses yeast as part of its fermentation process. Even though the yeast has stopped by the time you drink a beer, beer still can cause dough to rise, especially when combined with a bit of baking powder. All beer bread needs is flour, salt, baking powder, and beer – plus anything you want to add to it for flavor.
It’s October, which is essentially national pumpkin month, but I haven’t (gasp!) made many things pumpkin so far. I made those pumpkin bars a couple weeks ago and a few dozen pumpkin cupcakes for our wedding reception. Most of our pumpkin fix this year has been coming from pumpkin beer, which we started drinking the first unofficial day of fall, Labor Day.
It’s pumpkin beer that got me thinking about this bread. I like pumpkin beer, I like pumpkin bread, and I like beer bread – so why not pumpkin beer bread? It strikes the right balance of not too sweet or too savory, it’s warm and comforting, and it’s so perfectly fall that I wonder why I haven’t been making this since the leaves first turned shades of orange and red.
The best thing about this pumpkin beer bread? It comes together in a matter of minutes – just mix together a few ingredients and then pop it in the oven for 50-55 minutes! It’s a seriously low maintenance bread. No offense, my beloved loaves of yeast bread, but it’s nice to spend only five minutes prepping now and then.
Pumpkin Beer Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 12 oz pumpkin beer
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spice in a mixing bowl.
- Mix the pumpkin puree into the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the beer and gently mix with the flour until a smooth batter forms.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes.