The Goodness of Beer

The above image is The Waitress by Edouard Manet

A little over a week ago I posted this recipe for Potato Bread with Beer…and also stated that it was not made with 100% whole wheat flour. Which is fine…it’s still a very good recipe, but these days I prefer whole wheat. Anyhow I thought I’d re-post it with the below version that is all whole wheat, along with a soup recipe which contains beer as an ingredient. For more recipes that include beer as an ingredient, and if you’d like to read an article I wrote on the subject–including history and personal stories–click here.
Whole-WheatPotato Bread with Beer and Cheddar
Makestwo loaves
2 cups cooked and mashed potatoes, room temperature
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2cup beer, room temperature
2 teaspoons instant yeast

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup beer, room temperature
3/4cup milk, room temperature

2 eggs
1/4cup honey
1/4cup olive oil
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)

Placetwo bowls side-by-side. In one bowl combine the mashed potato, 1 cupof flour, ½ cup of beer, and two teaspoons of yeast; mix just untilcombined and cover with plastic wrap. In the second bowl combine the4 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of beer, 3/4 cup milk; mix justuntil combined and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the bowls to restfor 20-30 minutes.

Combinethe contents of bowls in the bowl of an upright mixer that is fittedwith a dough hook. Also add the eggs, honey, olive oil, 3 teaspoonsof yeast, and two teaspoons of kosher salt (try not to let the yeastand salt come into direct contact). Run the mixer first on low speed,until it gathers the ingredients together, then on medium speed;knead the dough for about 6 minutes. Add the cheese and knead thedough for another 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightlyoiled bowl or rising bucket, cover it and allow the dough to fermentfor 60 – 90 minutes. Then gently press the dough down and allow itto ferment another 30 minutes.

Dividethe dough into two pieces, shape it into loaves, and place it inlightly oiled loaf pans. Preheat an oven to 425F and allow the doughto ferment and rise for about 45 – 60 minutes. Bake the dough forabout 30 minutes. When it is initially placed in the oven spritz theoven with a little water, lacking a sprayer toss a few ice cubes onthe oven floor to create steam. Rotate the loaves after 15 minutesand spray the oven again. The bread is done when it is golden brownand sounds hollow when tapped with a finger. Remove it from the ovenand their pans and transfer it to a wire cooling rack or clean towelwhich has been folded to double thickness. Allow the bread to cool 15minutes before slicing.

 Potato Bisque with Beer, Bacon, and Cheddar
Makes about 6 cups

3tablespoons unsalted butter
3slices bacon, diced
1small onion, diced
1medium carrot, diced
12ounces beer
3cups chicken broth
3medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1teaspoon kosher salt
1/2teaspoon black pepper
1/2cup cream
1cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heatthe butter in a small soup pot over medium high heat. Add the baconand cook it until it begins to brown. Add the onion and carrot andsauté for 5 minutes. Add the beer, 2 cups of the chicken broth, thediced potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lowerit to a simmer. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes, or until thepotatoes are very soft. Then add the cream. Purée the soup in a foodprocessor. If the soup is too thick add the remaining stock to thinit. Transfer the soup back to the soup pot over moderate heat. Stirin the cheese. Check for seasoning. Serve hot or cold.

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