Boozefood – The Entire Beast Beer Bread

By The Gentleman

Beer Bread

As usual Christmas is a time of gift vouchers and, lets be honest, you’d rather get a gift voucher from some obscure relative than have them try and guess what sort of stuff you actually like. Gift vouchers are great, particularly when you can use them on something that will help you make tasty treats, like the cookbook I used my gift voucher on, The Entire Beast: From Ear and Beer to Ale and Tail by former Masterchef contestant Chris Badenoch. Badenoch’s philosophy is all about using the whole animal and treating beer as you would wine, something that can enhance your cooking and dining experience by pairing the right beer with the right meal. I went straight to the one of the easier yet tasty recipes, Beer Bread, because I’m all about beer and baking.

The Entire Beast

Beer Bread

Makes 1 Loaf

375g Self-Raising Flour

40g Raw Sugar

1/2 tsp Maldon Sea Salt

1 bottle (360ml) Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

20g unsalted butter

Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Preheat your oven to 170 C and grease and line a loaf tin. Grab a big bowl and sift in your flour, sugar and sea salt. Make sure you sift it otherwise you’ll get an overly dense loaf that’s more like a brick than bread. Mix your sifted dry ingredients to make sure they are combined. Grab your beer and slowly start to pour it in, using a fork to mix the batter. You’ll end up with quite a think and sticky batter that is a bit lumpy. Make sure you leave a little bit of beer in the bottle (a teaspoon or two). Pour your batter into the prepared tin. Melt the butter and add the remaining beer to your butter and stir to combine. Pour the melted beer butter over the top of your batter. This will give it a nice crust on top and enhance the malty, hoppy beer aroma. The recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes but for me it only took just over 40 minutes. I recommend checking it after 30 minutes and then 10 minutes, sticking a knife or skewer through to see if it is still moist. When your knife comes out clean remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool for a bit before turning it out onto a cake rack to cool completely. You should eat the bread within 2 days or freeze it, but I seriously think it won’t last that long.

Beer Bread

There are few things nicer than the smell of baking at home and the Beer Bread does not disappoint. It has an amazing aroma that is equal parts baked bread and beer, with the malt and hops of the beer giving it an almost caramel smell with a hint of citrus. Cutting into it for the first time just enhanced these flavours, making me salivate at the thought of that first bite. I was very happy with how much it puffed up to look quite like a rustic loaf of bread and not a brick. It also cut quite easily even though it was still warm when I had the first slice. Seriously you need to enjoy this warm with just some butter and sea salt before you go adding delicious jams or other condiments. The bread also has a lovely texture, it’s dense like a sourdough but definitely a bread texture and not cake. You can really tell it’s bread when you get to the bottom crust, it has that slightly chewy consistency. The Imperial IPA, with its strong beer flavour, imparts a whole lot of malt and hop flavour to the bread. It tastes beery in the best possible way, but it’s not overpowering or out of place. Different beers would give you a different flavour profile, leaving lots of room to experiment, as well as options for pairing the beer with interesting additions like honey, black pepper or various herbs. Experiments that I am more than willing to try.

 

After making the Beer Bread I have a good feeling that The Entire Beast is going to be a welcome addition to my cookbook collection. The bread was delicious and so easy to make and that gives me confidence that the rest of Badenoch’s recipes will be equally as tasty.

 

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Boozefood – Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Hummus

By The Gentleman

Beer Hummus

We here at the Cocktail Challenge think hummus is pretty amazing. Many a lazy evening has been spent convincing ourselves that hummus counts as dinner (for the record, it does in extreme cases of laziness!). We also think beer is pretty amazing too so when I saw the Brooklyn Brewshop had a recipe for beer hummus I knew we had to give it a try.

 

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Hummus

2 cans of chickpeas, drained and well rinsed

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup homemade tahini (or shop tahini if that’s easier)

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Toasting Sesame Seeds

Toasting Sesame Seeds

First make your tahini, because it is easy as and so tasty. In a pan, on medium heat, toast 3/4 cup of sesame seeds. Stir or shake the pan constantly because the sesame seeds will start to burn quickly. Once they’ve got some nice colour on them remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour into a food processor and blitz. After giving your sesame a good mix start adding oil to smooth it out. You can do it without the oil but it takes longer and won’t get as smooth. I used Sesame Oil to enhance the sesame flavour, but you could use a mild olive oil or other neutral oil. Add a tablespoon at a time till you get your desired consistency. I opted for about 3 and a half tablespoons of oil. This should make roughly the half a cup you need.

Tahini

Tahini

Now you’ve got your tahini place all the other ingredients, except the beer, in your food processor and blend. Slowly pour in the beer and make sure you push down the sides so everything is mixed in. Blend until desired consistency is reached. If you make your own tahini you’ll probably want to add extra lemon juice and beer, to taste, because the tahini has a pretty intense sesame flavour. Once you reach your desired flavour and consistency refrigerate until party time.

Almost there

Almost there

Baird Brewing’s Suruga Bay Imperial IPA was probably not the best choice for beer hummus. This has nothing to do with the taste, which was a really strong, profound hop and malt flavour that had a really nice richness and just a bit of citrus to the finish. The bottle also looked really nice, a Cocktail Challenge prerequisite, with the fireworks display chosen to represent the beer’s “fireworks-like festival of hop character” giving the label a really bright, colourful look. No, the reason the Suruga Imperial IPA wasn’t a good choice was because it’s damn expensive here in Australia! I only chose it because I’ve had my eye on it for a while, wanting to try some Japanese craft beer, and figured this was a good reason to splurge and buy a few bottles. We only want the best for our readers. Any IPA would be fine.

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA

Be warned, the recipe makes a lot of hummus! You could definitely halve or even quarter the amount to make just a small quantity for yourself, but we made it for when some friends came over so a lot of hummus wasn’t an issue. It’s also super easy and may start you on a hummus addiction. The homemade tahini definitely gives it a really strong sesame flavour, even with the added beer and lemon juice. We think the beer helped highlight the sesame flavour of the tahini. The hummus was also really rich with some complex flavour from the beers high ABV and bitter hops. Instead of the zingy citrus Brooklyn Brewshop got, our hummus had an almost nutty flavour with just a touch of citrus in the aftertaste and some bitterness. It was really delicious and quite different to any other hummus we’ve had.

Beer Hummus

Beer Hummus is an easy and tasty treat that we think any beer or hummus lover will like and we look forward to it satisfying us on many a lazy evening.

 

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