In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beer Bread

Today we will start a new topic called, "Sunday Creations". Just like our recurring Wednesday topic, this will recur every Sunday. Today's creation will be short and sweet since this cold is really kicking my fanny today. The only magazine I subscribe to is GRIT. Check it out. Maybe you will get hooked like me, maybe not. Today I pulled a recipe for herbed beer bread from the most recent issue to serve with our traditional Sunday meal with my folks. We were also able to have the hubby's Dad over for dinner.
 The meal was amazing and the bread should have been, too. Taste-wise it was delicious. Consistency-wise, not so much. Ah, the joys of learning a new oven. Here is the recipe if anyone would like to try their hand at it. I used a homebrew stout of the hubby's. I am sure different brews would yield different flavors. If you try it, let me know how it turned out for you. Even though todays' batch was not overly successful, it is a recipe I will try again.

Herbed Beer Bread

1 tablespoon shortening
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (or 1 teaspoon each of oregano, basil and thyme)
1 can (12 ounces) beer, room temperature
2 tablespoons soft butter

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease loaf pan with shortening and sprinkle bottom and sides with cornmeal; set aside.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cheese and herbs; mix well to combine. Stir in beer, mixing until stiff batter forms.
Turn batter into pan. Bake for 65 minutes. Brush baked loaf with softened butter and sprinkle with additional cornmeal, if desired. Turn out and cool on rack.

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