I recently got a note on The Boat Galley’s Facebook page from a reader who found the sheer number of recipes in The Boat Galley Cookbook almost overwhelming. He suggested that I regularly post some of my favorites and tips to go along with them. Here’s the first — beer bread. I’ll first tell why I like the recipe, show the recipe as it is in the cookbook, tell what/why I’m modifying it, other tips on making it, and finally give the recipe as I actually made it.
Why I Like This Recipe: It’s very quick to mix up (about 5 minutes), works in almost any pan, can be varied in all sorts of ways and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. It’s a good choice whether you’re in a marina, at anchor or underway in settled conditions (that is, calm enough that you can use the oven).
Recipe as in The Boat Galley Cookbook (page 382):
Situation and How I’ll Modify the Recipe:
- It’s only going to be Dave and I, so I’d like a little smaller loaf. Also, I’m going to use my small round Magma pan instead of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. This recipe is easy to cut by 1/3, so that’s what I’ll do. Since it’s about the same thickness in the pan, it’ll take about the same time to bake.
- Dave is allergic to milk and milk products, and so can’t have cheese. I’ve learned that most recipes turn out just fine if I omit the cheese, so that’s what I’ll do here (for those who don’t have a milk allergy, you can use just about any kind of cheese — I’ve used all sorts of types in the past — and it’s even better).
- I’m going to be serving this with pasta and a red sauce, so I’ll make the Italian version (without the cheese).
- I’m not going to use the optional glaze as I’m out of eggs.
- The beer that you use will greatly affect the flavor of the bread. Using a fairly generic beer (Bud in my case) will produce a bit of flavor in the bread, but nothing particularly strong and it’s very unlikely that anyone will even identify it as beer. Very light beers, such as Corona, will be almost unnoticeable. Using more flavorful beers and ales — say, Sam Adams, will have more flavor and dark beers even more. These are great with chili and bean soups. If you have a choice of beers, choose whichever one you think would best accompany the meal if you were drinking it.
- If you’re making a partial recipe as I am, it’s hard to measure beer since it foams. Pour slowly and let it settle between pours. This isn’t a problem if you’re making a full recipe as most beers come in 12-ounce cans and bottles in the US.
- If you’re not comfortable using a toothpick to determine if the bread is done, a more definitive test is using an instant read thermometer — it should read about 200º F. (read more about using an instant read thermometer and get a downloadable chart of “done” temperatures).
- For those baking in an Omnia Stove Top Oven, make the full-size recipe (for the 9″ x 5″ pan) and bake it 45 minutes. The top won’t be as golden brown, but the other tests for doneness still work.
The Recipe as I Made It