This is one knock-out delicious beer bread. Excuse me…stout loaf.
It’s got it all: hearty texture, not too dry, not too moist, a tiny hint of sweet and a nice hoppy flavor set off by a confident but not overpowering selection of earthy herbs and spices. It’s plenty good enough to eat unadorned, but makes a great canvas for spreads, even peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter, because I’m a peanut butter graffiti artist and I know these things.
But wait, it gets even better. It’s made with 100% whole wheat flour, aka nutrition dust, and it’s low in fat and cholesterol. Each thick, crusty, flavorsome slice checks in at around 160 calories – less than you’ll find in two slices of crappy processed bread in a plastic bag. I believe this bread is what the phrase “part of a balanced diet” was made for.
So why is this going to be the best beer bread (stout loaf, dammit!) you’ve ever made? The big game changer for me was using decent stout instead of cheap beer (“hop pop”, as I call it, and no one seems to find that as funny as I do). It’s important to give the stout a solid supporting cast of flavors, and the whole wheat, simple seasonings and handful of cheese get the job done beautifully. You’ll also be letting it proof just a bit, which is another way of saying you have 30 minutes of free time before popping it in the oven. While you’re out riding llamas for half an hour, your bread will be rising a bit and getting nice and puffy and aerated, and after it’s baked the texture will be out of this world.
100% Whole Wheat Stout Loaf
yields about 12 slices
3 cups self-rising whole wheat flour
self-rising flour mix:
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
Seasonings I used:
1 Tbs Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb (use any salt-free seasoning blend you like)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning blend
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
dash red pepper flakes
1/3 cup sugar
about 1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a sharp cheddar)
a 12 oz. bottle of stout, best at room temperature (I used good old Guinness Extra Stout)
olive oil for brushing over
extra seasonings for sprinkling atop
1. Heat the oven to 350° and coat the inside of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. (This is a very rustic loaf, so if your pan is slightly larger or smaller I don’t think it will be a big deal.) Place the flour or flour mix ingredients in a large bowl. If you’re making flour mix, whisk everything together thoroughly.
2. Add your seasonings and whisk them into the flour. Add the sugar and cheese and stir or mix with your hands to combine (guess what I did). Pour in the beer and fold with the flour until just combined. Avoid over-mixing, as it could toughen the bread. I use my hands for this too, because a spoon just seems daunting to me at this point. The dough will be very moist.
3. Transfer the dough to the pan and let it rest for about 30 minutes. It’ll proof a bit, resulting in a lighter, nicer-textured loaf. After it’s rested, bake for about an hour. About 15 minutes before time’s up, take out the bread, brush it with olive oil and sprinkle it with seasonings (I kept it simple and just used more Mrs. Dash), then pop it back in to finish. That’s it! Serve the bread straight out of the oven, or wait around for a few days; it’s all good.
Per serving, 72g: 159 calories (12 calories from fat); 1.4g fat (2%)(0.7g sat, 0g trans); 3mg cholesterol (1%); 313mg sodium (13%); 30.8g carbohydrates (10%); 1.0g fiber (4%); 4.1g protein; Vitamin A 1%; Calcium 11%; Vitamin C 0%; Iron 9%