Beer, basil & bread


Beer, basil & bread…sounds like some kind of heaven to me.

So when I was making a dinner menu for the other night I decided that I really wanted to bake some bread to pair with the pork tenderloin I was craving. A recipe I had used a long time ago popped into my mind and then it was a matter of finding it…Basil Beer Bread. It’s from an issue of Real Simple in 2006! What’s great about this recipe is that you don’t have to think too far ahead because the stuff doesn’t have to rise.

Ingredients

Olive oil for the baking sheet
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan — I used Manchego
1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale — ok, total side note, somebody brought non alcoholic beer to a party at my place once. It’s been sitting around for awhile. Finally got to get rid of some of it here!
flour for the work surface
1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

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Directions

Heat oven to 400° F. Oil a baking sheet. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet.
Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

The loaf is heavy! Definitely not light and fluffy but totally delicious! Paired perfectly with the tenderloin and roasted Brussels sprouts.

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