And forgive us our box mixes, as we forgive those who store buy against us.
Or... something like that. I may be off... but I'm close, right?
Ladies, Gentlemen, and the rest of us, sometimes the easy way out really is the most rewarding. Right before Christmas, I picked up a beer bread mix that had been discarded near the onions at Walmart and it might have been the smartest decision I made in 2009.
(Call shenanigans and see if I don't smack you. I dare you.)
Anyway... here's how I went from two bottles to heaven.
This beer bread mix requires only 12oz of beer (not lite), so I used what I had... Guinness Extra Stout. Mmmm...
Now... about this pic... I took a normal cheesing-with-ingredients-pic and then forgot that I set the camera to take 2 pictures. So, pic 2 caught me dancing to the electrofunk I was playing at the time. Of course I liked the bizarre pic more.
Back to the bread... the most difficult part was opening both bottles. That's... not bad.
Then again... getting the mix out of the bottle was also a bit of a challenge.
I mean, really, is the kitsch factor great enough to justify the literal bottleneck?! In the packagers' defense, they do include a helpful "Tip" on the back: "Use a long kitchen utensil to loosen flour if any remains in the bottle."
Oh... okay... sure... but I just have a question for ya. What "long kitchen utensil" would you recommend I use to reach about 12" into a bottle that has an opening smaller than a nickel?
In the end, I just shook it. Like a polaroid picture. And that did it.
The beer goes right on top of the mix, gets stirred in with a wooden spoon (per the bossy bottle... I used a bamboo spoon and I don't think the bread was any the wiser), and then the whole shabang goes into a greased and floured loaf pan.
While the bread was baking for 45-50 minutes (I pulled it at 42) at 375 degrees, I whipped up a Vanilla Cinnamon Honey Butter to go with.
Of course I didn't think to set out my stick of butter earlier, so my non-microwaving self chopped up the butter and set it on top of the stove for a few minutes.
I then whipped the butter into submission and added 1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey, 1/6 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/6 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt since my butter was unsalted.
And then I waited patiently for the bread to bake. And when it came out...
Uhhh... I was... pleasantly surprised.
Kids, this bread is wicked good. My loaf was perfectly baked at 42 minutes. It formed a perfect crust all the way around without browning much at all. The insides are tender and so delicate for a bread mix. It might as well be from scratch. No one would call you out if you showed up with this goodness, I promise.
Now, the Guinness Extra Stout does pack a punch. The bread tastes pretty stout itself. I love a good stout (which is why you can find it in my fridge), so I couldn't tell you how this will go over with non-fans. I'll update with that info later.
But... may I recommend that you pair the bread with a sweet butter? Perhaps... a Vanilla Cinnamon Honey Butter? That just might do the trick.
Ungh. This bread and butter combination is really. really. good.
I finished that piece you see in front of you, and I immediately cut and buttered myself another one.
Since I can't imagine that there is much difference between one odd beer bread mix and another, I'd give you a great big thumbs up for the beer bread mix. If you see one... especially if it is oddly placed... I think that must have had something to do with the goodness of mine... then pick it up and try it out. Hopefully you'll be as deliriously happy with yours as I am with mine.