Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Great Canadian Beer Bread Round-Up!

Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper - photo from Globe and Mail
It's no secret that we Canadians love our beer. You wouldn't even catch one of our politicians denying a celebratory brew.
Beloved Hon. Jack Layton - photo from Globe and Mail
So. What's a Canadian representative of the Bread Baking Babes to do when presented with the challenge of presenting a challenge to the world? She finds one awesome beer bread for people to bake!

Granville Island Beer Bread - The Knead for Bread
Thanks to Chuck at and The Knead for Bread - we found the perfect beer bread to delight your friends and families and you guys stepped up to the challenge - here are the awesome Bread Baking Buddies!

Heather from girlichef threw open her windows to let the glorious scents of dark beer, fennel seeds, sharp, tangy cheese and her favourite sausage waft through the air and temp her neighbours.

Dewi from ~ e l r a ~ added sun-dried tomatoes and bunching onions from her garden to the bread and served it to her family. She says her resulting loaf was one of the most delicious she has tasted!

Breadsong from The Fresh Loaf managed to get her hands on some Granville Island beer and added asiago and chives to her loaf for a delicious treat!

Judy of Judy's Gross Eats also managed to find some good Canadian beer for her bread and used a spinach, fontina, and roasted garlic chicken sausage and Quattro Formaggiio (four cheese blend). Delicious!

Tara of The Guild of Knitting Kninjas spiced hers up with chorizo and red pepper flakes for a treat with heat!

(Granville Island) Beer Bread
Rita of soepkipje was surprised by how much she loved having sausage cooked into her bread. This is a bread she would not have thought to bake on her own, and she is glad she stepped up to the challenge!

Mági from szeretetrehangoltan used fresh bear onion, vegetarian sausage, Hungarian cheese and German wheat beer for a veggie spin on this delicious bread!

Sandie from Crumbs of Love had a rough week this week but still managed to turn out these gorgeous loaves featuring "Big Rock traditional ale, Bavarian smokies that are house made and smoked at a german butcher in the neighborhood, extra sharp Canadian cheddar cheese, and fresh chives, right out of my Canadian garden.."  Looks delicious!

Thanks to all you buddies for baking along with us and for loving beer as much as I do. 
You guys are awesome! 

You totally deserve to be honourable Bread Baking Buddies. Great job! 

Okay, take it easy, eh?

Friday, 27 April 2012

Crab Cakes! from Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmothers Secret Ingredient

The Lost Art of Cooking 
with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient
by the Editors of Grit Magazine

Paperback, 7.5 x 9 inches, 272 pages

Cook like your grandmother? Mine embraced cans and boxed mixes with gusto as soon as they sold the farm, long before I was born. I am guessing it is more like cook like your great-grandmother these days - by which I mean the original classics. Before they replaced nurturing and natural ingredients like lard and butter with margarine - whatever that is.

Butter finally came back into good graces, and now it's lard's turn. Good quality lard is free of trans fats and has almost half the saturated fats of butter. The editors of Grit Magazine, the country lifestyle source for Americans and Canadians alike, want to remind this generation of "the lost art" of cooking with lard.

They start with sourcing and even rendering your own top-quality lard for cooking and baking. Then they deliver 150 recipes, both savoury and sweet, that use lard as an ingredient or cooking method- carefully selected from over 100 years of tried-and-true recipes from the magazine.

With Lard, you will rediscover what was once lost - how to make the flakiest pie-crusts, crispiest chicken and everything from Breads and Biscuits, Vegetables, Main Dishes, Cookies and Brownies, Pie, Cakes and Desserts - just like they did back on the farm.

Crab Cakes
From Lard/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Serves 4

Enjoy the taste of the Maryland seashore, even when fresh crabmeat isn’t an option. Whip up a homemade tartar sauce with mayonnaise and diced sweet pickles. Or for a lighter version, use equal parts sour cream and mayo, a pinch of minced shallots or onions, and some fresh aromatic herbs of your choice (cilantro, dill, basil, and tarragon are all delicious).

1 (6.5-ounce) can crabmeat, drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped green onion (white and green parts)
Salt and black pepper
Lard, for frying

In a large bowl, place the crabmeat, bread crumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Season with salt and pepper; mix well. Shape into 4 equal-sized patties. (If more moisture is needed to form patties, add a dash of melted lard.)

In a large skillet, heat the lard over medium-high heat. Fry the patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Lamb and Tomato Breads with Lamb Meatballs and Lentil Salad

The whole world loves a pizza. I kid you not.

As I was working on this recipe from Flatbreads and Flavors, this exotic bread from Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Turkey, I started to recognize it for what it was. A pizza. Gloriously exotic and spicy, but a pizza nonetheless. That is awesome. And it is. Forget mozzarella and bacon, try this spicy lamb flatbread this weekend for something completely different.

You can always go back to the cheesy one next weekend.

And while you are making your lamb flatbread, give the delicious lentil salad a try - you can make it ahead of time and serve it room temperature when your flatbreads come out of the oven.

And - if you have some ground lamb leftover like I did - make the meatballs!

A little touch of exotic, without you having to leave the comfort of your own home.

I am all for that!

This bread has been YeastSpotted!
Lamb and Tomato Breads
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

1 cup warm water (110°F)
½ tsp honey or sugar
1 tsp dry instant yeast
1 cup AP flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour

Mix all the dough ingredients in your stand mixer, on low, for 3-5 minutes. Adjust hydration as necessary. Form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled clean bowl for 2 hours, covered, until doubled in size.
Make topping, below.
Preheat oven to 450°F, rack on the bottom third shelf. 
Divide dough into 12 portions, roll out to 4 inch circles and place 6 on a parchment lined half sheet pan and 6 on the other.
Spread the filling equally over the 12 breads, leaving a half inch border around the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn pans and bake another couple of minutes until they look nicely cooked through.
Remove and serve hot.

Filling - can be made ahead
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ lb ground lamb
4 tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp EACH - gr cinnamon, gr allspice, kosher salt, black pepper, gr cumin
1 tsp curry powder

Heat oil up in a large fry pan. Sauté shallots for a few minutes, stirring, add in the garlic and the lamb and the spices. When cooked through, add in the tomatoes and cook low and slow, uncovered, until most of the juices have evaporated. Let cool.

Lentil and Sweet Pepper Salad
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

1 cup green lentils, washed and soaked
3 cups water
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 large red pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp EACH - gr cumin, gr coriander, kosher salt, black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Place the drained lentils, the water, and the garlic in a smallish pot and bring to a boil. Let cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender - this will depend on your lentils, so try them every few minutes after the first 15 for texture. You don't want mush. Or rocks.
Drain and let cool, remove garlic.
Toss in large bowl with the red pepper and combine your dressing in a small bowl. Pour your dressing over the lentils and peppers, add cilantro, toss, and let stand. Serve room temperature. 

Lamb Meatballs

1 lb ground lamb
½ cup EACH - chopped parsley and chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp EACH - ground cumin, hot paprika, black pepper, curry powder, chopped garlic
Kosher salt to taste
1 egg, and enough Panko bread crumbs to make it workable for meatballs - not too much

Combine in a bowl with your hands. Enjoy the squishing, but not too much.
Make meatballs, whatever size you wish.
Bake, fry or grill. Pop one open to see if they are done. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen

by Gail Bowen

Hardcover, 336 pages
Also available as an eBook

This is the thirteenth book in the Joanne Kilbourn series, and the most personal. 

Joanne and Zach have settled nicely into married life and are working on plans to fix up North Central, Regina, a notoriously bad neighbourhood, along with their friend and colleague Leland Hunter. Nothing is as easy as it seems and Joanne is ambivalent about the work they are doing and how they are going about it. Pressure against them is high, especially from local gangs and activists. 

As tensions mount, their house is bombed - just hours after the family headed to the lake for the weekend. Joanne finds her sense of security rocked and begins to question her own philosophies of life as events heat up and continue to hit far too close to home for comfort. 

Gail Bowen has won numerous awards for her Joanne Kilbourn series and in June 2008, Reader’s Digest named her ‘Canada’s Best Mystery Novelist’.

Her protagonist is genteel, intelligent and compassionate while remaining down to earth. I find the books read almost like autobiographical mysteries, and it is a pleasure to be part of Joanne's life.

You don't need to read the books in order - I didn't, but once you read one you'll want to read the rest.

The Joanne Kilbourn series

Deadly Appearances [1990]
Murder at the Mendel (alternately titled as Love and Murder) [1991]
The Wandering Soul Murders [1992]
A Colder Kind of Death [1994]
A Killing Spring [1996]
Verdict in Blood [1998]
Burying Ariel [2000]
The Glass Coffin [2002]
The Last Good Day [2004]
The Endless Knot [2006]
The Brutal Heart [2008]
The Nesting Dolls [2010]
Kaleidoscope [2012]

Browse the book:

Monday, 23 April 2012

Rick Bayless' Roasted New Potato Salad with Poblano Mayo

I know, your gramma made the world's best potato salad. Mine may have too, I can't remember. I like potato salad the old fashioned style - with egg and bacon and mayo, I like it with a vinaigrette, with dill pickles, with various herbs and spices... potato salad is blissfully adaptable to whatever you are cooking at the time.

And potato salad is great with Mexican flavours too, as Rick Bayless has taught us. This one has lovely roasted new potatoes, green onions, and a roasted garlic-poblano mayo that will brighten up your barbecue this week. So don't get stuck in the same potato salad rut - try something new!

Rick Bayless' Roasted New Potato Salad 
With Poblano Mayo
A Mexican Take on a Familiar Side Dish
 for I♥CC From the Earth
online recipe source: ABC News

Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 30-60 min

I know that potato salad sounds a little familiar and not at all Mexican, but this preparation proves both those assumptions wrong. Crusty roasted new potatoes, with their creamy centers, take potato salad to new heights when combined with garlicky homemade roasted poblano mayo, wilted green onions and fresh cilantro.

Add crumbled bacon, diced ham or flaked, hot-smoked salmon to the mix and you have a more substantial, party-ready small dish. As is, it can add the perfect balance to your small-dish party offerings; it's just right for picnics, too.

Though you could roast the vegetables a day or two ahead, then cool, cover and refrigerate them, I wouldn't really recommend it. The texture of freshly roasted potatoes that have never been refrigerated is beyond compare. However, the roasted poblano mayo can be made several days ahead without suffering.

Since your finished salad needs to be refrigerated if not served within two hours (it contains homemade mayonnaise) -- and refrigeration will change the potatoes' texture -- I recommend combining all the ingredients shortly before serving.

1½ pounds small new potatoes
A little vegetable oil or olive oil for coating the vegetables
Salt and black pepper, preferably fresh ground
2 large poblano chiles
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, cut cross-wise into ½-inch pieces
1 egg yolk
¼ cup olive oil (one that's not too strong is good here)
About ¼ cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off) or ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cooking Directions

Roast the vegetables. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. If the potatoes are bite size, keep them whole; if not, cut into halves or quarters. Put them into a bowl, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Scoop onto one side of a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes. Put the poblanos and garlic in the bowl, toss with a little oil to coat and scoop onto the other side of the baking sheet. Toss the green onions with a little oil and scatter over the potatoes. Return to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender, the poblanos are evenly blistered and the garlic is soft, about 20 minutes. Cool.

Make the mayonnaise. Peel the blistered skin off the poblano, pull out the stem and seed pod, then quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds. Chop into small pieces and scoop half into a blender jar, along with the roasted garlic. (Set the rest of the chile aside.) Add the egg yolk, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, pour in the olive oil in a thin stream, creating a luxurious mayonnaise.

Finish the salad. Scoop the roasted potatoes and green onion into a medium bowl, along with the reserved chile. Sprinkle on the cilantro or parsley. Add a generous 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise (cover and refrigerate the remainder for spreading on sandwiches or making incredible salmon salad) and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt if you think necessary. Scoop into a serving bowl and the salad's ready. Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away.

*Recipe courtesy of Ricky Bayless from "Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends"; W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.; 2010

IHCC Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Canadian Living Complete Preserving Book

Complete Preserving Book
Written by Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Hardcover, 320 pages

Canning has become huge again - thanks to a renewed interest in from-scratch cooking and non-commercial eating. And besides - it's fun! Plus you have that joyful satisfaction of seeing all those jewel-like jars of sweet and savoury treats lined up in your pantry. Canned goods make great gifts too, as they are personal and from the heart.

The Canadian Living Test Kitchen has put out a beautiful and colourful book of canning favourites from the last 35 years of their magazine, together with modern recipes utilizing recent food trends and up-to-date canning techniques.

Now you can joyfully and safely preserve nature's bounty and begin your own canning heritage.

Chapters Include:
Canning Essentials
Jams & Marmalades 
Pickles & Relishes
Chutneys, Salsas & Conserves
Sauces, Syrups & Vinegars
Liqueurs & Seasonings

Some of the recipes on my to-make list include: Cranberry Riesling Jelly, Pawpaw Hot Sauce, Apricot Jalapeno Cheese Topper, Small-Batch Zucchini Mustard Relish, Garlic Dill Spears, Irish Cream Liqueur, Korean Marinade and Peach Melba Fruit Sauce. Oh, who am I kidding? I want to make them all!

The Canadian Living Test Kitchen invites you to:
Make Your Own
Light Blueberry Jam

This jam, featured in The Canadian Living Complete Preserving Book, uses pectin designed to work with a reduced amount of sugar. It requires a shorter cooking time, so the jam has a fresh, intense blueberry flavour. It sets up fairly firm—perfect to spread on toasted crumpets.

12 cups fresh wild blueberries
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pkg (49 g) light fruit pectin crystals or no-sugar-needed fruit pectin crystals
3 cups granulated sugar

In Dutch oven and using potato masher, crush blueberries, 1 cup at a time.

Measure 6 cups fruit. Add lemon juice to blueberries. Mix pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar; stir into blueberry mixture.

Bring to boil over high heat, stirring often. Gradually stir in remaining sugar; return to full rolling boil. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam for 5 minutes.

Fill hot 1–cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4–inch (5 mm) headspace. Cover with prepared discs. Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat. Uncover and let jars stand in canner for 5 minutes. Lift up rack. With canning tongs, transfer jars to cooling rack; let cool undisturbed for 24 hours.

Makes about 8 cups.

per 1 TBSP: about 26 cal, trace pro, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 7 g carb, trace fibre, 0 mg chol, 1 mg sodium, 10 mg potassium. % RDI: 2% vit C.

• If you prefer a smoother jam, purée the blueberries in a food processor instead of crushing them with a potato masher.
• Certo Light Fruit Pectin Crystals and Bernardin No–Sugar–Needed Fruit Pectin Crystals can be used interchangeably in this recipe.

Excerpted from Canadian Living: The Complete Preserving Book by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Copyright © 2012 by Transcontinental Books. Photograph Copyright © 2012 by Edward Pond. Excerpted by permission of Random House of Canada Limited on behalf of Transcontinental. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Huaraches with Black Beans and Salsa

Let's get a little saucy, shall we? Los condimentos add the zest and life to cooking - and Mexican cooking is no exception. Of course one of the most popular Mexican condiments is salsa, and there are probably as many different kinds of salsas as there are Mexicans out there. This one is fairly easy to put together and can be done ahead of time. Rick Bayless, the master of Mexican cooking, calls it "essential". So I figured I should give it a try. It was perfect with the huaraches we made last night - one step up from homemade corn tortillas, they are stuffed with black beans, shaped like sandals, fried and topped with more deliciousness. Seriously good eats. Definitely a weekend crowd pleaser - feel free to double the recipe.

Essential Roasted Tomato-Green Chile Salsa
From Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen
Online source - Splendid Table
Slightly adapted for I♥CC Salsas and Sauces

Makes about 2 cups

    1 pound (2 medium-large round or 6 to 8 plum) red, ripe tomatoes
    2 large (about 1 ounce total) fresh jalapeño chiles - I used 4 seranos - see notes below on chiles
    3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    Salt, about  ½ teaspoon kosher
    1/2 small (about 2 ounces) white onion, finely chopped
    A generous 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
    Squeeze of lime to taste

1. Roasting the basic ingredients.
The broiler method: Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place about 4 inches below a very hot broiler. Roast until blistered and blackened on one side, about 6 minutes; with a spoon or pair of tongs, flip the tomatoes and roast on the other side.
The griddle method: Line a griddle or heavy skillet with aluminum foil and heat over medium. Lay the tomatoes on the foil and roast, turning several times, until blistered, blackened and softened, about 10 minutes. Don't worry if skin sticks to the foil. Cool, then peel the skins, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes. While the tomatoes are roasting, roast the chiles and unpeeled garlic directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet (you already have one set up if you've griddle-roasted the tomatoes) over medium. Turn occasionally until both chiles and garlic are blackened in spots and soft, 5 to 10 minutes for the chiles, about 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool, pull the stems off the chiles and peel the papery skins from the garlic.

2. Grinding the salsa.
The mortar method: In a large mortar, use the pestle to crush and grind the chiles, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a coarse-textured paste (this will release a wonderfully pungent aroma), paying special attention to breaking up the chile skins. A few at a time, grind in the roasted tomatoes, transferring the ground mixture to a bowl if the mortar gets unmanageably full.
The food processor or blender method: In a food processor or blender, grind the chiles, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a coarse paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times until you have a coarse-textured puree. Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl, and stir in any reserved tomato juices.

3. Final seasoning. In a strainer, rinse the onion under running water, shake off the excess and stir into the salsa, along with the cilantro and lime juice to taste. Add water, if necessary, to give the salsa a thickish, but easily spoonable, consistency (2 to 4 tablespoons is the norm). Taste and season with salt, and the salsa's ready to serve.

Advance Preparation:
This salsa comes into its own a few hours after it's finished, especially if left at room temperature. It can be made through step 2 a day or two ahead, covered and refrigerated. Add the cilantro and onion shortly before serving.

Other Chiles:
Besides jalapeño, serranos (3 to 5 for this quantity) are also classic. It's also made with habanero (1/2 to 1) or manzanos (1/2 to 1). With habaneros, this typical Yucatecan salsa, called chiltomate, is frequently made without chopped onion or cilantro and is flavored with sour orange juice in place of the lime.

Huaraches with Black Beans and Salsa
from Fiesta at Rick's, online source Serious Eats
slightly adapted, for I♥CC Salsas and Sauces


    1 pound fresh corn masa or 1 3/4 cups dried masa harina for tortillas
    Table salt
    ¾ cup canned or cooked black beans, drained, plus more for topping
    ½ cup vegetable oil
    1½ cups salsa
    2/3 cup grated queso anejo or queso fresco or feta   
    2/3 cup white onion, chopped
    ½ cup cilantro, chopped
    3 to 4 radishes, cut into matchsticks - I used chopped cucumber
    2 limes, cut into wedges


    If using masa harina, mix with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot tap water and 3/4 teaspoon salt and allow to hydrate for 5 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. If using fresh masa, combine with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Divide mixture into 8 balls. Cover with plastic wrap.
    Add drained beans to food processor with 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth, adding water as needed until texture resembles masa.

    Preheat heavy 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, form one ball masa into an egg shape. Using thumb, make deep, wide hole. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons black bean mixture into hole. Pinch the masa up to enclose it and roll into a cigar shape. Place between two sheets of plastic and flatten gently with tortilla press or under heavy skillet until ¼-inch thick. Carefully peel off top sheet of plastic. Flip the masa onto your fingers and peel the bottom sheet of plastic. Transfer quickly to skillet and cook until small lightly browned in spots, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside on plate. Repeat with other balls.

    Pour enough oil into the skillet to generously coat bottom heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Slide two huaraches into skillet. Cook for 1½ minutes and flip. Coat top side with 1½ tablespoons salsa, a few cooked black beans, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Cook one minute longer. Set aside and repeat with the other huaraches.

    Top the huaraches with onion, cilantro, and radishes (or cucumber). Serve immediately with lime wedges and extra salsa.

IHCC Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy and Looking Good

Ecoholic Body
Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to 
Living Healthy and Looking Good
by Adria Vasil

Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Also available as an eBook

Adria Vasil is a weekly columnist for NOW Magazine dedicated to environmental issues for the last decade. For the last eight years of that time she has focused on individual concerns and answered questions about how we as individuals can make informed environmental decisions for our homes, families and bodies. 

Adria's background is in politics, research, anthropology and journalism. Her wildly popular column, Ecoholic,  mixes humour with solid research and important and life-saving information, making her one of the most well-read and well-loved Canadian columnists. 

Adria on the cover of NOW Magazine green issue.

Ecoholic Body is her third book, Ecoholic and Ecoholic Home were also instant best-sellers.

In Ecoholic Body the chapters include:

Body Care Basics: Beauty and the beasts
Skin Care: What lies beneath
Body Maintenance: The daily show
Makeup: Toxic cover-up
Hair Care: Wash those chems right out of your hair
Sex and Contraception: Even educated fleas do it
Health: Might as well face it, we're addicted to drugs
Natural Health Products: An acai berry a day keeps the doctor away
Environmental Health: What goes around comes around
Health Care System: Greening the system
Clothing: Fashion faux-pas
Footwear: You've got sole
Jewellery and Accessories: The devil's in the details
Kids and Babies: Greeneology
Big Issues

There is also a large Resources section, divided by Canadian regions at the back of the book, and the all-important Glossary for all those confusing terms on the labels of our daily products.

This book is a must-have for anyone interested in making greener choices for themselves and their families and the planet, you really will be surprised at just what lurks in your cupboards.

Browse the book:

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Bread Baking Babes bake with Beer!

I am kitchen host for the Bread Baking Babes this month!

While it is true that Canadians are well represented in the Bread Baking Babes, I thought it would be fun to do a Canadian themed bread with the most Canadian of ingredients - Beer! (Extra points for using Canadian beer.)

This bread is savoury and hails from one of the most beautiful parts of Canada, B.C.

This bread is so very super-delicious - I ate half of it just toasted with salted butter. You can really taste the beer, and the toasted cheese on top is delicious! The dough is smooth and easy to work with - definitely worth keeping in permanent rotation in your kitchen. 

I think there is plenty of room to play with your sausage and cheese and beer choices - I used 2 cups cooked crumbled Oktoberfest sausages, and a mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses (1 cup in the dough and one cup on the tops) and a local lager. How are you going to dress up your beer bread?

If you would like to bake along with us this month and earn a Bread Baking Buddy badge - whip up your beer bread and post on or by April 29th (let us know how you liked it, and how the process went for you!)  and send me an email  at livinginthekitchenwithpuppies AT hotmail DOT com - with a medium-sized jpg photo (about 300x400) and a permalink to your post.

*Vegetarians and teetotalers - feel free to adapt the recipe to your needs.

Granville Island Beer Bread :
recipe courtesy of Chuck from and

Night before:

    1¼ cups bread flour
    ¾ cup tepid water
    ¼ teaspoon instant yeast

Day of:

    1 - 12 oz bottle beer (room temperature)
    ¼ cup olive oil
    3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    4 teaspoon instant yeast
    1½ tsp salt
    ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    ¼ cup sugar
    4 - 4½ cups bread flour
    1½ cups farmers sausage
    2 - 3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese


The night before combine 1¼ cup of bread flour, ¾ cup tepid water and ¼ teaspoon instant yeast, cover with plastic wrap and set aside till next day.

The next morning pour the night before mixture into a large bowl. Add in the room temp. bottle of beer, olive oil, dried onion flakes, 1 cup of bread flour, instant yeast, salt, pepper and sugar, with a wooden spoon mix all these ingredients together till well blended.
Mix in another 1½ cups of flour. Sprinkle some more flour onto a flat surface. Pour out the wet dough onto the floured surface, place a little more flour on top. Start to knead the dough and continue to add a little flour till the dough becomes smooth (a little on the tacky side). Knead the dough for about 8 minutes, then place into a lightly oiled bowl, turn the dough over so all the sides are lightly coated. Cover with plastic and let rise for1 hour or till it has doubled in size.

Sprinkle a little flour onto a flat surface and pour out the dough. Add the farmers sausage or any other cooked sausage you like. Add 1 cup of cheese and knead till all incorporated. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. Afterwards cut dough in half, shape into loaves and place onto a cornmeal parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour. Using a sharp knife score the dough about a inch deep. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top of the loaves. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30-35 minutes or till a thermometer places into middle of loaf reads 180F-190F. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

The Bread Baking Babes

This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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