You Should Be Baking With Beer
It's been well established that one of the most enjoyable, affirming and necessary activities of the moment is baking. It's also been well established (if more implicitly so), that another of the most enjoyable, affirming and necessary activities of the moment is drinking. So let's just combine the two.
A few weeks back, Heated interviewed Lori Rice, author of Beer Bread: Brew-Infused Breads, Rolls, Biscuits, Muffins, and More, to discuss her book and why you might want to add a splash of IPA to your next loaf. That conversation not only produced some useful nuggets (for example, heat intensifies the bitterness of hops, so if you don't love IPAs, definitely don't bake with them), but a kind of irresistible recipe as well: Pilsner Pepperoni Rolls. They're one of those pull-apart breads, which are normally ideal for sharing, but in the days of social distancing the official CDC recommendation is that you just eat them all yourself.
That recipe is below, as is one of mine, which I was reminded of when we did that interview with Lori. I wrote a piece for the Times a while ago about cooking with beer, and it included an absurdly easy (stir, pour, bake) loaf of beer bread. It calls for a doppelbock (double bock), often referred to as liquid bread: a semisweet, supermalty, high-alcohol beer whose aroma reminds you of bread baking in an oven. The result is a pretty much foolproof loaf with a tender crumb and warm, yeasty flavor (but the bread has no yeast, which is probably good, given that it can be hard to find these days).
The only absolutely critical rule to remember when baking with beer is that for every bottle you pour into the dough, you must also pour a bottle into the cook.
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.