all of this this requires patience and energy however (not to mention lots of time). the yiddish word, koyach [כוח], describes it best — breadmaking takes koyach. the negative or opposite idea to this famous yiddish word is the phrase 'hob nisht keyn koyach' [איך האב נישט קיין כוח] and, trust me, plenty of days hob nisht KEYN koyach! this weekend included one of those days (okay, two or three of them actually) where i had zero energy/strength to spend hours fiddling with dough.
those days are when i rely on insane recipes for bread such as the one which i am posting here. i found the following several years back and have made it countless times on those occasions when time was short and i wanted something for toast or a sandwich.
why crazy? well first of all, it requires only 2 ingredients! second of all, there is NO kneading involved and third, it can be thrown together and mixed in under 5 minutes if you're organized. PLUS no dough stuck to your hands! (ok, i like that part but i digress....)
the "secret" ingredient was given away already in the title of this post: beer. i am not really a drinker of alcohol, at all, and was at first a bit hesitant about making this bread. beer is the least of my favourite items to drink ..... regardless, the nature of beer itself is what helps to leaven this quick bread and give it lots of flavour, without an alcohol taste i might add.
after almost an hour of baking, you get a nice loaf of bread with a decent crust and very soft crumb. the only drawback is, if it is indeed one for you, that it's more of a tender interior and not a chewy one. obviously, this is a result of the fact that the dough is not kneaded. i must say, it makes EXCELLENT toast — a nice crisp exterior crust and a soft interior! without being toasted, it makes for nice sandwich bread or eating with a soup.
of course, this will never be like the lengthy 48 to 72 hour breads i often make which give incredibly good bakery-type breads. when you're hungry, who cares? cardboard would taste as good! (not really).
pour & stir beer bread
2 2/3 c self raising [rising] flour*
12 oz or 1 1/2 c beer (any type as long as it's a good one!)
* or make your own
preheat oven to 375 F for at least 30 minutes. grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or 8 inch round pan.
place flour in a bowl.
make well in center of flour. add beer.
stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until it is completely mixed. don't be rough, just blend everything together. it should only take less than a minute to do this.
transfer the dough into the pan and bake for 55 minutes.
remove from pan and let cool on rack.
toast or use for sandwiches.
you can also use a smaller loaf pan which will give a more height to your bread than a 9 x 5 inch one.