The most winning combination I can think of? Beer and bread. There is some yeasty magic behind how beautifully the flour and beer bubble together that cannot be topped. You can make a simple beer bread with just 3 ingredients (beer, self-raising flour, and sugar), or you can exercise your right to experimenting by adding extra elements. This beer bread recipe below does that, twice. We've taken one of our favourite lagers from Adnams (Earl Grey Lager, which we also have our our menu at Figbar) and upped the ante by creating a beautiful little beer bread bundt with it (we only did that for the alliteration, any bread tin or cake tin will do). The brilliance of beer bread (sorry, I love alliteration!), is that you can create so many flavors just by changing the beer you use in your basic recipe. What I love about this particular recipe we are sharing here is that the honey prevents the sweetness from distracting from the beer.
If you have ever tried the Earl Grey Lager by Adnams, then you'll remember the tea that lingers on your palette. This bread barely hints at the strength of the tea, but instead lends itself to a slight acidity with lovely buttery tang. We've included a variation with the ingredients to give more of an earl grey kick, but do try it each way and see which you prefer.
Adnams Earl Grey Lager Bread
400g plain flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
80g honey (reduce to 75g if including optional ingredients)
1 x 330ml bottle Adnams Earl Grey lager
100g butter, melted
1tsp lemon juice (optional)
1 earl grey tea bag, contents only (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 6 hole bundt tin with butter (see n.b for other options of bread tin).
2. In a large bowl, place flour, baking powder, salt, and honey (if using lemon juice and tea leaves, add them now too)
3. Pour Earl Grey Lager directly over the other ingredients, and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all ingredients come together. Do not over mix.
4. Pour half of the melted butter evenly into the bottoms of the bundt tin. Use a pastry brush to push the melted butter into all the crevises.
5. Evenly split the dough into each hole in the bundt tin. (It will about double in size, so try not to overfill your particular tin).
6. Evenly brush the remaining 50g butter along the top of the dough.
7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the bread is golden and a knife inserted to the middle comes out clean. (Fair warning here, this is the trickiest part of the entire recipe and does take a bit of practice. A toothpick can come out clean, but you’ll slice the bread only to find the texture doughy to eat. Next time, add 5 minutes to your cooking time. If you do find this, I recommend slicing the bread and popping it into the toaster and then slathering with butter. J).
8. Serve immediately from oven (though it’s still good for days in the bread drawer and makes a killer sandwich bread).
A few notes:
* You can use any bread tin your have, you’ll just have to adjust the baking times. For example, a 9x5x3inch standard bread tin will take 40-50 minutes to cook properly. I made this recipe in a large bundt tin and it cooked in 35 minutes. If you feel unsure, set your timer for 20 minutes and then every 5 thereafter until the bread is done. The sheer amount of butter drenching the top of this bread helps keep the browning turn to burning.
* It may help to ‘melt’ your honey a bit in the microwave so it cooperates when mixing.
* Try this same recipe with any brand or style of beer and taste the results! It’s super fun experimenting with flavours and styles (ale vs. lager, pumpkin vs. clementine, American craft vs. British craft, etc.), and also great to know you can have good bread quickly just with a can of beer on hand!