Guinness Cheddar Bread: an experiment in baking

A wire cooling rack holds a loaf of rustic-looking Guinness cheddar bread with a single slice lying next to it.I’m not a baker. I’ve said this a few times, I think. But when I came across Miss…in the Kitchen’s Colby-Jack Beer Bread recipe, I knew I just had to give it a try. I had a leftover can of Guinness from making my Irish Guinness Beef Stew and plenty of cheddar, so I thought, “Why not??”

I had to make some substitutions based on the ones provided, as I did not have self-rising flour. And I didn’t use Colby-Jack cheese. I also found that the recipe, as-is, turned out a bit dry, so I added more liquid. I know that humidity levels and elevation can affect how a dough turns out, so I took a chance.

I will warn that if you try this recipe, start with the measurements from Miss…in the Kitchen’s site first. Then make adjustments as necessary. With my lack of baking skill, I don’t recommend starting from scratch based on my recipe, but you could use it as a secondary source to the original if you find it’s too dry.

With that said, here’s what I did…

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 Cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted
  • 2 Cups Guinness (1 can or 16 oz)
  • 1/4 Cup water (added as needed by tablespoon measurements)

Method

  1. Preheat the  oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cheese. Stir together with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add butter and beer and stir until just combined. This is where I found it to be a bit dry even after the additional beer, so I began to knead the dough a bit, adding water by tablespoons. It still ends up quite crumbly.
  4. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, then add the dough to the loaf  pan.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
  6. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve with butter while warm.

Note: I took mine out at the 55 minute mark. It was still a tiny bit uncooked right in the centre of the bread. I don’t mind it this way, but would recommend the full hour in the oven based on this experience.

I was pleasantly surprised by the  sweetness in this bread and enjoyed it for breakfast a few mornings in a row.

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