Monday, December 19, 2016

Quick Rustic Stout Beer Bread | 特快歐式黑啤麵包


One of those things I love and miss most about Europe is quality artisan breads - those rustic, crusty, wholesome, hand-crafted breads whose individual imperfections sings perfection.

In Hong Kong, finding an affordable loaf of rustic bread is about as hard as finding an apartment. And, for most people, making their own breads by hand or owning a bread making machine is simply unrealistic. Nonetheless, I'd still rather eat cake than to give in to mass-produced, chemical-ridden, highly processed supermarket breads. So, that pretty much meant crusty artisan breads would always remain a novelty lest I start making them at home.

All of that is about to change with this foolproof recipe. For the longest time, I have been intimidated to bake my own breads so long as kneading and proofing is involved. So when I realized that I can make bread in an hour with just four simple ingredients and nothing more than a bowl, a pan, a spoon and an oven, I was ecstatic. No yeast proofing, no kneading, no getting hands in a gooey, gunky mess, no kidding. Even the most inexperienced baker could do this. Oh, did I mention you get to bake bread with your favorite beverage?

This bread is nicely moist and dense; crusty, craggy and golden on the outside and chewy on the inside - perfect for toast, sandwiches, sopping up chili, and sensational with hearty soups, chowders, moules-frites, and beef stew.

With beer being the key ingredient in this recipe, you've got to start with a great brew. The type of beer you choose will impart distinct characters on your bread. I chose stout for its robust, malty aroma and chocolatey color (and matched that with rich black sugar* to add depth). Or, you can go with a crisp lager for a paler yet complex-tasting bread; or an IPA if you're in for the hops. Experiment with different ingredients to complement your beer - say, using some oat flour and whole oats to match an oatmeal stout, or adding spices to round off a pumpkin-ale-based loaf.

Dunk this bread in Parsnip, Parsley, and Leek Soup and pair up with Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Cranberries for the holiday season!

What you'll need...
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons black sugar*
1 can or bottle (355 ml) stout beer
2 tablespoon butter, melted
Cornmeal, to dust (optional)

*Note: Black sugar is a type of unrefined sugar commonly used in Japan and Taiwan, known for its rich, complex, malty taste and health benefits not found in other more refined sugars. Substitute with dark brown sugar if unavailable.  
(My first video!)


1. Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Grease a loaf pan or round cake mold and dust the bottom with cornmeal.

2.  In a large bowl, sift flour and sugar together.

3. Add beer, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and mix lightly, using a wooden spoon, until most of the flour is incorporated and forms a sticky, lumpy mass. Do NOT overmix!

 4. Scrape and pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Brush the top with remaining butter and lightly dust top with flour for a rustic look.

5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and crisp on top. remove from pan and cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Best served warm and crusty. Enjoy!


毋需麵包機、毋需發酵或手搓 - 零難度!
材料簡單,口感紮實帶有韌性,有著樸實的外表卻不平凡的內在,伴隨著淡淡的啤酒小麥香氣 - 全都只需要四種材料、一個小時多就搞掂!最適合忙碌人士和臨時請客不已。

自發麵粉  360 克
黑糖  25 克
黑啤酒  355 毫升
牛油  2 湯匙 (約 28 克)溶掉
粗粒玉米粉 (Cornmeal)  少量(可省略)

1. 預熱烤箱至 180C/375F。
2. 烤模先薄薄的塗上油,再在底部撒上少量粗粒玉米粉,有助防黏及增添香脆口感。
3. 麵粉和糖過篩。
4. 加入啤酒和一湯匙牛油,輕輕攪拌均勻。麵團黏黏的及不規則的狀態屬正常、避免過度攪拌。
5. 麵團倒入烤模裏。將剩餘的牛油塗在表面,再用篩薄薄的撒上一層麵粉。
6. 放入預熱好的烤箱, 焗 50 分鐘或至表面金黃香脆。出爐後馬上脫模,晾涼最少 15 分鐘後即成!

1. 除了黑啤之外,更可自由選擇其他種類的手工啤酒,因應不同啤酒的味道和個性隨意作不同的成份配搭, 例如加入麥片、肉桂、香草等調味。不妨實驗一下!
2. 每個焗爐都會有些微分別,所以要熟識自己焗爐的脾性,再作適當的時間溫度調教。
3. 如無黑糖,則可用紅糖 (brown sugar) 代替。
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