Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guinness Beer Bread


2011 is just flying by! It is hard to believe that it is almost St. Patrick’s Day again. I remember it was such a big deal to wear green, especially in grade school – you did not want to get pinched. Today, it is more about going out to your local Irish Pub or cooking a meal of corn beef and cabbage at home. However you celebrate the holiday, I thought it was interesting to learn a bit more about the history of this holiday.





































St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. It is widely celebrated also in Canada, United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lent prohibits against the consumption of meat was overlooked and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

























Many years ago, I traveled with my parents and sister to England and Ireland. Since there is Irish heritage on my Dad’s side, I found Ireland to be a fascinating country to visit. It has to have one of the most green country sides I have ever seen. We journeyed to the typical tourist spots such as Blarney Castle, Guinness Factory and the Waterford Factory.


























I kissed the Blarney Stone. They say it gives you the gift of gab. It was a bit different than I imagined. You hike several stories worth of stairs to get to the top of this very old castle. Once you arrive at the top, you are basically standing on the roof of the castle and it is fully exposed to the sky. You sit on a stone and then an older Irish gentleman holds your hand as you lay back and tilt your head backwards to kiss the Blarney stone. When your head is basically upside down, you look down about a hundred feet to the bottom while kissing the Blarney stone. What a fun and unique experience.





















The tour of the Guinness Factory was intriguing. You see the barley, hops and bottling line. The entire process of making the beer is revealed. At the end of the tour, you land in the tasting room. This Guinness was leaps above the bottled version you buy in the US. It was creamy, rich and quite a decadent treat.






































The Waterford tour was simply astounding. They shared that a master cutter for Waterford goes through an apprenticeship for five years and then another 3 years before they are certified as a master cutter. To earn this prestigious pedigree, the master cutter must successfully make every Waterford cut perfectly on this very important bowl, called the Waterford Master Cutter Bowl.


























One of my absolute favorite quick breads is Beer Bread. Typically I use a lighter beer, but with this festive Irish holiday upon us, the addition of Guinness seemed like the perfect ingredient. I enjoy it when it is still warm with a generous pat of butter on top. It makes great toast the next morning for a hearty breakfast treat.





































Guinness Beer Bread

3 C. Flour
3 T. Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 T. Baking powder
1 t. Salt
1 Bottle (12 oz) Guinness Beer
4 T. Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Open the beer and add all at once. It will foam up and that is what you want. Stir quickly just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake until the top is crusty and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

19 comments:

  1. Interesting read about St Patrick's Day...have always wondered falls on which day, now I know:) Delicious looking beer bread!

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  2. I'm makin' this tonight...right after I make these: http://bit.ly/eZPGBt

    Thanks Lisa!

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  3. I bett his beer bread tastes wonderful with real depth of flavor from the Guinness. It looks so hearty.

    I never knew all that history about St. Paddy's day. Your Irish adventure sounded awesome, too! Now I want to go back to Irelend.

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  4. I bet the dark beer gave an extra depth of flavor...looks wonderful!

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  5. It's funny...when getting dressed this morning I thought about wearing green. But I don't own any green!

    I'm not a huge Guinness fan, but I bet it works well in bread. I'd give it a go!

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  6. I'm with you, Beer Bread is one of my favorite quick breads. I've forgotten about it of late. I'll bet the factory tour was a fun one! I've printed this one... my husband arrives home from a long trip this evening, I just may surprise him!

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  7. Your bread has a really nice color, must be compliments of the Guinness, have to try your recipe just sounds so easy to make.

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  8. I have fond memories of my trip to Ireland too. Bread looks great. Your pics are gorgeous. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

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  9. I'm glad you used the extra stout, the draught stuff is just not worth it these days.

    I don't know why I am never made this. Silly me!

    Jason

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  10. I don't know why St Patrick's day is also very much celebrated in Italy. I guess it's more to go out and have a beer but I have very fond memories of my trip to Ireland (my first alone trip) and my visit to the Guinness factory. I love the idea of a guinness bread. A must try even if it's not St. P!

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  11. Wow, you got to the Guiness factory, that's so cool. Glad you have fun.

    A while back, I made bread with Heineken and really enjoy it. Happy St-P.

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  12. Lucky you, touring the factory...that must have been a wonderful experience!
    That loaf looks amazing... I love recipes that use beer, so this is about to get a copy/paste! :)

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  13. Your Guinness Beer Bread looks sooo good. I love Guiness! Mmmm :)

    How fun that you've been to Ireland! I've never been there before but it's on my list of places I'd love to visit.

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  14. This bread looks fantastic! I think it's so cool that you visited the Guiness factory:) Ireland is a county on my "must visit one day" list...just gorgeous.

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  15. How great that you even visited the factory! The beer bread looks fabulous.

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  16. Hi Lisa, Happy belated Saint Patty's day and thank you for this wonderful bread recipe. I'm not a beer drinker but enjoying some in a slice of bread sounds flavorful and delicious to me;-)

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  17. sounds and looks great. i love a guiness. thanks for sharing!

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  18. I think you totally made the right choice with Guinness - I'm sure it made for a richer, more full-bodied bread : )I didn't post our pics from the Guinness Storehouse, but it was definitely a highlight! Will definitely put Waterford at the top of the list if we visit again. Since both of us were out of town on St. Patty's, I have Guinness leftover and am going to pay a late tribute to St. Patrick. Have a fantastic weekend, Lisa!

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  19. What a fun post! And such an interesting bread, sounds delicious though and looks fantastic :)

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