Looking for a quick and easy sandwich style bread? Then look no more! This Maple Walnut Beer Bread is quite tasty!
So my wife and I like beer. We enjoy visiting local breweries whenever we’re on vacation. We often have fun beers stashed away for weekend afternoons. But we didn’t always like beer. In fact, I still remember my first taste of beer. I remember thinking to myself, “How could anyone drink this stuff? It’s terrible.” (I’m sure the fact that it cost ~$6 for a 12-pack didn’t help things…) Well, fast forward a bunch of years, and my taste buds have apparently evolved. When it comes to beer now, we typically go for seasonal beers. Darker porters and stouts in the winter. Lighter ales and such in the summer.
Speaking of beer, have you guys heard about Hackney Brewery? This east London brewery has come up with a way to turn leftover bread into beer. I know what you’re thinking. Leftover bread? What is that? Haha. I kid! (Seriously, though, I love bread. So there’s no such thing as leftover bread in our house.)
But apparently UK households waste up to 24 million slices of bread a year. I’m all about minimizing wasted food, so the fact that these guys are taking extra bread from delis, bakeries and other sandwich shops to create beer is pretty awesome! I’m guessing it’ll take some time before this Toast Ale shows up here in the States, but I’m totally grabbing a bottle if I see it.
For this recipe, I did things a little backwards compared to Hackney Brewery. Instead of using bread in my beer, I used beer in my bread. Yup, beer is a pretty darn good ingredient when it comes to baking bread. Both bread and beer involve yeast, so in this case the beer provides the leavening instead of the yeast. That’s right. You can make a loaf of homemade bread in under an hour. No rising time required. The beer does all of the work for you!
For this Maple Walnut Beer Bread, I added a bit of maple syrup to balance the flavor of the beer. I also tossed in some chopped walnuts to provide a different texture to the bread. In case you’re wondering, though, this bread isn’t sweet. The maple syrup isn’t overly noticeable, but it does a good job of balancing the beer flavor. We toasted up slices and ate ’em alongside salads for lunch, but I’m thinking this Maple Walnut Beer Bread would also be fun for sandwiches.
I used a bottle of Sam Adams Sparkling Ale that was left over from a seasonal mixed pack. The bread has a noticeable beer taste, but it is much less intense than the taste of the beer itself. The texture of the bread is a cross between a buttermilk biscuit and standard bread. The crust is buttery and chewy while the crumb inside is nice and soft. All in all, this is a fun (and easy!) bread to make. And the best part is you can switch out the beers you use to give this bread a different flavor. I’d like to try this bread with a darker winter beer. Or better yet, I bet Abita’s Maple Pecan Ale would be excellent in this bread!
What are your thoughts about Hackney Brewery’s Toast Ale?
What style of beer would you like to try in this bread?
Maple Walnut Beer Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 12 oz. beer recommended: golden or brown ale
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease and flour standard (9”x5”x3”) bread pan; set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together into a large bowl; stir until well combined.
- Add maple syrup, beer and walnuts; stir until well combined.
- Pour batter into greased pan. Pour melted butter on top of batter.
- Bake at 375°F for 48-50 minutes, or until top of loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.
- Let cool for 15 minutes in pan; transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.