After a few intensely sweet weeks it was time to follow-up on some savoury baking options, one of which was this slightly embellished version of a simple and quick beer bread.
Essentially a variation on the traditional soda bread, beer bread relies on baking powder or soda as the leavening agent, while the beer itself provides colour and flavour. One thing I've always wondered was how these loaves would work using cider, and when I came across this recipe for bacon and chive beer bread I thought it the perfect base for a few minor adaptations.
While the loaf itself was reasonably dense, drizzling it with butter before baking meant it had a nice, crunchy crust, and the bacon and pecorino did help pare back the sweetness of the cider. Admittedly the flavour was pretty mild and I would probably use a dark beer next time, but the lightness made it well suited in accompanying a rich roasted vegetable soup. The texture of the loaf was rather spongey, meaning the bread didn't keep all that well and while it was best enjoyed fresh from the oven, the loaf did cope okay with being frozen and reheated, and was pretty nice toasted too (I'm presently contemplating a grilled cheese option).
BACON AND HERB CIDER BREAD (Adapted from this Beer Bread recipe by Pastry Affair)
- 300 g bread flour
- 80 g wholemeal flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used chives and parsley)
- 100 g bacon, cooked and diced
- 20 g sharp cheese (pecorino, cheddar), grated
- 70 g apple, grated
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 330 g cider
- 50 g butter, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Grease a 9- × 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, chives, apple, cheese and bacon. Pour in the cider and mix until just incorporated. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and then pour over the melted butter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until browned and cooked through. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
** This loaf is best served warm on the day it is baked. If devouring over several days, reheat in a low to moderate oven or serve toasted.