Monday, February 27, 2012

Daring Bakers Challenge-Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread

Yay! Another month, another Daring Bakers Challenge! This month's challenge was fairly open-it just needed to be some form of quick bread (no yeast). So-muffins, popovers, quick breads, they were all fair game. A few recipes that we could use were provided for us-and when I saw Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread my jaw dropped. I love all of those! At least...I thought I did. A couple things did not go as planned. First of all-for this recipe-I bought my first bottle of beer. And I didn't even get carded (DO I LOOK OLD?!). I bought Guinness....which might have been my first mistake. Guinness has a to it...which isn't exactly my favorite. Mistake #2? The day I decided to make this bread, in the midst of the process...I realized I had to open the bottle. I did not have any sort of bottle cap opener, and Michael was at work! The result left me fairly injured:
Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread
I'll be darned if I don't have a bandage somewhere on me, at all times.
Lesson to all of you: think ahead on that, or you'll scrape up your hand trying to open the bottle. In the end, I did triumph over the beer and got it open. The third mistake I made? I baked a double batch.
NEVER bake a double batch of a recipe you haven't tried yet, unless you're like 100% sure you're going to love it.
For the most part, everything came along beautifully. I did need to severely reduce baking time, however, as I found my bread baked much quicker than the recipe called for. So, keep an eye on that. I did alter the recipe to reflect the time my bread needed. Also, once I realized how similar these are to the Cheddar Biscuits I make, I realized they could benefit from garlic butter brushed on top of them, so that is altered below as well.
Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread
In the end? This bread was OK. I honestly wasn't able to eat more than a few slices, Michael was only able to have, like, one or two. The beer flavor was just too strong, and they sort of tasted like a less good version of the aforementioned biscuits. Bright side=I gave the rest away! I've always wanted to be able to gift people with food I make, but I usually can't rationalize wasting the money. But here was a case where we were not going to finish this bread: Michael gave away A BUNCH to his coworkers (who actually adored it, and one of them asked for the recipe), I gave some to a director friend of mine at an audition, and to another director friend at a shoot. And that made me feel happy. Don't let my problems deter you from trying this, however, just use some of my mistakes to inform your baking experience, and obviously, Michael and I are just silly, as many many people loved this bread. So, give it a try! Just, maybe start with one loaf.

Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread

Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread
Makes one 9” x 5” (23 x 13 cm) loaf
  • ½ tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • ½ cup (240 ml) (100 gm/3½ oz) sliced green (spring) onion
  • 3 cups (720 ml) (420 gm/15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (45 gm/1½ oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (2 oz) grated Asiago cheese
  • One (12 fl oz/355 ml) (about 1½ cups) bottle beer (such as amber ale)
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted and divided
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5. Spray 9”×5″ (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add green onion and sauté 3-4 minutes or until tender. Cool to room temperature.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. 
Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread
That's "a well"

  • Add onion, cheeses, and beer. Stir just until moist.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan. Drizzle evenly with 1 tablespoon of butter. Bake for 30 minutes; Mix remaining 2 tbsp. butter with garlic powder-brush top of bread with the garlic butter mixture. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

  • Cheddar, Asiago, and Scallion Beer Bread
    It's pretty bread, I will give it that.

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