Since I began blogging, I remember reading Savory Simple, the blog from Jennifer Farley who always manages to combine her culinary school knowledge with real life kitchen practicality. I respect that Jennifer know how to share amazing recipes that are actually doable.
While the recipes are the star of the book, I so enjoyed reading the introduction. Jennifer’s detailed notes on many categories of ingredients in an invaluable resource in making any recipes. What struck me the most is her philosophy of cooking what you love through experimentation and changing recipes to suit your tastes.
I do this all the time and I think a lot of trained chefs frown upon, thinking they know best, but the truth is we all have different tastes and only we know our tastes the best.
Back to the recipes. They all have a picture. My least favorite thing about cookbooks is that a lot of recipes do not have photos. I am never, ever going to make a recipe that I can’t see a photo of. I’m just not. This is not an issue in Jennifer’s book.
From breakfast to dessert, there are recipes for every taste and occasion. The Poached Salmon Soup with Udon and Mushrooms, Banana Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache (my carob chips better be up for the challenge), and the Pistachio Cardamom Baklava are screaming my name.
But today, I present to you the Oatmeal Stout Beer Bread. And you should make it. Now. And then memorize the recipe to make it again and again. Mom has already requested a second batch.
Following Jennifer’s advice, I did make a few changes to the recipe as printed. I couldn’t find oatmeal stout so I used Heineken, which Dad picked up for me. I really think any beer would work. I also eliminated the salt. I included it in the recipe below, but I really hate salt (I think part of Jennifer just died – sorry!), and the bread, in my opinion, does not need it.
The end result is a tender yet chewy, super flavorful all-purpose bread that could be used for sandwiches, toast, or eaten as is like we did. Mom liked hers plain, I paired it with a bit of cranberry jam. Butter, peanut or almond butter, or even coconut oil would be a great compliment.
Be sure to check out The Gourmet Kitchen and this bread. It will be an instant classic in your house.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or oil a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom only with parchment (mine stuck a bit on the bottom).
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Slowly pour in the beer and stir until a thick, sticky dough forms.
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Pour the butter evenly over the top of the bread. Place on a baking sheet or aluminum foil and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Serve warm or cool bread completely in pan. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw wrapped in parchment in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes or at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Kitchen by Jennifer Farley