Oct 31, 2011

Red Racer Pumpkin Ale Bread

2011 might well be the year of the pumpkin ale. In 2010, everyone seemed to jump aboard the winter ale train, but this year, it felt like every brewer and his dog released a pumpkin beer of some kind. This is great news for pumpkin ale fanatics like me, who wait all year for the spicy, gourd-flavoured brew to hit store shelves. Now, instead of a couple of options, we've got a veritable buffet of orange cans and bottles to salivate over.

One of my favourite local pumpkin offerings comes from Surrey's Central City Brewing. Their Red Racer Pumpkin Ale is creamy and delicious, with subtle hints of cinnamon and cloves (pumpkin pie!), and without the overwhelming sweetness of some other pumpkin ales. Nice and balanced, I thought it would be a perfect choice for my first attempt at pumpkin beer bread. (yes, this is my second beer bread post this month. I think it might be becoming a thing.)

Oct 18, 2011

Homemade crusty beer bread

Bread is awesome. If it were socially acceptable (and physically possible) for me to eat an entire loaf in one sitting, I would do it. But despite my enthusiastic appreciation for bread, I'd never once tried to make it myself. This might have had something to do with growing up in the 90s and assuming that owning a breadmaker was a necessary part of the process (do people still use those?). Luckily, turns out it's not - as it happens, bread is actually pretty easy to make. Who knew?

For my first attempt at bread baking, I decided to start with (what else?) a bread with beer in it. I used Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale, and it turned out great - with a nice, almost honey-like flavour. You could use any light beer for a more subtle result, or try a darker, spicier beer for more of a noticeable flavour. I'm looking forward to experimenting with different brews in this recipe.