I love doing gift baskets for people because to me it shows more effort and love rather that just buying some random item. This year I made these as one of the items in my gift basket. To make it more festive I added a local breweries Christmas Ale to go along in the bread. In the past I would have made the bread, but this eliminates the stress out of all that. Plus the person receiving the basket can make it when they want. I made the cheddar one and ate it with chili. We liked it, but it is a heavier bread and to me I liked toasting it then layer on some butter.
All-in-One Beer Bread Kit + Apple Cheddar Beer Bread
(Adapted from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen)
2½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
½ c. white whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
add-ins (optional- see below)
12 oz. beer, at room temp.
1 egg beaten w/ 2 Tbs. water
Apple Cheddar Beer Bread (add-ins):
1 smallish apple, diced small (peeled, if you wish...to yield ~1 c.)
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. minced, dried onion
~6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped a bit
Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously grease a loaf pan.
Combine flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder (as well as any add-ins, if you're using them) in large bowl.
Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined, it will be thick. Dump the dough/batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Brush the egg wash generously over the top of the loaf. Slide into preheated oven and bake until the top of the loaf is golden, ~45 mins.
Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Jiggle bread a bit to make sure that it is loose from the bottom and edges of the pan, then turn it out and finish cooling on the wire rack. Delicious warm or at room temperature.
To make an All-in-One Beer Bread Kit:
Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl (no add-ins) until well combined. Transfer to a quart-sized zippered baggie. Place the mix into a new loaf pan and add a 12 oz. bottle of beer. Write out the instructions on a notecard (or something fancier, if you wish), including a few "add-in" suggestions.
If you like, tuck a new kitchen towel underneath for color and tie the whole thing off with some raffia or ribbon. If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can even break out that cello-wrap stuff and wrap the whole thing up in a pretty little package.
Suggested add-ins for beer bread:
-Apple Cheddar (see above)
-Cheddar & Sage (1 c. shredded sharp cheddar + handful chopped fresh sage)
-Garlic & Herb (1 tsp. garlic powder + 3 tsp. dried, mixed herbs or 2 minced garlic cloves + 3 Tbs. mixed chopped fresh herbs)
-Feta & Herb (4 oz. crumbled feta + 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano or rosemary)
-Italian (½ c. freshly grated Parmesan + 2 cloves minced garlic + 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning)
-Onion (½ c. finely sliced green onions)
-Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomato (4 oz. crumbled goat cheese + ½ c. finely diced sundried tomatoes)