Now that the cold weather has finally kicked in, most people are dreaming about baking up cookies, apple creations, and pumpkin masterpieces. You can definitely lump me in with that bunch– my kitchen has been smelling like brown sugar and cinnamon for the past several weeks now, and there’s no sign of it stopping any time soon. However, there is one thing I get even more excited to make every year when the temperature drops– a different scent I love lingering throughout the house as the oven gives off an extra boost of warmth– and that, my friends, is bread.
When I decided to make bread, I knew I wanted to load it up with some of my favorite ingredients, because the beckon to creative freedom in a loaf of bread is just too inviting to deny. I thought about packing in chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts, but none of it seemed exciting enough. I wanted a flavor explosion, because I believe there’s really no other way to live than going all in. Keeping that in mind, I loaded this up with all of my favorites: blue cheese, garlic, onions, and beer… and it was glorious.
Remember when I said that the Glazed Doughnut Cocktail deserved to have Shakespeare-esque sonnets written about it? Well, I think Shakespeare would have written about this bread if he were still around. As he wrote in Henry IV, “ I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmill, far, than than feed on [delicacies]…” Imagine, Shakespeare, if the cheese and garlic were baked into a warm, dense loaf of bread. That’s the kind of food that inspires classic love stories.
Sadly, my family members and most of my friends are not as in love with blue cheese as I am, so my one blue-cheese-appreciating friend Elysse and I basically ate this entire loaf ourselves right after it was baked. Elysse, who very frequently taste tests my food, seemed more excited about this bread than anything else I’ve ever seen her eat. Who can blame her?
Make this bread as a side for spicy buffalo wings at your next party, snack on it as you watch football, or use it to soak up some delicious Buffalo Chicken Corn Chowder (recipe coming tomorrow)! Oh, and make sure that you have plenty of time to sit around in the kitchen and take deep breaths as you bake it, because the smell of this bread alone is amazing enough that you’ll want to make it every day.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 13.5 oz (~3 cups) all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups blue cheese crumbles
- 1 (12 oz) bottle lager (cheap beer works well, don’t waste expensive beer)
- cooking spray (I like to use this non-aerosol EVO sprayer)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat, and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Season generously with black pepper and add in the garlic. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until well-combined. In the center of the mixture, create a well. Add the onion and garlic, the blue cheese, and the lager to the dry mix. Stir until the mixture becomes moist, making sure to not over-stir.
- Spray a 9 x 5 pan with cooking spray and pour or spoon in the batter. Drizzle half of the butter (1 tablespoon) over the batter and bake for 35 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and pour over the remaining butter. Bake for 25 more minutes, or until the bread turns golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.