Mascarpone Beer Bread w/ Rosemary & Sea Salt

I know it isn’t Friday and you’ve become accustomed to a certain standard of living. You expect to close off the work week by reading about my latest adventure and laughing at my cleverness and wit, and when you don’t see my post, you are shocked at how distraught you feel. You obsessively refresh the page all day and wonder if you did something to make me mad. Or so I like to imagine. It’s been a hectic week, but I sincerely apologize for scaring you. There, there…I’m here now. It’ll all be fine.
 
I’m taking part in the Fiesta Friday Cooking Challenge #1 hosted by Angie at The Novice Gardener, and this month’s challenge was to use yeast and herbs. I had never used yeast before really and decided that I would make some sort of bread.
  
Image
In the world of cooking and baking, I feel like Bread is its own little closed off specialty clique full of temperamental ingredients that you need to manage exactly right or else you end up 2 hours and nothing to show for it. I don’t like cooking in steps that require me to wait – mix, wait, rise, return, mix, wait, rise, return…it’s never ending and feels like too much work for one loaf of bread. But a girl should have a bread recipe in her arsenal for carb emergencies, shouldn’t she?
 
So my first attempt was to make an Herbes de Provence / Sea Salt Bread. I used a regular white bread recipe and thought “hmm…let me mix it up a bit” and added herbes de provence & pink Hawaiian sea salt. Then I thought to myself “hmm! let me form this bread into a cool shape because I’m crazy that way”. This led to my “lets make tons of different shapes” idea and my “heart shaped bread! lets call it…BREAD-ZELS!” idea.  The dough hook on the Kitchenaid worked wonderfully and the dough felt soft and perfect and dough-y.
 
But then it didn’t rise. After an hour, the poor dough just lay in the bowl, greased and flat. But I thought that maybe it was a late blooming bread (that’s a thing, right?) and still kneaded it a bit, and shaped it into hearts, knots, mini breadsticks, and traditional rolls. It still didn’t rise after the other hour that I left it but I still held out hope. I baked it nonetheless and…(drumroll please!!)…it sucked. I’d give myself an A for effort but F for execution. Actually that’s a good word. I executed my bread.
Image
 
Suffice it to say I considered that maybe the cool bread crew didn’t want me as member. But I wanted to participate in Angie’s FF Challenge and I thought that if I didn’t try baking with yeast now, it would be a very very long time before I tried it again. Yeast has freaked me out over the years. Living organisms in a packet?! I could just imagine looking at it under a microscope and seeing little yeast-like creatures walking around in their yeasty suburbs, one watering plants, one getting their mail, one delivering newspapers… I admit I’m still a little apprehensive about it. After reading a bit more, I learned that there are also different types of yeast – brewers yeast, cake yeast, etc. It’s a whole other universe out there people!
 
This time I found the simplest and coolest bread recipe I could find – Beer bread. I decided to use a Beer Bread Recipe I found at About.com that was filed in a category called “Bread Making 101”.  Being the occasional “use up what I have” and the “how can I make this better although I haven’t even tried it yet” kinda cook, I decided to modify it a bit and make a Mascarpone Beer Bread with Rosemary & Sea Salt. Yup. sounds weird right?  I also decided to adapt the recipe to be used with the dough hook on my Kitchenaid because I don’t know the right way to knead and also kneading sucks.
 
 
Image
Beer, if you were cold I promise you that I would have totally forgotten that I’m supposed to be making bread and instead would be relishing in the coolness of drinking straight from the measuring cup. Huh. Maybe that’s why the recipe called for room temperature beer…touché, recipe. Touché.
 
I am happy to report that the 2nd time was the charm! I literally cheered when I lifted the towel and saw that the dough rose. I cheered again when I saw that the dough was rising in my cake pan. Also, I told you I’d find a use for my tub of mascarpone! I still have a lot left though…

 
 ImageImage
My loaf pan is in the shop. Literally. Because I haven’t bought one yet.
 

Mascarpone Beer Bread w/ Rosemary & Sea Salt

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 package active dry Yeast (I used fermipan)
1/4 cup warm Water (not boiling)
1 cup Beer, room temperature (I used Banks Beer, but any beer should be fine)
1 tbsp Mascarpone Cheese
1 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 cups Flour
1/2 – 3/4 tsp dried Rosemary
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
 
Preparation:
In small bowl, mix water and yeast. Stir until yeast is dissolved. In mixing bowl, add the beer, mascarpone, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir until mascarpone is broken up and relatively consistent throughout mixture. Add in 2-1/2 cups flour. Fit mixer with dough hook attachment and mix on speed 2 for approximately 2 minutes. Add remaining half cup of flour and mix for another minute or two. The mixture will be very sticky. You can add up to 1/4 cup more flour for easier handling. 

Put dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn dough so that the top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 60 minutes, or until double in size. Punch down dough with your fist. Move dough to a floured board and knead for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Form dough into 1 loaf, or simply place into a buttered bread pan or pan of your choice. Sprinkle rosemary, sea salt & black pepper on top of dough. Do not knead in. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes. Score dough by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife. Place in in oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack or dishtowel.
Image
 
All in all, the bread came out pretty great. The outside was crispy and a little bit oily (in a good way) and inside was airy, soft and moist. Rabin and I both had two slices as soon as it came out of the oven (it works with and without a swipe of butter – we tested both to ensure diner satisfaction) and then lay down for the rest of the night because who else is dumb enough to eat a snack right after dinner?
 
So there it is. Beer bread. I’m inspired enough to try different types of bread, but still wary of yeast . Angie, is there an award for Most Improved? Because I seriously think I’m a contender.
 
I’d just also like to say hi to all of my new followers (hi!!) and thank my older followers (thank you!!) for sticking with me. I’ve hit over 100 followers in a few short months and I’m thrilled that you all find me interesting enough to keep following my kitchen adventures. You guys are awesome!
Advertisements

31 comments

  1. What a shame that those sweet looking hearts didn’t rise. They look adorable! The marscapone beer bread is looking great. Well done for persevering – I’m not sure I would have!!

  2. Where to begin, so much going on here? First, Congrats on the 100+ followers. Exciting time!

    I wonder what you did wrong the first time. Can you clue us in? Was the yeast old, the water too hot, did you mix the yeast directly with the salt, etc., either one could be the reason. Would love to know what happened.

    I’m so glad you gave it another try. Aren’t you proud of yourself? That bread looks great. Should make excellent sandwiches, too, I think. Grilled cheese comes to mind. 🙂 And yes, there’s a prize for the most improved. Lots of love, lots and lots. Here!
    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Aww thanks Angie! I am proud of myself and I loved this challenge. I feel a lot more confident with yeast and bread thanks to you and the entire FF crew. I think my problem with the yeast was that I didn’t mix it properly or allow it enough time to dissolve. That and overconfidence that my bread would be awesome lol. Sign me up for any future challenges! :).

  3. I love your attempts with yeast and that beer bread looks great. That loaf is really, really huge! I can tell the dough really rose in that picture. I love lifting the towel and seeing the dough rise, though my house is so cold, it takes hours for it to happen. I think you should absolutely get something for most improved. 🙂 Happy weekend xx

    • Thanks Ngan! I was SO excited when it rose, it was serious baking magic lol. I actually turned on my oven for about 5 minutes to barely warm it up and put the bowl in. I didn’t want to risk it not rising again! Sorry I’m so late in responding.

      • Oh, nice trick to get the dough to rise! No prob with the late reply; we all have busy lives to lead. 🙂 hope all is well!

      • Yep, was on vacation with family so you can imagine how busy that was lol :). Will now go through the last few FF and challenge submissions! Looking forward to it.

  4. Congratulations on gathering a crowd of followers, doesn’t it feel good when that happens? Your second attempt looks absolutely amazing, great that you persisted and got the results you wanted. Bravo!

    • Thanks Loretta! It really does feel good. I feel more pressure to constantly be better but that’s a good thing – it makes me up my game! How is your blogging going?

  5. What a hoot! I have really enjoyed reading about your adventures in making bread and love that you didn’t give up!! And yes, it is a whole other universe out there when it comes to yeast!! So happy that we all get a chance to explore that universe together! Looking forward to your next adventure! 😀

  6. Indira, you made me laugh with your sense of adventure and way with words. The second attempt looks gorgeous and sounds like a great combination of flavors in that loaf! Wonder why the first shaped bread didn’t rise… Anyway, bravo to you for persisting and tackling the yeast beast 🙂

  7. Hahah! Your posts are so funny,Indira. And the bread looks really good. Love the hearts and the shapes you have going on there- only if they had risen. But we totally relate to the bread rising excitement here! We attempted ours a few times and it didn’t rise initially and when it did we were overjoyed! 🙂

  8. Your Herbes de Provence bread story made me giggle out loud 🙂 It is the worst when a dish doesn’t work out after such a time investment- you had a wonderful sense of humor about it 🙂 Your beer bread looks tasty!

    • Thank you, Josette! 🙂 I can’t say I had a sense of humour at first though! I uauslly also feel bad that I wasted so many ingredients. Cooking really is a leap of faith sometimes! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s