I had a small gathering of friends for lunch yesterday – the recipes of which are numerous and will follow in good time – and as is usually the way when a gathering imbibe themselves on sun and soaking up well-deserved drinks, as I tidied up this morning (for I am a slattern, but also have concussion and took my sober self to bed early after such frivolity), I came across half a glass of warm beer that had been sitting on the table all evening. Rather than pour it down the sink, I decided to rework the very simple Pint Glass Bread recipe from Cooking On A Bootstrap, and make use of it.
Makes one small loaf, proportions dependent on how much or how little skanky warm beer you find behind the couch.
Serves 4-6 from 5p each.
240ml leftover beer, 14p (Tesco Everyday Value Bitter is £1 for 4x440ml)
300g flour, 9p (Tesco Everyday Value flour is 55p for 1.5kg)
1 tbsp/8.5g yeast, 8p (Allinson Easy Bake Yeast, £1/100g)
First, measure your leftover beer. You’ll notice that I haven’t put quantities in my recipe, as it is largely dependent on how much beer you actually have left in the first place. Mine was 240ml exactly. It helps to do this in either a measuring jug, or a mug or glass that holds almost exactly the right amount of beer, to the brim or just below it. You’ll see why shortly.
Pour the beer into a mixing bowl. Add 1g of yeast per 30ml beer – for ease, there is around 8.5g dried active yeast in a tablespoon, so I generally use 1tbsp per 250ml liquid in bread baking, but you can measure it more precisely if you can be bothered to.
Now, you need double the volume of flour to beer, which is why a measuring jug or exact-size glass or mug works well. Measure out double the volume of flour, and add to the beer and yeast. Mix well, using a flat knife, silicone spatula, or the well-greased handle of a wooden spoon to combine to a dough.
Lightly flour or oil your work surface, and knead the bread gently for a few minutes to bring it together until it starts to feel springy under your hands. Pop it back in the original mixing bowl, cover, and leave it somewhere warm for a few hours until doubled in size. (I left mine from 11am until 5pm, basking in the sun on my windowseat.)
When it has risen, lightly grease a small loaf tin if you have one and pop it in. If you don’t have a loaf tin, lightly grease or flour a baking tray and shape it into a round with your hands. Leave it for another hour to rise again, and then pop it in the oven at 180C for 50 minutes until cooked.
And never throw another warm old half-drunk bottle of beer away again!
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.