Monday, June 17, 2013

Atlas Brewing Co. Bentley's Bitter Lime Beer Bread

About a month ago, we had the opportunity to go down to Atlas Brewing Co. in Chicago.  Atlas is our second brewery and it was incredibly different from being at Church Street.  Atlas is actually a brew pub.  This means they brew the beer and sell it in the bar on site.  The bar itself is absolutely gorgeous.  I can definitely see hanging out enjoying a pint with friends.

I know you're probably tired of hearing it, but I think this new recipe totally rocks.  I worry each time I experiment to bring you a new recipe that what I'm choosing won't come out tasting quite right.  Bentley's Bitter is aptly named in that it has quite the bitter bite to each sip.  But once you get used to the bitter, you'll definitely taste a hard to define fruity note.  It's not quite citrus and not quite berry.  The best I can describe it as is somewhat tropical.  

I had a little trouble coming up with what to add to bring out the fruitiness in the beer.  I finally decided on lime zest, I was originally thinking strawberries but I'm glad I changed my mind.  I also used milk stout spent grains.  

Bentley's Bitter Lime Beer Bread

1 (12 oz) Atlas Brewing Co. Bentley's Bitter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup spent grains
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup oatmeal flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

Traditional Method:  In a saucepan; combine beer, butter and spent grains.  Heat on low until mixture reaches 115-120 degrees.

In a mixer add: flours, zest, yeast, salt and sugar; mix well.  Add heated beer mixture.  Mix on low until dough comes together.  Change to a dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Dough will be extremely wet.  Don't worry.  :)

Form dough into a ball and place in a well oiled container or bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise till double in size.

Bread Machine Method:  In a saucepan; combine beer, butter and spent grains.  Heat on low until mixture reaches 115-120 degrees.  Add ingredients in order preferred by your bread machine.  I add mine like this: egg yolk, salt, heated beer mixture, zest, flours, sugar and yeast.  Set bread machine to dough cycle and start mixing.  *Note:  I've yet to have to add any moisture to this as its a very wet dough, but I always make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated before I leave the bread machine to do its thing.*

Finishing Directions for Both Methods:  Punch down dough and shape into a loaf to fit in a greased 9 x 5 inch pan.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise until double.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until loaf reaches 180 degrees.  Remove from oven, remove from pan and allow to cool on rack.

*A trick I've recently learned, if your dough seems to wet and sticky after its first rise is to fold all four sides in, cover the bread with a bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Do this twice in a row.  The dough should then have more structure and be easier to form into a loaf.*

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