Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Accidental Beer Wheat Bread

As you may know, I'm trying to make more homemade items, including condiments and bread as part of our family's personal Get Real challenge. I made bread several times throughout my 2011 family vegetarian meal challenge, but not what I'd call regular bread. I made Potato Kale Bread {Vegan}, Homemade Pita Bread {Vegan} and Mashed Chickpea Cauliflower Bread to name a few. I even made Sour Dough Pockets and rolls pretty regularly and a TON of pizza crusts. But one thing I never really did was make regular wheat bread for the family. We still bought all-natural wheat bread from the store.

Why? I have no idea. It may have something to do with the fact that I was being all zen with my KitchenAid and not letting it knead for me. I didn't fully understand the kneading awesomeness of the mixer until recently. I did the kneading myself after I mixed the bread in the mixer. Silly I know, but beating up on some bread is a stress-reliever to me. Downside: I didn't make it as often as I could. So, in the last week, I've made replacements for whatever bread we've run out of, including tortillas and three loaves of wheat bread. I've never claimed to be a bread guru, so I, of course, make mistakes.

When I decided to make wheat bread, I'd just made Cinnamon Raisin Bagels {Vegan}, which uses 2 TABLESPOONS of dry yeast. So, for some reason, when I read the original recipe here, calling for 2 packages of yeast, my brain went, "OK, there's 2 1/4 TABLESPOONS of yeast in a package, right?" (I buy it in bulk, so I am scooping it out of a larger bag). For the record, there are 2 1/4 TEASPOONS in a package. A fact that I SHOULD HAVE remembered as the yeast, water and sucanat mixture threatened to bubble out of the Pyrex measuring glass I'd mixed them in. But the kids were hollering and testing their father's limits and it just didn't click until the bread was in the oven. So, I put 4 1/2 TABLESPOONS of yeast in this bread. Fortunately, this was an extraordinarily happy mistake. This bread, which is completely non-alcoholic, tasted like a rich beer wheat bread. Everyone loved it, including neighbors and several kids.

In addition to the ahem, inadvertent, yeast change, I swapped out powdered milk for real milk and reduced the water amount a bit, switched oil to applesauce and a bit of olive oil, and brown sugar to sucanat.

Beer Wheat Bread

Adapted from KitchenAid Whole Grain Wheat Bread.
Ingredients for two 9 x 5 loaves
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 5-6 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (yay! I got to thaw a little applesauce puck for baking!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Dissolve 1 tablespoon sucanat in warm water and milk. Add yeast and let mixture stand for at least five minutes.

Place 4 cups wheat flour, remaining sucanat and salt in mixer bowl. Set to Speed 2 and mix for 15 seconds. Gradually add yeast mixture, applesauce and oil. Mix about 90 more seconds, stopping and scraping sides if needed. Continue on Speed 2 and add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix about 2 minutes or until dough starts to clean sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for about 2 more minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each loaf by rolling out into a rectangle, rolling tightly into a cylinder from the short side, folding over ends and sealing seams. Place loaves seam-side down in two sprayed or greased 9 x 5 baking pans. Cover, let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake 20-30 minutes longer, until bread is golden-brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pan and cool on wire racks.

The Results
We loved this beer bread, it has such a yummy yeasty taste. I feel like I'm eating beer and can still watch the kids without guilt. Hah. The kids and our neighbors loved this bread and we were so pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I think my words when it came out of the oven were something to the effect of, "they don't look like creepy mutant bread loaves." I wasn't expecting much to say the least, due to my mistake. We started calling it beer bread after the first few of us tasted it. It's lovely with real butter spread over the top. I do want to try the recipe with only my intended changes someday soon. But for now, we're happily munching away on our beer bread. Oh, and if you're curious, the sandwiches shown above that we ate were tomato, lettuce, green pepper and cheese. And yes, this was at the request of our 3-year-old, Bug. Yes, we know her vegetable-eating habits are weird.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday and Bake with Bizzy.


  1. This is a wonderful example of what I tell my class. Learn from your mistakes and you did learn to make this one again.

    Thanks for sharing it with us at Bizzy.

  2. Hi Kristi,

    I love when cooking accidents turn into winners! That's the wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) thing about cooking :)

    Thanks for sharing this with Whole Food Wednesdays. Hope to see you there again tomorrow!

  3. I love your site! I found it yesterday and today I'm making the ground beef substitute and this wheat bread. It's my first time making bread ever. It looks good so far and I had my own mistakes as I was halving this recipe (due to only having one loaf pan) and I forgot to halve everything. Mainly the applesauce, but I think it should be alright. Thanks for the recipes!

  4. Ha, Rose, I almost ALWAYS forget to halve something when I halve a recipe. I actually just tried to halve a recipe tonight and forgot to halve the water. Doh! I hope it turns out well in spite of the extra applesauce. Extra applesauce sounds yummy, actually. Let me know how it turned out and thank you so much for the compliments.