Friday, August 3, 2012

Fermented Friday: Honey Beer Bread with Blue Cheese and Thyme

Fermented Friday: recipes featuring yeast, wine, beer or some form of fermentation

 A drizzle of golden honey over a crumble of creamy blue cheese will do wonders for skeptical taste buds.  The sharp, earthy flavors of blue cheese are toned down with sweet honey for the perfect sweet-savory balance.  While this pairing is often perched atop crackers, I decided to present it to you in an even milder form by incorporating it in beer bread.

Salty blue cheese melts into soft honey beer bread.  Sweet but subtle corn bread notes are followed by a mellow beer flavor.  A sprinkle of thyme and an hint of black pepper add just the right touch of savory to this flavorful loaf.

You can whip up a batch of this bread in no time flat.  It stirs together effortlessly and requires little oven time.  Honey and mild beer notes are most apparent fresh out of the oven.  As the bread ages, herbal thyme flavors deepen for an experience you won't soon forget.

Honey Beer Bread with Blue Cheese and Thyme

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
3 Tbsp honey
1 (12 oz) bottle Leinenkugel Honey Weiss Beer, room temperature

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
* In a large bowl, stir together flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, thyme and black pepper.  Gently stir in crumbled blue cheese.
* Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in honey and beer. Stir just until mixed; batter will be lumpy.
* Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let sit in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Food for Thought: "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." -Proverbs 21:5

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