I know a few ways to the heart of my husband and two of those ways is Hefeweizen and Bacon (speck). We’re miles away from home (almost 4400 to be exact), and sometimes you just need comfort food. I decided to combine a few of his favorite flavors. We are use to sitting down to classic French dishes from one of my cookbooks but this time I wanted to make something familiar, so I combined three of his favorite flavors, beer, cheese and bacon into a simple recipe. Sure, it’s beer bread and even though it’s the most simplest recipe and doesn’t take all day in the kitchen to prepare, it means more, to the other person and sometimes that’s the best recipe.
The flavor is changed based on the type of beer you use, so feel free to have some fun with what you have in your home bar. I used Weihenstephen Hefeweizen, but if all you’ve got is Miller Genuine Draft, that would work as well. One note on the choice of beer: the darker you go, the more bitter the bread will be. Here is my German-style recipe for Hefeweizen Beer Bread with Speck and Emmentaler
Hefeweizen Bread with Speck and Emmentaler
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar (or honey)
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used Swiss Emmentaler but any Swiss cheese will do)
12 oz. hefeweizen beer (note: most hefeweizen beers come in 1/2 litter bottles)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
Prepare bread pan by greasing with butter. Set aside.
In a large bow, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center. Add bacon, 3/4 cup of cheese, and beer into the well. Stire mixture with spoon until well combined. Pour mixture into bread pan. Add the remaining cheese on top of the mixture and brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and brush 1/2 of the remaining melted butter over the top. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until browned and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
Remove the bread from the oven to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow the bread to cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Speck, Emmentaler, hefeweizen–what not to like? Ken
I agree! I started with a simple beer-based soda bread recipe and German-ized it with the best ingredients available locally. What made this bread really good was brushing the top generously with melted butter a couple of times during the last half hour of baking. This gave it a crunchy crust and a tender crumb. I hope you try it and let me know what you think.