We have had 1 bottle of beer in our fridge for over 6 months. See, we aren’t beer drinkers. But, last fall some friends came over and brought some beer and left whatever wasn’t consumed. I have used a couple of the bottles for things like beer steak, fondue, and other marinades. But 1 bottle, 1 bottle left to use. So I looked on tastespotting, a place I go to anytime I have a random ingredient to use and need inspiration. I typed in ‘beer.’ A lot of pictures of BEER BREAD came up, seriously? Hmmm, it intrigued me, so I looked at a few food blogs and websites that had beer bread on them. I finally decided on this site to base my recipe on.

He suggests using 1 cup of an additional ingredient. I didn’t want to use cheese because I wanted to keep the bread vegan. Mainly because I am lactose intolerant, and anything that can go without dairy is just fine with my stomach! The addition of a cheese spread is good because then it is optional, you know, just in case dairy sends your stomach into an uproar too. I had a bazillion olives leftover in my fridge, so I chopped up a cup of those and threw them in. DELISH! The salty strong flavor of the olives combined with the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour and the beer is a great combination.

This is a great bread for an appetizer, to go along side soup or chili or to eat with breakfast with some eggs and bacon. The top gets crunchy and crumbly because of the oil dripped on top. And the inside is dense, moist and flavorful. I’m stoked on the results of this bread, for sure a great use of an extra bottle of beer!

Delicious add ins:
sun dried tomatoes and feta
cheddar and dill
gruyere and caramelized onions
pine nuts and basil
pecans and dried apricots
bacon and blue cheese

Makes 1 loaf
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 bottle (12 ounce) beer
1 cup olives, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cheese spread (recipe below)

Heat oven to 375°.

Combine flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in beer and olives with a wooden spoon and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick.
Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan, and pour 2 tbsp olive oil over the top of the batter.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. And smear some cheddar cream cheese spread on each slice!

Cheese Spread
Makes about 1 cup

1 cups grated Cheddar cheese
2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Place cheese, cream cheese and sour cream in a food processor. Add Worcestershire, mustard, paprika and garlic powder. Process until blended.
Cover and refrigerate, up to one week.