It’s been all about the beer this week as the big news is: Hammerton beer has arrived in Muswell Hill!  The delightful Prohibition Wines on Fortis Green Road is stocking the family brew. I am DONE FOR! 

I stocked up a bit and did my first experimental batch of beer bread.  YUM.  It’s very good. 

I’m going to fiddle around with the recipe a bit, and try it with the Oyster Stout next time (I used the Islington lager).  I might knead it a bit too – Jane didn’t say anything about that.  The texture was good even without kneading though, and toasted with some scrambled eggs on top – divine.

Last night I went on a pub-crawl with beer expert Glenn Payne.  What a fab night! We went to three pubs in Islington, all of which had Hammerton beer on tap. 

The Islington

The Joker of Penton Street

The Craft Beer Co – loved this place, they had a fantastic band on – The Thumping Tommys – there every Wednesday I think.

I’d never met Glenn before, the lovely Jane Milton made a virtual introduction over the internet.  We talked the hind legs off a donkey.  We mostly chatted about beer of course – he liked both the Islington and the N7 and was very complimentary about both.  Being allergic to seafood he didn’t try the Oyster Stout, which is my favourite I think…  I’ll have to drink a lot more of all 4 of the Hammerton brews though, just to be sure!  We also talked about pairing beers with food, and cooking with beer.  Oooh, lovely BEER! 

When I got home around midnight I was famished.  I spied the beer bread, toasted a couple of slices and had them with Worcestershire sauce and some pokey cheddar.  Jane was quite right about the cheese (see below) – perfect!

Jane Wyatt’s Beer Bread

(Makes 1 loaf)

¼ cup butter

3 cups self-raising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 can beer*

Melt butter in preheated 325 degrees (160 degrees C) oven.  Mix together remaining ingredients; pat into a greased loaf pan.  Drizzle melted butter over bread dough.  Bake at same temperature 1 hour.

* I used one 330ml bottle of Hammerton Islington and 1 and1/2 tablespoons water.  I baked my bread at 140 C as I have a fan oven. 

After thoughts: Jane thinks this bread is even better when toasted with sharp cheddar cheese, served open-face.

The note above is from my all time food writing heroine Johna Blinn.  She had lunch with Jane and was told: “I’m not a real cook, you know.  Do you like beer bread?  I love it because it is very easy to make.  You can cook it and slice it and toast it and it’s absolutely wonderful!”  I wholeheartedly agree!

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