High on the list of things I love includes gathering with a bunch of friends and good snacks. High on the list of things I find crazy are paying $4.99 plus tax and shipping for a loaf of bread. Wait, strike that, paying $4.99 plus for part of what you need to make a loaf of bread.
You may know what I'm talking about. I'm not sure of the legal ramifications, so I'm not going to spell it out any more than that. Anyways, it makes me crazy, and I am usually the one at those parties whispering, "I have a recipe. You can totally do that at home for a whole lot less." And it's true. You totally can. You can buy a whole bag of flour, a whole can of baking powder, and a whole container or salt for less than that one box of mix costs, and with that, you can probably make this recipe 4 or 5 times...with leftovers too.
Not only is it a lot cheaper, it's practically as easy as opening the box. A handful of ingredients, an hour in the oven, and there you go.
Heat your oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.
Grab a mixing bowl. I like to grab a pretty bowl. Makes me feel fancy. I got this one at a fine arts fair up north. Bought it from the lady who made it. That makes me feel good too.
Put 3 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup sugar into your pretty mixing bowl.
Mix it around a bit, then add a bottle of beer. I thought pumpkin beer would be fun today. Just for the record, that was a good call. The slight spice flavors in it rock in the bread.
Mix in the beer. The dough will be thick. That's as it should be.
Scoop it into your prepared loaf pan. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and then pour that on top of the dough. The butter part is completely optional, but I never pass up butter options.
Throw it in the oven and bake it for 50 minutes to an hour, until it is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes or so, then pop it out of the pan and move it to a rack to finish cooling.
Serve it as you would any beer bread. As a side, as an appetizer, with a dip, with a spread, with soup, or just with butter.
Side note: I'm totally obsessed with goat butter at the moment. It's creamy and salty and delicious. I'm not sure if it's all goat butters of just the one I got from Nordic Creamery at the farmers' market the other weekend, but wow...good good stuff!