Cheesy Spinach Beer Bread vs Green Monster Bread
I like to think of this as a yin-yang kind of recipe. The goodness elements and the not-so-healthy ingredients balance each other out into a perfect union of healthiness and tastiness.
There’s quite a few nutrients hiding in this bread, and it tastes great. For adults I call it cheesy beer spinach bread, but kids tend to prefer to eat Green Monster Bread so it can be a useful antidote to all that Halloween candy if you’re looking for healthier Halloween recipes for children, or if you just want to feed a Red Sox fan.
Spinach works remarkably well in bread, it collapses almost completely into small pieces which infiltrate every crumb, and adds a delicate spinach taste, as well as fiber and iron.
The beer adds a sweetness and lightness to the bread, and you can leave out the normal spoon of sugar as the yeast feeds happily on the sugars in the beer. Don’t worry, the baking cooks off the alcohol, you can feast and drive.
The cheese replaces the oil or butter, adding more scrumminess and a bit of extra protein and calcium.
Measuring your way to bread success.
Bread making is a balance of science and art. You can try new things and nudge the ingredients in different directions just a little, but too far and you end up with building materials rather than food.
American Cup measurements are great for quickness and forgiving recipes, but for successful baking it pays to be precise. The density of flour varies, and whether yours is packed tight or lose can make a huge difference to how much is in a cup. These digital scales are excellent. They give you a precise weight, you can measure directly into the bread pan to save on waste and dishes, and the large display makes it easy to see the weight.
- Prep time:
- Cook time:
- Ready in:
- Yields: 12 buns or 1 large loaf
- 550 g strong bread flour – I use 400g white 150g wholewheat
- 1 tsp fast acting dried yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Two big handfuls of baby leaf spinach patted dry
- 75 g or 1 cup grated cheddar
- 1 medium free range egg
- 250 ml or 1 cup beer – scoop the head off the top so it’s all froth-free beer
- Place all the ingredients in the bread maker in the order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer. If you don’t have a bread machine, put them all in your dough-capable mixer.
- Set to the dough setting and leave until it’s ready.
- If you have neither then you’re going to have to do all that mixing, kneading, resting, kneading, knocking back stuff by hand. I’ve decided that life is too short for that, but some people disagree and enjoy bread making by hand. If that’s you, enjoy.
Use a bread machine for an easy life. The Sunbeam bread machine is a great entry level choice. It’s affordable, but reliable. It doesn’t have many fancy features, but if you’re new to bread making, it’s a great first machine to see if you take to it.
It’s robust enough that if you love making your own bread you’ll be wishing it would break so you could get a fancier one long before it does.
- Once the dough is ready, grease a 12 hole muffin pan with butter or olive oil.
- Divide the dough into 12 buns. I find it easiest to divide into 4 then split each quarter into 3 balls of dough.
- Pop each ball of dough into a greased muffin hole.
- Cover with a clean cloth and leave for about 20 minutes to rise.
- Preheat your oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas mark 7
- If you like glazed buns, glaze now with milk or beaten egg
- Pop the buns into the oven for 12 minutes
- Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes to cool a little
- Turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely
Using a muffin pan makes for more uniformly sized bread rolls, and gives them an attractive home baked look. Cooking bread rolls in muffin pans also gives you a more even bake.
Cooling your cheesy spinach beer bread rolls properly is key to maintaining the right texture of both fluffy inside and crisp crust. These racks are cheap and effective.