A while back while visiting Wayfayers’ Ale Society in Port Williams, Nova Scotia we were bestowed with a beer bread recipe from Colleen, one of the most personable, and delightful servers we have ever met. We came home that day with their Ruby Ale Irish Red (all of their beer is brewed on site), and the very best intentions to make her delicious bread.
But, we drank the beer, and misplaced the recipe.
Sometime during the onslaught of Nor’easters we received in March we revived the idea to make that bread. We headed out, and brought home enough beer to make the bread, and have some to spare.
When we got home we realized the recipe we had wasn’t where we thought we had left it, and we were in the middle of yet another fierce storm. We easily could have drunk all the beer again, but this time we were determined to make the bread.
So, we did what any good chef with a dinner plan and fresh mussels would do. We improvised. Well, we tried our best to remember the recipe. As luck would have it, or maybe Murphy, we found the recipe the day after our impromptu attempt. I’m happy to report that we were pretty close to the original ingredients (just a bit too much salt), and it was a total success. The best part about this recipe is that you can have fresh bread on the table in an hour; Start to finish, no kneading, no rising. You can, of course use any beer you like, and different kinds of beer will diversify the flavour.
(Colleen from Wayfayers’ original recipe)
While beer and bread may be the perfect combination of two of our favourite things, this hearty bread with its crispy, buttery crust is very well suited to be served alongside mussels. The mussels can easily be prepared while the bread is cooking in the oven.
3 lbs mussels
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
3 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup marinara
1 cup crushed tomato
1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
1 tsp dried oregano
lemon wedges to garnish
This proved to be a delicious meal on a wintry day, although it would be great anytime of year. We are gearing up for our growing season, and very excited for the months ahead. Some of our seeds are underway, and sometimes I feel like I’m just waiting for the snow to melt, but at least I know I’m not the only one.