Super amazing loaf of goodness courtesy of the New York Times and one of my favorite bakers, Erin McDowell – enjoy!
3 c. (385 g) flour AND 3 T. dark brown sugar
1 T. baking powder AND 1 t. kosher salt AND 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
5 T. (70 g) cold butter, cubed
1 bottle or can (355 mL) beer – preferably a lager or an ale
1 1/4 c. (140 g) grated firm cheese – I used old cheddar, but Gruyère and fontina are also recommended
1/4 c. (55 g) melted butter for finishing
Preheat the oven to 375, lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, line it with parchment and spray the parchment (I have metal clips that I use to secure the parchment to the pan so it doesn’t find it’s way into the batter). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper, then add in the cubed butter and use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the dry mix until you have fine crumbs.
Add the beer, mix well, then fold in the cheese. Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Brush about a third of the melted butter evenly over the surface of the loaf and then bake for 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and (quickly) brush with a third more butter, bake 20 minutes and then repeat the process one last time.
The loaf will end up baking for 60 to 70 minutes and the easiest way to tell if it’s done is to use an instant thermometer and leave it to bake until the internal temperature is 200. Allow the bread to rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a rack to cool, or a cutting board to slice and eat immediately – something we highly recommend!