Morning Beer for Beer Week

The closest thing to a “beer festival” in L.A. just a few years ago was the annual German sausage-fest and lederhosen horror-show that occupies a Torrance parking lot off the Long Beach Freeway. Oh how the times have changed.
In honor of this year’s L.A. Beer Week – not one, but dozens of events will be un-corked throughout the city’s beer bars, breweries, homebrew clubs, restaurants and beer sommeliers that range from the mainstream accessible to the psychotic. For our part, Hot Knives is hosting a “Cheese Pairing Symposium” next week at Verdugo Bar along with much-acclaimed local beereos (beer heroes) the Bruery – or how we like to call them, “the only fucking reason to go to Orange County.” (If you’re a blogger, you can still enter the contest to get a free ticket to the pairing.) For the rest of you who might wanna celebrate L.A. Beer Week quietly at home with loved ones or alone with your spiritual leaders, we’ve thought of that too!
Over the last month, we embarked on a crazy scientific experiment that involved cracking open a beer every morning. No, not for drinking… We made Franziskaner Pancakes, Russian Imperial Stout Bran Muffins, and “hop-berry syrup.” There were Coconut Porter Cupcakes, Belgian Candi-topped Muffins and even fresh Hop Butter for Guinness Flapjacks. Thankfully, there was also plenty of water and laps around the park.
In the end, we believe we found our favorite baking recipes combining both raw brewing ingredients (malt extract, malt sugar, and hops) and beer (just substitute any beer of your choice for the milk or water in a recipe). We love Heffeweissen Banana Bread and Hop-Berry Muffins. Stock up on malts and grains and give ’em a try. The best part? Now, you don’t even need a homebrew kit to shop at your local homebrew shop! Think of it like your neighborhood Trader Joe’s aisle. Except without the little complimentary cups for coffee, and fewer chances for casual sex. And let us know what morning beer you love most, here.

Hefeweissen Banana Bread
(Makes a loaf)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine (melted)
1/2 cup barley malt syrup (or white sugar)
1 1/2 cup Heffeweissen (room temp)
1 Tbs. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole coriander
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
1 Tbs. Belgian Candi Sugar (or more barley malt syrup)
1. Measure out your flour and baking powder and stir in a large mixing bowl. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a second large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and spices: Peel and mash your ripe ‘naners and combine with melted margarine. Add malt syrup, or sugar, and the beer while stirring with a spatula.
3. Grind coriander and clove in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder (or simply with a knife) and add to the wet ingredients along with cinnamon and nutmeg. Finally, zest an orange and a lemon over your cutting board. Add half of each to the bowl, and reserve half for garnish.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and combine well, stirring until lumps disappear. Pour batter into a canola or margarine-greased bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test the middle, should be slightly gooey but not wet. Remove and immediately cool on a cooling rack to prevent burnt bottom. Rub the Belgian candi sugar or barley malt syrup on top, and sprinkle with zest for garnish.

Hop Berry Muffins
(Makes 12 small muffins)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
12 oz. hoppy red ale of choice
3/4 cup sugar
2 large organic eggs
3/4 cup melted butter (unsalted)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including flour, baking powder, Grape nuts, salt and coconut. And stir to mix.
2. Wash and slice strawberries into thin pieces. Place a small saucepan on high heat with your red ale and sliced strawberries. Let reach a rolling boil and add sugar, stirring well and reducing to a simmer. Let continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and cool for at least 10 minutes.
3. Combine sweetend-beer and dry ingredients. Crack eggs and whisk and add to mixture along with melted butter. Stir well with a spatula until all lumps (except Grape Nuts clusters) disappear.
4. Grease muffin tray and pour batter into each, about ¾ to the top, leaving a centimeter or so to rise. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool in muffin tray before serving. Glaze with topping of choice.

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3 Responses to Morning Beer for Beer Week

  1. molly says:

    Where do you guys get candi sugar?? LA has everything!

  2. EVAN says:

    Candi from strangers: Culver City Homebrew Shop!

  3. quarrygirl says:

    beer + baking = awesome. can’t wait to try that banana bread. btw, love the new look of your site.

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