Greetings, fellow Dovahkiin!
Welcome to another edition of Nerdy Cooking. Today we’re making something every kitchen needs: bread. Thankfully, however, this is going to be the easy kind of bread.
As mentioned on my previous cooking post, the inspiration for this series came from Yakitate!! Japan. Well, after the last entry I was thinking about all the times I’ve tried to make bread (some of which went terribly wrong), and then like the swell of a chorus of angels, my next idea came to me: Skyrim Beer Bread. I have no idea why I never thought of this shit before.
Me and Elderscrolls go pretty far back. I’ve been loving these games and their complicated mythos since I was introduced to it about a decade ago when someone showed me Morrowind. That started a love affair like I’ve little known elsewhere in my life. Fun fact: one of the only two tattoos I’ve ever half-assedly considered getting involves Daedric letters, an ancient language in Elderscrolls. Skyrim is the fifth Elderscrolls game and the most recent (other than the MMO, Elderscrolls Online).
So hop down off your dragon for a sec’, set your dwarven shield aside and fill yourself a silver goblet while we whip up something tasty.
Beer bread is making bread on easy mode. There’s no yeast or eggs or anything to fuck with. The carbonation in the beer is the leavening agent. (Thank the Nine for console cheats.) The beer I wanted to use was the Sam Adams Juniper IPA...fitting, no? But unfortunately, those fuckers are seasonal. So much for that.
Instead, I went with something imported. Boo-yah:
If you have a fancy wine and spirits store near you, I recommend taking a look for something similar. This Korbinian was delicious. Obviously, the better the beer you use, the better the bread is going to be, but as far as the variety goes, any dark ale will be fine for this recipe. Let’s sprint right on to the main boss.
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup melted butter and 2 more tbsps set aside (also some unmelted for greasing the pan)
1 tsp salt
12oz (or 1 1/2 cups) of beer
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp of finely diced leeks
oats for the top of the loaf (1/2 - 1 tbsp)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Get a loaf pan (like this) and grease the whole inside of it with butter or cooking spray (or troll fat, if you have it).
Measure out your flour and make sure you don’t pack it in there, otherwise your proportions will be off. Sift all of the flour together. The rye flour is going to be a little difficult to sift since the cracked grains are a bit large. If you need to improvise, you can use a fork to aerate the rye, or you can use a sieve. Don’t skip the sifting or else you’ll get a brick instead of a loaf. This is a dense, hearty bread, but you don’t wanna be cracking your teeth on it.
Next, go ahead and add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir the mixture lightly with a fork. Then you can add the honey and the leeks. You don’t need very much leek in there—it’s just to balance some savory with the sweet. You can grill the rest of the leeks for dinner (they go great with horker meat).
Next, melt your butter in the microwave or whatever (margarine if fine too, if that’s all you have) and pour it in the mixture. Then slowly pour your beer into there—if you pour too fast, it’s going to foam up and you will not only lose your carbonation, but you will have a mess too. Next, mix the batter thoroughly, but don’t overmix, because you want to save the carbonation as much as possible. I recommend not using a high-speed mixer. The two flours we’re using are really absorbent, so you won’t have to mix too much—just make sure there’s no dry spots hiding anywhere in the batter.
Next, pour/spoon this into the loaf pan. Since there won’t be very much rising (no yeast, remember?), it will vaguely maintain whatever shape you leave it in, so I gently smoothed the top of mine out in the pan. A more even loaf means more equal-sized slices of bread later.
Bake that sucker for 50 minutes. Feel free to hunt elk or singing a rousing chorus of “Age of Aggression” while you wait. When time is up, pull it out and pour about 1-2 tbsp of melted butter on the top and sprinkle it with oats. This is mostly for show, but it also makes it a tad more like crust. Put it back in for ten more minutes. After that, it’s done. Let it sit in the pan for a little while to cool.
Then when it’s cool, cut into it and you get this deliciousness:
Pair this with some Elsweyr fondue and some Honningbrew mead, and you’ll be eating like a Jarl. Happy feasting! Talos guide you, friends.
Leading image is a screenshot from Skyrim. Other photos are taken by me.