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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Black Bean Beer Bread

As a foodie, I love checking out the many little gift shops we come across in our travels.  Many of them offer locally baked goodies and locally produced foods.  Quite often I will buy something to bring home.  I am not a huge fan of boxed mixes simply because they tend to be overpriced and laden with food additives.   I have two rules when buying boxed mixes or any food at these types of gift shops.  First, it must be locally made.  This is a way of discovering and enjoying foods from that particular region.  Second, it has to be natural or very close to it.  That means no food additives or ingredients like HFCS.  I also consider the trip itself because given our plans it is not always possible to buy something fresh at the start of our trip and get it home safely four or five days later. 

black bean beer bread
I bought a box of Creekside Grains (Traverse City, Michigan) Black Bean Beer Bread when we were visiting the area.  Creekside Grains uses all natural ingredients without the addition of artificial food additives with the exception of a couple of ingredients (chocolate chips, mint chips, root beer and black cherry walnut extracts) used in a very small number of their products.  Essentially, they are using the very same flours and other ingredients that I would be using at home cooking from scratch.  The combination of black bean and beer sounded interesting.  I decided to make the bread for our special dinner last Wednesday. 

The instructions were simple.  Add 12 oz of your favourite beer, mix then place the dough in a mound in the centre of a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake.  My first instincts that the resulting bread would be more like a brick but it wasn't.  The ingredients were unbleached unbromated wheat and malted barley flour, black bean flour, sugar, multi spice blend, baking powder, corn starch and salt putting this bread in the quick bread category.  I used de-alcoholized beer rather than regular beer.  The rustic loaf of bread was quite tasty.  The rise was good with small pores and a crumbly texture. I served the bread with lightly seasoned extra virgin olive oil for dipping.

Surprisingly there was no nutritional value label for this bread on the box, however as explained on their website this is due to an FDA technicality not because they don't want to put it on.  I would make an educated guess that it came in at about 100 calories per 50 g serving, a half slice about a half inch thick cut across the loaf.  There was nothing in the list of ingredients that would drive the calories higher than that.  Regular white bread is about 190 calories per 75 g serving (2 slices).  This bread is quite dense so has a higher satiety level.  I liked this bread so I'm working on a homemade clone version!

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