I love cooking, so when Boardwalk Food Co. offered to give me some of their bread mixes to try, I hopped on the change to blend my two interests in the kitchen: food and craft beer. Experimenting with not just pairing your beers with food, but adding them to food is a great way not just to improve your tasting skills, but to expand your cooking repertoire.
I had a weekend with two food-centric events a few weeks ago, and decided that this was the time to try out the mixes. First, we were going to a friend’s for chili, and the next day we were headed to Made from PA’s headquarters for what we are all calling Lambapolooza.
When I go to get-togethers, I usually just bring some beers to share or something pre-made that I picked up on the way. I’m not good at planning ahead, so these two options are the easiest for me. What I love about the Boardwalk Craft Beer Popper Mixes is that they’re ready in about 20 minutes, so even if I’m running late I can still pop some of these in the oven and have a homemade item to take over. Plus, they’re only $7.99/box, I was going to spend that much on pre-made chips and salsa right? This is WAY better!
For Chili Saturday, it’s obvious that the cornbread mix was perfect. I decided to make them into mini muffins (pictured at the top) so there would be plenty of bite-sized portions for everyone’s bowls of chili. I decided to use Wild Heaven Craft Brewing’s Emergency Drinking Beer in my muffins. The beer itself is a very mild blonde that I imagined wouldn’t impart a ton of additional flavor to the cornbread, and I was right. It helped bring forward just enough sweetness that I prefer in my cornbread. When making this bread, I would suggest using any blonde ale such as New Belgium Somersault, or a cream ale such as Sixpoint Sweet Action.
For Lambapalooza, it was definitely time for the rosemary sea salt blend. For this batch I decided to make two loaves of bread so everyone could get a slice to use for each course. I used Tröegs Perpetual IPA for this one, hoping that the piney hop flavors would complement the piney rosemary flavors without overwhelming. I was completely correct, but the sea salt is truly what makes this bread mix delightful. When making this bread, I would suggest using any IPA with piney, resinous flavors such as Deschutes Pinedrops IPA.
I haven’t gotten a chance to make the traditional beer bread yet, maybe this weekend I’ll have some free time and get adventurous? I think that it could be fun to use a fruit beer or a citrusy wheat in the beer bread just to see how the flavor of the beer truly effects the flavor of the bread. Stay tuned, I’ll update on this later.
Here are a couple of tips for cooking and sharing these bread mixes:
- The bread comes out very dense. I think making the mini-muffins is a better use than an entire loaf of bread, as it can be hard to consume a whole slice on top of your meal.
- Definitely follow the suggested instruction of spreading butter (or margarine) on top of the bread as soon as you pull it from the oven. It makes the top soft and delicious, especially with the Rosemary Sea Salt
- Pay attention to the expected yield of the mixes! I completely underestimated the yield of the mini muffins and ended up with a billion of them plus a small additional loaf to keep.
Disclosure: I received samples of the mixes mentioned above from Boardwalk Food Co. as part of their press kit. Stouts and Stilettos is not affiliated with Boardwalk Food Co. and received no compensation in exchange for promotion or review.