400g self-raising four
120g nutty wheat flour
340ml can beer
6 baby beetroot, trimmed and cut into halves and quarters
125ml red wine vinegar
good-quality olive oil, to serve
200g good-quality blue cheese, to serve
80g fresh basil or wild rocket, to serve
choice of cured meat such as Parma ham or salami, optional
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the flours, salt and sugar, and stir in the beer and water to create a rough dough. Turn into a greased and floured bread tin, dust flour over the top and bake for one hour until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Add the beetroot to a small saucepan with the red wine vinegar and peppercorns, and bring to a gentle simmer for three to five minutes before removing the saucepan from the heat and leaving it to cool in the liquid.
Serve the beer bread hot with creamy blue cheese, olive oil for dipping, fresh basil or rocket, home-made pickled beets and, for a charcuterie board, slivers of cured meat.
Originally published in HL July 2014