It’s St. Blaise Day. One of the customs on this day in Europe is to make bread (in the shape of sticks called Blaise sticks), have it blessed, and give it to friends. If they eat this bread, it is said that it will help protect their throats from any ailments. See more about St. Blaise Day on my other blog Cyn’s View of Reality: http://cynsreality.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/the-feast-of-st-blaise/
This bread is one of my favourites. It’s really tasty (and no you can’t taste the beer – I don’t even like beer!) and it’s so easy to make. Full disclosure: I have never tried making this dough into bread sticks and have no idea if it would work or not but since it’s my favourite bread recipe ever, I decided to share this one!
3 cups flour (sifted!..It’s a MUST that it is sifted for this bread or you may end up with a brick instead of a loaf of bread)
3 tsp. baking powder (omit if using self-rising flour)
1 tsp. salt (omit if using self-rising flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1 12 oz. can of beer
1/4 – 1/2 cup melted butter (optional)
Note: this bread is also delicious with your favourite herbs added to it. It also makes a nice gift as you can package up all the dry ingredients including herbs and all the recipient will need to add is the beer to make it.
Instructions: Stir together all ingredients except the melted butter. Pour this into a greased loaf pan and if using the melted butter, pour the butter over the top of the bread dough (this adds an additional golden brown appearance and of course, a lovely buttery taste to the loaf). Bake at 375 degrees F for about 1 hour. Remove it from the pan and let it cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note: using non-alcoholic beer defeats the purpose of this bread. You need the yeast present in the regular beer in order to prevent the need for kneading and allowing the bread to rise. If you simply like the taste of the bread and don’t care to use regular beer, you will have to add yeast to the dough and you will have to go through the normal process of kneading the dough and allowing it to rise.