Sunday, 4 December 2011

Ginger Beer and Molasses Bread

Did you know that a lot of real ales aren’t suitable for vegetarians and vegans? I recently found a jar of molasses lurking at the back of a cupboard so did a bit of scouting around for a recipe to use it up and discovered a Guiness and Molasses sweet bread recipe. The recipe didn’t require any eggs or dairy products so I thought it would be a perfect vegan recipe for the blog but after a little research on Google I discovered that Guiness isn’t vegan friendly…isinglass is used in its production, which is a substance made from the dried swim bladders of certain fish!

You may wonder why there is a need to add isinglass to ale, well here comes the science bit…isinglass is used to remove the residual protein and suspended yeast cells left at the end of the fermentation process preventing ale from becoming cloudy. The collagen in the isinglass carries a positive charge, attracting the negatively charged yeast cells forming a precipitate that settles out of the beer. Isinglass is mainly used in cask ales as beer stored in smaller quantities in cans or bottles is often just filtered instead. This isn’t always the case however and canned and bottles Guiness is produced using isinglass.

CAMRA the campaign for real ales provides information on ales that are definitely vegan/vegeterian . But I thought to save confusion and to guarantee that this recipe is definitely vegan I would replace the Guiness with ginger ale (of the non-alcoholic variety) producing a lovely sweet, malty gingery bread recipe!

3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup molasses
A pinch of salt
360ml of ginger beer (of the non-alcoholic variety)
Margarine for greasing the tin
2 tablespoons of marmalade

Preheat the oven to 180degC / 350degF

Grease a 9x5-inch loaf tin with margarine

Put the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and mix until combined

Slowly pour the ginger beer into the flour and start to mix together. Once the dry ingredients start to combine with the ginger beer add the molasses and continue to stir until all of the ingredients are mixed together, there are no lumps and you are left with a batter like consistency.

Pour the mixture into the greased tin and bake for 50 minutes. Check that the bread is cooked by inserting a knife into the deepest part of the loaf and ensuring it comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Then melt the marmalade in a small saucepan and brush on top of the loaf to give a sticky, shiny glaze.

(Recipe adapted from Guinness Bread with Molasses ... And here is a little more information on isinglass alternatives)

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