Texas A&M University is my alma mater (Class of ’05, WHOOP) and home to the Fightin’ Texas Aggies. With less than two weeks before kickoff and the season officially starts, I have been busy at home trying new recipes and gearing up for our first watch party. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 100 years of the 12th Man and Aggie football kick-off than with an easy, foolproof, beer bread. When the weather cools off, this recipe will be the perfect match with your chili, charcuterie boards, and hardy soups.
As a student at Texas A&M University, the 12th Man tradition, which dates back to 1922, has always held a special place in my heart. There are times in life when we are all called to step up and step in, that has always been at the core of my values as a wife, daughter, and friend.
The 12th Man tradition dates back to 1922 at the Dixie Classic bowl game. Texas A&M student E. King Gill came out of the football stands and stood ready to enter the game as injuries continued to rise for the Aggies against their components, the Praying Colonels of Centre College. Although Gill never entered the game, his willingness to step up and step in created a time-honored tradition at Texas A&M and is now a representation of the Texas A&M student body. When you attend a Texas A&M football game you will see the student body stand through the entire game on the Eastside of the field, representing their readiness to join the team and help lead Texas A&M to victory.
Keeping this tradition alive and in the spirit of kickoff, I decided to try a bread recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Half Baked Harvest. This cookbook has nearly every page marked and I continue to fall in love with every recipe I make, not to mention how simple Tieghan Gerard has made it to make everyday meals.
This beer bread recipe is perfect sliced and topped with butter or it is dense enough to create bread bowls for chili or creamy broccoli soup. In full confession, this is my very first time making bread. I actually prefer to bake over cooking a meal, so I’m surprised I’ve waited this long to try out making bread.
Keeping the tradition of the 12th Man in the back of my mind and knowing I wanted to try out Tieghan’s bread recipe… I knew I had to use Karbach Brewing Company’s 12th Man Lager in the recipe. It was too perfect of an idea not to at least try.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra as needed
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 can Karbach 12th Man Lager
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
When I bake I always pre-measure every ingredient into their own glass bowls and then add them into one large glass mixing bowl, this just helps me personally as I move through a recipe and it keeps me organized. It also makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show with Martha Stewart. Am I the only one who does this? I feel very professional, even though the kitchen sink is typically full of last night’s dishes… what’s a few more I always say!
The fun part about baking or cooking is that it’s a complete creative space. For me, the best part about it is sharing it with family and friends. Of course, making the meals is a great stress reliever but I enjoy watching everyone take their first bites and then talking about what we love about a recipe or what I should do differently next time. Sitting around the dinner table is my favorite part of the recipe.
Now that you have your ingredients together, you are ready to make your first loaf of 12th Man Beer Bread!
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Next, add the Karbach 12th Man Lager and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture should not be runny, instead, it will be sticky (doughy). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for one to two hours. You will see the dough rise and double in size, that’s when you know it’s ready to bake.
When your dough has had a chance to rest for one to two hours, you will next preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place a 6-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset, into the oven as it preheats. Once the oven reaches temperature, let the Dutch oven heat for another 30 minutes.
Warning: before removing your pot remember it will be super hot, make sure you have your oven mitts on and a heat-resistant spot ready to set your pot.
Flour a clean surface or use a cutting board that has been generously covered in flour, remove your dough, and put it on the surface. Create a ball out of the dough, with your hands, and carefully transfer it to a large piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper with the dough into the dutch oven, cover, and place into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes so the top of the bread will brown.
Tieghan recommends that you let the bread cool for about two hours before you slice into it. I will admit the first time I made this bread I did not wait because I was so excited, but next time I’ll wait the recommended time.