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One, Two, Three: Beer Bread

It is cold outside! We had record cold, record snowfall followed by a few days of warmth and rain. That equaled flood. Across the street from us, the Thornapple River is rarely visible because the landscape holds trees, a good hill and the river is in a deep ravine. Not the case this week. The temp has dropped allowing the flood water to freeze skirts around tree trunks. As the water level descends, the skirts look like crystal picnic tables inviting small birds, owls and squirrels to rest and sit a spell.
It is a beautiful time to sit high on a hill and let the sun drizzle down through the tree limbs and speed the prisms of light back up to us in the warmth of our house! Now add the smell of baking bread to this scene and WOW... life is good!
This is the simplest recipe you will find for making bread. Beer Bread - the yeast is in the hops. If you can count to 3 you have it made!

Beer Bread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

3 cups self rising flour
2 T. sugar
1 stick melted butter
and....
1 can of beer
(1 T dry oatmeal if desired)
Sift the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Sifting really will make a difference with this recipe. (If you don't have a sifter, with a spoon lift a large scoop in the bowl and let it fall gently, repeat several times.) If you do not do this, it makes a much too heavy loaf.
Add the melted butter to the flour mixture, reserving just enough to pour on top of the loaf before going in the oven. Add can of beer. Stir only until all is moistened.
Put in a greased loaf pan. Pour remaining melted butter on top and sprinkle with some oats of desired.
Bake at 375 for one hour. Remove from oven and let rest in pan 10 minutes.
Watch it disappear!

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