Orange Rosemary Beer Bread

Of all the great things in the universe, I think bread must be one of them.  No matter the form, technique, or even flavors, it's the cloudy dough and how it melts in my mouth that made me fall in love.  This in particular is super easy, fun, you don't need a starter or lots of time for proofing, and you just use a beer for the yeast.  Doesn't get better than this!

Orange Rosemary Beer Bread
1 - 9" loaf
Total time – 1 hour and 10 minutes  Active time – 15 minutes
Equipment - 9" loaf pan, oven tray to place the pan (optional) 

Top:
Unsalted butter - 1 stick (8 TBSP)
Fresh rosemary, finely chopped – 1 TBSP
Poppy seeds – ½ TBSP
Orange zest – 2 medium oranges completely zested
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
 

Bread:
Unbleached all purpose flour - 3 cups, sifted
Baking Powder - 3 TBSP
Fine sea salt - 1 Tsp
Raw sugar – 2 TBSP
Orange beer – 12 oz (1 can or bottle)
Extra butter to grease the pan

Preheat the oven at 375°.

In a small microwave bowl melt the 8 tablespoons of butter.  Add to it the rosemary, poppy seeds, orange zest, salt and sugar and mix everything well.

Grease the loaf pan with the extra butter.

Fill the measurement cup using a spoon so the flour is not too pressed (as when you're measuring for doing a cake).  Sift the flour with a strainer in a medium bowl, then add the salt and baking powder and combine everything using a fork.  

Pour the beer over the flour and using a wooden spoon gently and barely mix everything.  You'll see how the mix becomes somewhat chewy but this would be completely normal.

Do not over mix the flour so you don't end with a hard bread, two or three mixes will be enough, just fold gently any big traces of visible dry flour, it doesn't matter if there are some tiny lumps left.  Use a fork to gently pull the mix to the loaf pan and then pull it to the sides to even it, then pour the melted butter over.

Place the pan on the oven and bake for 55 minutes, until the top looks golden and it feels firm when you pinch it.  Let it cool completely, at least for 20 minutes.  

To store, cover it with plastic sealing paper.  After two days you can freeze it, in individual portions if you like to make it easier when it's time to enjoy it.