Flowerpot Beer Bread

At Django, a little BYO on 4th Street just north of South, the chef bakes his bread in a flowerpot. The warm pot arrives to the table along with softened butter served in an old-fashioned butter crock. Three years ago I enjoyed my first bite of this unique bread and have been meaning to test the baking method ever since. It could not be easier. Both yeast breads and quick breads bake equally well in the terra cotta vessel, but for simplicity I’ve provided a recipe for a no-knead beer bread. The dough takes no more than five minutes to mix and makes a fun presentation. Celebrate this last weekend of the Philadelphia Flower Show with a pot of this delicious bread. Enjoy!

Flowerpot Beer Bread
Yield = 1 standard 4” pot

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ beer or (¾ cup beer) I like Magic Hat #9
1 standard 4” diameter flowerpot (lead-free)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Crumple a small piece of aluminum foil and stuff the tiny hole at the bottom of the pot. Generously coat inside of flowerpot with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add beer, stir until combined and place in prepared pot.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 30-35 minutes longer, or until golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before attempting to remove from pot. Meanwhile, melt butter. After the five minutes, the bread should slide out easily from the pot. Turn out onto cooling rack and let rest five more minutes. Place loaf on a cutting board, turn upside down, and slice loaf in half vertically through the center. Holding the two halves together, make another vertical slice through the center, perpendicular to the previous slice to create 4 quarters. Return sliced bread to pot, pour hot melted butter over bread (careful, this makes a mess) and serve immediately with more softened butter. Enjoy!

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