As the single most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, I know I’m part of the minority when I say I’m not a big fan of beer. The oldest known recipe for beer is over 4,000 years old, discovered in ancient Mesopotamia, so clearly there’s more to it that I must be missing. Forever curious, sometimes to my own detriment, I’ll always eagerly try a new brew. For such an immense, diverse category of drinks, it would be criminal to write them all off for a single polarizing flavor, after all.
Anyone else in the same boat would be advised not to attempt a heavy, highly-hopped stout. When offered a novel, local brew, the promise of coffee and oatmeal drew me in, but make no mistake: This is no breakfast treat. Acrid, cloying, and bitter, I could barely get down two sips before calling it quits.
Though perhaps unintentionally, this particular coffee oatmeal stout did provide ample inspiration after the initial brutal tasting. Taking notes from the basic components, it became a hearty base for an equally intense, yet far less polarizing, quick bread.
Both intoxicating and energizing, you get a serious dose of caffeine from concentrated cold brew coffee, amplifying the flavor from the beer. Whole oats boost the cereal taste from the brewing process, while date syrup and coconut sugar harmonize with a caramelized sweetness, taking the edge off the harsher flavors that otherwise bubble up.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour: I used a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to incorporate a more earthy, wholesome flavor that pairs well with the heft and intensity of the beer. If you want a lighter crumb and higher rise, you can omit the whole wheat and use twice as much all-purpose instead.
- For a gluten-free option, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend and replace the stout with a comparable wheat-free dark beer.
- Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate: This is a staple for me during the hotter months (AKA, 10 out of 12 in Texas) so I always have a bottle on hand. In a pinch, you could replace this with regular coffee brewed at 4x strength, or 4 teaspoons of instant coffee powder dissolved into 1/2 cup of water.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend: This was an inclusion of pure laziness. If you don’t have a ready-made mix in the pantry, you could omit the spices altogether, or use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
- Date Syrup: Moderately sweet, tempered by a subtly bitter caramel-like bite, date syrup is one of my current favorite sweeteners. You could replace it with standard molasses if desired, but expect a darker end result.
- Coconut Sugar: Same sentiment here; an equal amount of dark brown sugar can suffice.
Did you know that in ancient Egypt, beer was considered a sacred beverage and was often used as payment for laborers? I’d like to think that this Coffee Oatmeal Stout Bread would be worth its weight in gold. Even if you don’t like beer, this easy recipe will give you a good reason to keep a 6-pack on hand.