In one tiny bite, you can taste the home-made buttery pumpernickel roll, the tang of German Stout and the warm sweetness of local farm cheddar.
It's cold, and I'm in California. This has been the oddest weather year in the over 20 years that I've lived in Southern Cal. The summer was mild, never really hot or sweltering, and now the winter is rainy and cold, like East Coast cooooooooold. I find myself craving soups and small plate foods to eat while sitting cozy and curled up on the couch watching a movie.
These little home-made bread boules are perfect for serving to guests (I made them for my daughter's wedding this past October). They also freeze so well, making it easy to keep a few for yourself and a cozy-mate.During the first of the year, we're all a little more careful about our food intake (aka: I stuffed myself silly over the holidays). Portion control is the given here, as you can only fit a spoonful of German Beer Cheese Soup in these little guys. That means, you get the treat without over eating. Deprivation has never worked with me, but I can have discipline when it's this stylish.
Beer Cheddar Soup
1 cup celery minced
1 cup carrots minced
1 1/2 cups onion minced
1 1/2 sticks (6oz) butter
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
3 cups Vegetable Broth
12 oz. dark German beer
3/4 cups milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
minced chives for garnish
1) In a skillet on Low/Med - cook carrots, onions and celery in butter until tender (about 15 minutes). Season with salt.
2) Add flour and mustard to the skillet and whisk until incorporated and smooth.
3) Add Veggie broth and beer, cook and stir until thickened.
4) Puree in a blender, then return to skillet.
5) Stir in milk and stir for about 6-10 minutes, then add cheese and cook/stir for about 10 mins. (Add more liquid as desired) *Can be frozen to heat and serve later*
Pumpernickel Boule (in Bread Machine)
[adapted from Zojirushi]
Place ingredients into bread machine in this order:
1 2/3 cups Water
2 1/3 cups Bread flour
1 cup Wheat Flour
1 cup Rye Flour
3 Tbls. Molasses
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. Vegetable oil
4 Tbls. Cornmeal
2 tsp. Instant Coffee
2 Tbls. Unsweetened Cocoa
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
Turn Bread machine to Basic Dough setting. When dough is finished, remove, cut and measure dough into 3/4 oz. sizes. Using fingers push each dough piece into small round balls, and pinch together on the back side. On floured board, twist each ball seam side down to make a smooth bottom. Place each dough ball on a parchment lined baking sheet (about 2 inches a part), cover and let rise for about 1 hour. Glaze each dough ball by brushing with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. water). Bake in a preheated oven set on 350F for about 10 minutes.
Remove to cool on pan.
To prepare the "boule", snip off the top of each baked bread ball and using the kitchen shears, carefully, cut out a bit of the inside bread. Be careful to not cut through the bread.
The Bread bowls may be filled now, or freeze them for filling as needed.
Pour the warmed soup into a squeeze bottle with a medium opening. Turn the squeeze bottle over each Bread Boule and fill almost to the top with soup. Garnish with snipped chives.
These are easy to reheat in the oven, if your guests are late or the cozy turns into smooching before you have a chance to enjoy the German Beer Soup Boules. Lucky you.