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Cheers! Skål! Sante! Prost! This time of year we gather together and feast! From Oktoberfest to Thanksgiving to however you make December merry and bright, beer drinking is en vogue this time of year. The rise of the feast, lubricated by beer, was a ritual humans used to assert political power, to form alliances, to practice religious and civic rituals, to affirm familial traditions and above all, to create bonds.

As bonds are created, complex social structures and norms are established and in turn culture is created through the ritual of feasting. Change is so obviously in the air in autumn, and with change comes the opportunity to create something new. So, now is a great time to think, what type of culture do you want to help create? What do we humans WANT the world to be? There´s a question to chew over with a few mates, particularly in relationship to creating connections to one another and the natural world – which is what feasting is all about at its core. Whilst not all of us are beer drinkers, a great way to pay homage to the role of beer in helping to create a sense of social freedom and creativity in the ancient world is by whipping up this quick beer bread instead. Here´s how:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil,
  • 3.5 cups/420 grams of flour (I like to mix white and wheat),
  • 2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard,
  • 1.5 tsp of slat,
  • 1 tsp baking soda,
  • 1 tsp baking powder,
  • Pinch of chili, paprika, cumin, thyme and oregano,
  • 1 large egg,
  • 1 12oz /350ml bottle of beer, if you are a beer drinker, this is an opportunity to get creative. Think through the flavours, aromas and colours that you find most attractive and give it a go! I used a red ale for the bread you see pictured.

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 175 Celsius/350 Fahrenheit
  2. Lightly grease a bread loaf pan with oil and flour or butter.
  3. Mix flour, mustard, salt, soda, powder, spices into a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl mix egg, oil, beer and stir batter.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes
  7. Set on a cooling rack, in the loaf to cool
  8. Tip the bread out of the loaf, when still a bit warm, smear with whatever you fancy and break bread with your mates whilst getting sassy and dreaming about the world you want to live in. Create it!