Kansas is the largest wheat producing state, growing almost one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States. An acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day which is why the Sunflower State is sometimes called the
“Breadbasket of the World.” We decided to bring you this Parmesan Basil Beer Bread as it features both beer and flour, both of which are wheat products. This bread is a quick bread (no yeast) so it comes together quite quickly and easily. Use whatever beer you like to drink as the flavor will come through in the bread. The StateEats kids gobbled this bread down one sunny Saturday morning with just a slathering of butter.
Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark is off the beaten path about 25 miles outside of Oakley, Kansas, but is worth the drive to see chalk formations rising out of the prairie. Some formations are over 70 feet high and contain fossilized sea life.
Parmesan Basil Beer Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 12 oz. bottle of beer
- 1 ½ cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
In a large mixing bowl add flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Add beer, mix until combined. Add cheese and basil and stir until incorporated. Drop batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
Forget what you think you know about zwieback. This is decidedly not that hard toast stuff you give to babies when they are teething. When folks talk zweiback in the Sunflower State, they are referring to delicious rolls, a little bit richer and saltier than the usual homemade bun. The Mennonites brought these from Russia, presumably because they traveled well, especially when toasted (thus the name in German which roughly translates to “double baked”). These rolls have a unique shape with a little ball on top of the base of the bun. They are great for Sunday brunch with some butter and jam or to hold your sandwich innards. They also freeze very well.
History buffs will love Fort Larned National Historic Site, which houses a complete and authentic army post from the 1860s. Various living history events will take place Labor Day weekend, September 5-7, 2015, including lectures, carriage rides and artillery and blacksmith demos.
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup margarine, butter, or lard
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 3/4 to 6 cups flour
Heat milk, water and butter or margarine together in a microwave safe bowl or cup until warm, about 100 degrees. Do not let the liquid boil as the yeast will not proof. Sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Let set a few minutes until mixture is bubbling.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with salt. Gradually add 3 cups sifted flour and beat with an electric mixture for 5 minutes. Add the additional flour and beat until thoroughly combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a large bowl coated in oil and cover with a tea towel. Place in a warm spot for about 75 minutes or until dough is doubled in size. Punch down and let dough rise again, about 30-45 minutes. Punch down again. Remove dough to a well-floured surface and knead out any air bubbles.
To form the rolls, divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece by hand until round, then pinch off a large marble sized piece. Place bigger piece on well-greased baking sheet, flatten slightly. In the middle of the roll, make an indentation, then place the smaller ball on top (this will ensure the top will not slide off during baking). Continue until all rolls are formed, making sure to spread out the rolls 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
Kansas produces more wheat than any other state, about 20 percent of the nation’s total production. Fun fact – all the wheat grown in Kansas in one year would fit on a train that stretches from western Kansas clear to the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Kansas Wheat Commission. The Sunflower State actually produces enough wheat to bake 36 billion loaves of bread, enough to feed everyone in the world for about two weeks. Holy moly, that’s a lot of ovens!
Wheat is of course used for all sorts of products (think beer, cereal and pasta) but is most commonly turned into flour. Here’s our favorite cinnamon roll recipe, deliciously decadent with a cream cheese frosting. Oh yes, your home will smell heavenly while they bake. These take a little bit of effort but they are so much better than those rolls in a tube. You can also make the dough the night before, let them rise in the fridge overnight, and then bake them in the morning.
Continue reading Gift of Finest Wheat – Kansas