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Baked some pumpkin ale bread but it came out pretty bitter tasting. Help?

Recently been on a bit of baking kick. Made pumpkin ale cupcakes and since I still had some ale and canned pumpkin left, I figured why not bake a nice loaf of beer bread.

I started with the usual base:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar (except I replaced white sugar with brown)
Added in some pumpkin spice, a pinch of cinnamon, some banana extract and about half a cup of libby's pumpkin puree.

Then I used a bottle of pumpkin ale.

Loaf baked up just find , really beautiful color and consistency, but its a little more bitter than I expected. Not sure if it's the fault of the pumpkin puree or the cinnamon I added or using brown sugar instead of white.

Anyone have any experience with this?

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  1. How did this recipe differ from the one you use for the cupcakes?

    Was the brown sugar packed or loose? Loose would contribute less sweetness than packed, or white.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      The cupcakes had eggs and vanilla extract. And yeah, the brown sugar was loosely packed.

    2. are you sure you used baking powder and not baking soda?

      1 Reply
      1. re: dfrostnh

        absolutely used powder instead of soda.

      2. How bitter is the ale? Ale usually is flavored with bitter hops. You might not have noticed this in the sweet cupcakes, but this bread does not have much sugar (1T sugar/cup flour).

        3 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          I'm with paul on this. I'm not familiar with pumpkin ale in baking so I googled, and the sugar amounts look way low, esp. as you're using pure pumpkin in lieu of pumpkin pie filling.

          1. re: paulj

            The beer was my first thought, too. It also doesn't have any fat that might mellow out the flavor. I wonder if it's a savory bread. Substituting brown sugar for that little white sugar would have negligible effect.

            1. re: paulj

              Definitely the ale. Cooking with beer doesn't work quite the same way as cooking with wine - they always say you shouldn't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. But when it comes to beer there are a lot of beers that are great to drink that you may have problems cooking with, because of the hops.

            2. A bottle of ale sounds like too much. I have a beer bread recipe that calls for 1 cup of ale, and it's still pretty strong.

                1. re: chowser

                  That recipe also has no actual pumpkin in it, too, if I read correctly.

                  1. re: pinehurst

                    Yes, you read right, I read wrong.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Good on you for finding a recipe with that little sugar. I couldn't!

                  2. re: chowser

                    yeah, that's the one I used, except I added the pumpkin puree. And yeah, full 12 oz.