Serious Eats: Recipes

Beer Bread Pecan Rolls

"Skip yeast in favor of a quick beer-and-baking-powder dough."

[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

Brunch at home needs to be easy. There's a reason that neighborhood caf├ęs manage to sell a couple of sad poached eggs for $13 on Sundays: we're not running on all cylinders on weekend mornings, especially not before our first gallon of coffee.

You can make these fancy-looking pecan rolls in under an hour—though you may get a bit of flour on your pajamas.

The secret? Skip yeast in favor of a quick beer-and-baking-powder dough. The beer adds a rich, malty flavor that most quick breads lack. While the recipe will work with a can of Budweiser, a more flavorful beer will give you more complexity in the final result. Just avoid using overly bitter or hoppy varieties of beer—save your IPAs for next Saturday night.

I made these with a bottle of Abita Pecan Ale, which added a nice nuttiness, though you could also try any pumpkin ale you have sitting around. The dough comes together in flash, then the rolls are arranged and baked on top of an easy brown-sugar-caramel topping. Invert the whole thing onto a platter, serve warm, and receive applause.

I added some crumbled bacon to the filling, but I actually think these pecan rolls work equally well without it. Then your brunch guests won't be overwhelmed when you serve them a giant stack of candied bacon on the side.

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