In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.
I first decided to embark on my 30-day grilled cheese adventure last fall. That left me about six months to test recipes and resist the urge to spill the beans about my project. I failed utterly at keeping quiet. I shamelessly celebrated each successful sandwich on Facebook. Fortunately, my loose lips inspired sandwich suggestions from my pals, including today’s masterpiece.
My friend, Deb, came up with the brilliant idea of transforming beer cheese soup into a grilled cheese sandwich, with homemade bread providing the beer. She even suggested serving the sandwich with the traditional garnish of popcorn, and if I had realized earlier that I was out of popcorn, you’d see it in the photos.
So you’ve got lovely Deb to thank for this incredible, savory sandwich. The bread recipe is worth making whether you want the sandwich or not – it’s tender and pillowy with a crunchy, buttery crust and the tiniest hint of bitterness from the beer. You’ll want to toast it, smear it with butter, and dunk it in soup.
I filled the beer bread with a combination of cheddar and American cheese to mimic the creamy, orange soup. Then I topped the cheese with onions caramelized in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. The flavors were rich and strong and unmistakably Midwestern.
Oh, and I used the leftover caramelized onions to make homemade French onion dip. It was about a zillion times tastier than that store-bought stuff.
For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.
- 6 ounces beer (I used Samuel Adams Cream Stout)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- Beer bread
- American cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm beer, milk, and 1 tablespoon butter just until butter is melted. Pour contents into bread machine pan. Stir in brown sugar and salt. Top with flour. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour in the yeast. Begin the dough cycle.
- As the cycle continues, the ball should still be somewhat soft and sticky. If it is too dry, add a splash of beer.
- When the cycle has completed, punch down the dough, and place into a greased loaf pan. Allow the dough to rise about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When the dough has risen, bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when thumped. In the final 10 minutes, drizzle melted butter over the top.
- Immediately turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting.
- Cut the onion in half and slice into thick strips.
- Heat the butter in large sauté pan over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the butter. Spread the onions out evenly over the bottom of the pan and let them cook, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low to prevent the onions from burning or drying out. After 10 minutes, add the sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Let the onions cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are a rich, brown color. In the last few minutes, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Remove from heat.
- Top one slice of bread with American cheese and the other with cheddar.
- Add a small mound of onions on top of the cheese.
- Close it up and butter the outsides of the bread.
- Griddle on medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.