If you’ve never baked a loaf of bread before, this is beer bread recipe is the perfect place to start! Not only does it go together FAST, it’s very forgiving. Once, I forgot the baking powder and it STILL turned out decently, although a bit flat. I don’t recommend that recipe modification, but it’s proof of how easy and reliable this bread recipe is.
Your beer bread will be ready in 45 minutes and bakes up with a nice crust and a rich flavor, it’s perfect with soup or for sandwiches. It’s also excellent spread with goat cheese or smeared with jam.
Beer bread ingredients
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 3 cups of All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 12 ounce bottle of beer, room temperature
- a loaf pan or baking sheet or Dutch oven
How do you make beer bread?
It really is a cinch to bake beer bread. If you have never made bread, or even baked anything before, you can bake a beautiful loaf of bread right now!
FIRST – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. If you have a sifter, sift to combine. Otherwise, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients to combine. This is an important step, don’t skip it – it makes sure the baking powder is evenly dispersed.
SECOND – mix in the sugar, then pour in the bottle of beer.
What kind of beer for beer bread?
I like to use lighter beers, like wheat ales, pale ales or even brown ales. For the best results, use a beer you enjoy drinking or at least don’t mind the smell of. Beer bread doesn’t take like beer, but the flavor of the beer definitely influences the flavor of the bread.
While you don’t have to use a artisan, handcrafted micro-brew, I’d recommend stepping up a bit from the Budweiser/Miller/PBR tier if possible. It’s really fun to try out different beers and see how it changes the flavor and texture.
My favorite beers for beer bread are: Blue Moon, Sam Adams Boston Lager and Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, which has a bit of a fruity note that’s nice in the beer.
THIRD – Thoroughly mix the dough until it forms a wet ball. Just use your clean hands or a big wooden spoon.
Turn the dough into a loaf pan or free form it onto a baking sheet. This is a wetter dough, so I like the structure of a loaf pan – however, it makes a lovely round loaf, too.
FOURTH – Bake until done, usually around 35-45 minutes. When it’s ready, a toothpick will come out nearly clean and the top of the loaf will be lightly browned. Let it cool in the pan briefly, then turn onto a cooling rack.
Beer bread in a Dutch oven
You can also bake beer bread in a Dutch oven if you have one. Make sure the Dutch oven preheats along with the oven. Follow the recipe directions and form the dough into a ball. Place the ball in carefully into the hot Dutch oven, then put the lid on. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15, until the top is crisp and golden.
If you’re looking for a cast iron Dutch oven that’s great for baking bread, I highly recommend this five quart option:
You can also roast a chicken in it!
Beer bread add ins
- This recipe is great with the addition of a tablespoon or two of fresh or dried herbs! Basil, thyme and rosemary all work well. Just mince them and mix them into the dough before adding the beer.
- You can add a 1/4 cup of finely shredded hard cheese. Parmesan and cheddar are excellent add-ins. Mix in before adding the beer.
- It’s possible to bake this bread using half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose but the loaf will be denser.
- You can substitute three tablespoons of honey for the sugar.
Mastered baking quick breads? Get started baking yeast breads with this Rustic Loaf recipe.