Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beer Bread

I love quick breads. I’ve told you this before. They’re just so, well, quick to make! And I’m all about tasty results with minimum fuss. Except when I have moments of major fuss and kitchen destruction… but that’s another post for another day.

Most of the quick bread recipes I’ve posted thus far are for sweet, fruit-flavored breads. We’ve had cranberry orange nut bread, banana bread, lowfat oatmeal banana bread, banana chocolate chip oatmeal bread – are you seeing a trend? I like me some bananas. (Plus quick breads are the perfect way to use up dead, mushy bananas.)

On the savory side, I’ve told you about a delicious, rich, savory cheddar-chive bread. That one was good, but today’s recipe takes the cake in our house. Beer bread – so easy to make you will not believe. Take six ingredients and less than five minutes and you can have homemade bread baking away in the oven. (Minus the scary yeast part. The natural yeast in beer does all the work for you!) I’ve made this bread three times in the past two weeks and have the recipe committed to memory.

Beer bread is great with dinner; it’s great with eggs for brunch; and man, is it good alongside a steamy bowl of soup. The recipe is also quite adaptable. Use more or less melted butter to adjust the richness (and calorie count) of the bread. Throw in a handful or two of grated cheese to make it a little gooey. Try adding some seasonings like garlic or onion powder. However you make it, just try it. And then be sure to tell me if you come up with something delicious!

One Year Ago: Savory Cheddar-Chive Bread

Beer Bread
Adapted from The Pastry Queen via  Ezra Pound Cake

* When it comes to the beer for this recipe, I use an inexpensive lager from Trader Joes, but feel free to use any variety you like. Try a flavored beer to add a little pizzazz to your bread. Test out the difference between light and dark beers. Any beer will do; it’s the yeast that is important, not the particular variety.

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. can or bottle of beer, any variety (see above)
4 to 8 T. unsalted butter, melted (use more or less according to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Pour the beer over the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.

You should have a shaggy, sticky dough.

Pour half of the melted butter into the prepared loaf pan. Place the dough on top of the butter, pressing it into the corners. Pour the remaining butter on top of the dough.

Place the dough in the oven with a sheet pan underneath to catch any butter that spills over the sides. (I skipped this step and have had to deal with my oven smoking from burnt butter for the last few days. Save yourself the smoke detectors going off – use a drip pan!) Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove the bread to a cooling rack. Cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. (The bread tastes best warm, but is difficult to slice until it has cooled a little. Aim to slice it when it is still warm, but not steaming hot on the inside.)

Makes 1 loaf.

Note: This bread tastes best the day it is made, but you can salvage leftovers by crisping up slices in the toaster.


  1. I'll have to try this after my current loaf of oatmeal bread is gone... does it work for sandwiches, or is to crumbly?

  2. Hillary - I think you'll really like it! I don't know how well it will work for sandwiches... The crust is a bit crumbly and therefore hard to slice thinly. I think it's better as a side dish or dunked into soup!

  3. I've made a lot of beer bread, but my recipe is way shorter...
    1 bottle/can of beer (good flavor)
    3 cups self-rising flour
    3/4 cup sugar

    I've also tried a lot of different kinds of beer, Magic Hat and any light beers aren't all that great. Amber Bock and Guinness didn't rise very well.
    My favorites are Blue Moon and Sam Adam's Winter lager.
    The only extras I've ever added are jalapenos and cheddar cheese.

  4. Nicole - Thanks so much for sharing your recipe and beer recommendations! Stan likes Sam Adams Winter Lager, so I'll have to give that a try the next time I make this bread! For your recipe, does using 3/4 cup of sugar make the bread more sweet than savory?

  5. I made this tonight to accompany your tortellini soup and everyone was oohing and ahhing over it. Really, really good - and so easy. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be making a lot more of this in the future!

  6. Rose - I'm so glad you liked it! If you're anything like me, I suspect you will make it often, too. I had to cut myself off and stop buying beer because I was making too much of this bread!!

  7. I'd love to try this, I just have to convince my very conservative mother that I only want to bake with the beer. :-)

  8. Reading this post makes me crave for bread, soup, and a bottle of beer. This is a cool recipe, and I hope it works well too with barbeque or steak. It's a nice treat for friends on a game night. >> Corey Glenn @

  9. Im gonna have to cook this for tnx gvg using more beer wil give you a stronger dough plus more yeast in the beer and mor food for the yeast[by meams of sugar] will make the yeast release more air a denser dough dough by way of bread flour can make a stronger dough for rolls and sandwiches have you tried this with pinterests bread in a soup can. Make a can of tomato soup for each person and then throwa portion of bread into each persons washed soup can and theres your soup and bread



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