Looking for an easy Beer Bread recipe? You've found it!
This scrumptious no yeast bread takes minutes to whip up, and it's super easy to customize. Yet it's full of the most delicious, unique flavor. You're are going to love this fun recipe!
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If you're searching for the easiest, but tastiest, bread recipe out there, this is it! Look no further.
I first discovered this recipe way back on February 1, 2001 ... I know the exact date, because I found a printout from a message board I used to frequent (ha). Which I carefully stored in a binder with all my tried and true recipes clipped from magazines ... anyone else do that?
Back in the day before blogs were super common, message boards were where it was at. It was a great way to discover new cooking techniques and unique recipes back in the days of dial-up internet.
These days, there are lots of Beer Bread recipes out there. After discovering that original recipe, I've tried many others. I made a few small tweaks here and there, and this one really is my fave. It has the ideal balance of sweet and savory flavors, and it's perfectly tender and buttery.
Best of all, this crave-worthy bread couldn't be easier to make from scratch! If you're ready to try it for yourself, keep reading for all the mouthwatering details.
What is Beer Bread?
Beer Bread is a bread that's made with beer instead of another liquid. While it can be made with yeast, this recipe is prepared more like a quick bread, and it requires no yeast, no kneading, and no proofing.
The finished bread features a buttery crust, tender crumb, and a slightly sweet, malty taste. It will also take on the flavor of whatever beer you use. And while you prepare it similar to a quick bread, the finished loaf is a little heartier and has a chewier texture.
What makes Beer Bread rise?
Because this bread has no yeast, it relies on baking powder to help it rise. Without the baking powder, you would end up with a very dense loaf. The carbonation in the beer also lightens the finished bread.
Can you get drunk off Beer Bread?
No, you cannot. The alcohol evaporates as it cooks.
The ingredients for this simple recipe are super basic. You probably already have most of them in your pantry! Here's what you'll need:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Salt (I recommend using Kosher Salt.)
- Unsalted Butter
Pretty straightforward, right? The cool thing about this recipe is that while the bread is super delish as is, you can easily customize it by adding other ingredients. You'll find a bunch of different recipe variations below.
What kind of beer is best?
You can use almost any beer for this recipe. Lighter beers (like Miller Lite) will give the bread a milder flavor. More full-bodied and darker beers will impart more depth of flavor. Try experimenting with seasonal beers (like pumpkin flavored), too.
I typically use whatever beer I have on hand, often some type of lager. Although I rarely use super dark beers, it's great with something like Newcastle Brown Ale or Shiner Bock. This time, I had some Modelo Especial in my fridge, so I used that.
This recipe is surprisingly versatile. So once you've mastered the basics, have fun experimenting! Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Self-Rising Flour - If you have it on hand, you can substitute self-rising flour for the all-purpose flour. In that case, you will not need the baking powder.
- Sugar - I recommend using ¼ cup sugar for this bread, and I think it's the perfect amount. However, you can add less sugar if you're prefer (try three tablespoons) or more sugar for a sweeter loaf (some recipes call for up to ½ cup).
- Honey or Maple Syrup - Feel free to substitute ¼ cup honey or maple syrup for the sugar called for in the recipe. You'll add it at the same time as the beer.
- Cheese - This recipe becomes extra delicious with the addition of a cup of shredded or cubed cheese. Sharp cheddar is a classic, but you can use others cheeses, too ... Parmesan or feta would be delish! Whisk in the cheese after you've combined the dry ingredients, but before adding the beer.
- Garlic - Another tasty addition that really complements this bread. Depending on how garlicky you like things, add one to two teaspoons of garlic powder or one to two cloves of minced fresh garlic to the dry ingredients.
- Cheese + Garlic - What's better than cheese or garlic? Garlic and cheese ... yum!
- Herb - Fresh herbs—such as minced parley, rosemary, thyme, chives, or dill—really brighten up the flavors of this bread. You could also use dried herbs or even spices, like cinnamon.
- Jalapeño - Spice up your loaf with the addition of a diced jalapeño or two (fresh or pickled), and decorate the top with thinly sliced peppers. Consider adding some cheddar, too!
- Onions - Savory onions work so well in this recipe. Try adding a few minced green onions. If you'd like to use a regular onion, saute half a large onion (diced or thinly sliced) in a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Add the onion to the whisked dry ingredients, before adding the beer. Cheddar would be delicious with the onions, too.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes - These sweet, chewy tomatoes make an excellent addition. Chop them up before adding them to the dry ingredients, and consider adding some diced mozzarella and Italian herbs, too.
- Vegan - This recipe is super easy to make vegan! Just make sure to use vegan sugar and vegan beer (some British varieties, like Guinness, aren't), and substitute your fave vegan butter, such as Earth Balance Unsalted Buttery Sticks.
How to Make Beer Bread
Ready to get started? Once you discover how delicious and easy this recipe is, you'll be making it on repeat!
Begin by whisking the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt—together in a large bowl.
Whisking everything together before adding the beer lightens up the flour mixture (without having to sift anything), which is important with this dense bread. It also ensures that the ingredients are evenly distributed in the finished bread.
Tip: When measuring, make sure to scoop the flour into your measuring cup with a spoon, then level off the top with a straight edge (like a knife). Do not scoop the measuring cup into the flour ... doing so will compress the flour, leading to a dry, dense loaf.
After you've whisked the dry ingredients together, pour in one 12-ounce can or bottle of beer. Like I mentioned above, almost any kind works!
Just like any quick bread, vigorous mixing will lead to a tough texture. So use a spatula to fold the ingredients together instead.
At first it will seem like the bubble are working against you. Keep mixing though, and it will all come together in the end. I promise!
Stop mixing when everything is just combined. It's okay if there are a few spots of flour left in the dough. The finished dough will be thick and kind of rough looking (see pics below).
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray, then transfer the dough to the pan.
Gently spread it in the pan and smooth the top a bit. Don't worry if it looks a little craggy ... it won't be perfectly smooth.
Next, pour the melted butter over the top. This recipe calls for two to four tablespoons of unsalted butter. For the photos below, I used four tablespoons.
I usually make this bread with just two tablespoons, and it's still quite buttery. Try it both ways to see which you prefer.
And don't worry! The butter won't remain around the edges like that. As it bakes, the butter will seep down around the sides and bottom of pan, creating an amazing buttery crust.
This bread takes about 50 minutes to bake at 350 degrees. Every oven is different though, so I recommend checking your bread at 45 minutes.
You'll know the bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the pan, and let it cool on a wire baking rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. I know it's hard to resist, but the texture will be improved if you do.
After that long wait, your beautiful bread is ready to eat! I like to enjoy warm, thick slices topped with lots of butter, but it's great alongside a meal and with other toppings, too. Check out my tips below for more serving ideas!
Storing the Bread
To store your bread, wrap it in plastic wrap, stash it in a zip top plastic bag, or store it in an airtight container on your kitchen counter. It will stay fresh for about three days at room temp, and there is no need to refrigerate it.
You can also freeze any leftovers or even a full loaf. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil first, then place in a freezer bag.
The savory, yet slightly sweet flavor of this delicious bread is so versatile!
Like I mentioned above, I LOVE eating thick slices slathered with butter, but it's also wonderful topped with jam and other spreads (sweet or savory). You could even toast slices to make avocado toast or another open-faced sandwich.
Serve it with your lunch or dinner, too! Beer Bread is perfect for dipping in hearty soups and chilis. Try it with my favorite Vegetable Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup, Vegetarian Chili, or even this Roasted Pumpkin Soup.
Serving this bread for St. Patrick's Day? Make a loaf with your fave Irish beer, then pair it with this easy Green Beer recipe, and you have a party!
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 (12-ounce) beer
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add beer to dry ingredients. Fold beer into flour with a spatula, mixing until just combined.
- Transfer dough to loaf pan, then pour melted butter over top.
- Bake bread until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
- Remove bread from pan and cool on baking rack for at least 30 minutes before eating. Enjoy!