No yeast needed for this delicious and easy beer bread recipe! This savory quick bread recipe is a great substitute for yeast breads or as a side for hearty soups and stews.
We love bread in this house! And while we normally buy it at the store, there’s something special about homemade bread. Yeast breads like challah or this classic sandwich bread are great, but sometimes you don’t have yeast or time to bake! In those situations, it’s great to have a savory quick bread recipe, like this easy beer bread recipe, to fall back on.
Beer bread is a nice quick bread to accompany soup or stew. In a pinch, it’s a substitute for toast. Sometimes we like to use it as a base for breakfast stacks or open-faced sandwiches. The texture isn’t as light as a yeast sandwich bread, so we don’t typically use it for sandwiches. But, it’s got a great flavor and bread is for more than sandwiches, so we make it anyway! Beer bread, depending on the beer you use, has a nice sweet and savory flavor, so it’s super versatile.
What kind of beer should I use?
Use for a yeast-based beer. You don’t want something too hoppy like an IPA or your bread will be bitter. Ale or lager beers are good for a balanced flavor. The beer does impart flavor to your bread, so if you want a very mild tasting bread, go for a mild tasting beer. That will give you the most neutral flavor. For a little variety, use a bolder beer. The best results, in my experience, come from a mild to medium-bodied beer that’s not too hoppy or bitter and has a classic flavor.
If you use a darker beer like a bock or stout, you’ll end up with a darker bread that’s a little sweeter. There are recipes out there for sweet beer bread that’s more dessert-like, this one isn’t that. I love baking with beer (like in these cupcakes!) but the sweet beer bread wasn’t really a hit at our house the one time I tried it. So we stick to more savory recipes like this one.
Beer bread baking tips…
Beer bread is a very simple recipe, but there are a few things to consider to make the best loaf possible.
The first tip for beer bread that isn’t dense is correctly measuring your flour. A cup of flour weight 120 grams. So if you have a food scale, this is absolutely the most reliable way to measure. But if you don’t have a food scale, here’s how you prevent adding too much flour. Fluff your flour then lightly scoop it into a cup and use the backside of a table knife to level. Don’t pack it in, think light and fluffy.
You don’t need to sift the flour for this recipe, just make sure to stir your dry ingredients together very well to make sure you have the ingredients well distributed.
If you want to get fancy, feel free to add some fresh herbs like chives or rosemary to your bread. Or you can add something like cheddar cheese! This all depends on the flavor profile of your beer, but it’s fun to get creative. This is a base recipe and from there, there’s a lot you can do.
Please don’t cut the sugar out of this bread completely. I use less sugar in this recipe than many others. The sugar does add a little sweetness, but it also helps to add structure and aids in chemical reactions in the bread. I haven’t tried this with a sugar substitute. If you do, please let me know how it turns out!
Also, please don’t overmix. I highly recommend mixing all this by hand instead of using a mixer. Stir gently as your pour in your beer, then fold and mix gently until you have no giant clumps of dry flour. If you have a streak or two, it should be fine. Stirring activates the gluten, and gluten activation causes the bread to be dense. The dough is very sticky but resist the urge to stir too much. Use your spatula to help the batter be mostly evenly distributed in your loaf pan.
Finally, when the bread has finished baking, please let it rest in the pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool for another 10. Bread needs this cooling time after removing from the oven so the structure has a chance to set. If you cut it too early, it will be gummy.
I hope you love this easy beer bread recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer (see notes)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (see notes)
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Brush butter along the inside of a 9-inch loaf pan, or spray with nonstick spray. If desired, dust with cornmeal. Alternatively, line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the beer. Stir until just combined. There should be no dry flour, but be careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. Pour the butter evenly over the dough.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until
- The best beers to use are ones that are not too bitter. I used a scotch ale for this recipe.
- If you are using salted butter instead of unsalted butter, you may want to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to a 1/2 teaspoon.
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