Beer Bread Recipe - Striped Spatula (2024)

Learn how to make a quick bread classic with this homemade beer bread recipe. Using just 6 ingredients and one mixing bowl, this rustic loaf is easy to make for game day or a cozy snack.

Beer Bread Recipe - Striped Spatula (1)

Back in college (more years ago than I care to admit!), one of the first breads I made in my tiny apartment kitchen was Beer Bread. It was an easy recipe that didn’t require proofing or kneading, and my friends always devoured it.

With its lightly-sweet flavor and buttery, craggy crust, beer bread is a classic loaf. I keep the recipe in my back pocket for when I need a fuss-free and delicious bread for snacking or casual entertaining.

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What You’ll Need From the Pantry

With only 6 ingredients, Beer Bread is one of the simplest breads you can make. You’ll need all-purpose flour, baking powder, table salt, sugar, beer, and melted butter. That’s it!

What Kind of Beer Is Best for Beer Bread?

The type of beer you use is entirely up to your personal preferences and how much you want to taste it in the baked loaf. My friends and I prefer lighter-tasting, crisp, lager-style beers and Belgian-style witbiers in bread.

I find that more strongly-flavored beers, or those that are very hops-forward, can overpower the loaf when baked. In some cases, they can also make the bread taste too bitter. With that in mind, I tend to stay away from brews like IPA’s and strong stouts for this recipe.

Want to learn more about bitterness in beer? This article from Craft Beer Joe, Hoppy vs. Bitter: Understanding the Difference, is an interesting read!

I’ve made beer bread with everything from craft beers (Allagash White, Moosehead, etc.), to commercial beers like Heineken, Miller Highlife, and Samuel Adams Boston Lager (which we found lends more of a pronounced aroma than others on the list, and didn’t make our favorite loaf).

For the mildest beer flavor in your bread, use a light beer, such as Miller’s Lite, Coors Light, or Bud Light.

For a twist from the classic, you can also make this beer bread recipe using seasonal brews. We have fun in the fall making loaves with pumpkin ale and hard cider.

Really, the best way to determine the beer you like best for your beer bread is to jump in and try a loaf with your favorite bottle! If the flavor is too strong, bitter, or fruity, you’ll know that you need to move to a different brew.

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Tips for Making The Best Beer Bread

Making beer bread is about as easy as it gets: 1.) whisk together the dry ingredients, 2.) mix in the beer, 3.) pour melted butter over the batter in a loaf pan, and 4.) bake.

While beer bread has a dense and chewy crumb by nature, I’ve had loaves that sadly turned out too tough. Over the years, I’ve found that a few tips will ensure the best textured (and best tasting) loaf.

  1. Sift the flour. I always use a “spoon and sweep” method for measuring my flour (i.e. spoon the flour into the measuring cup and sweep the top with the straight edge of a butter knife). For beer bread, I find that sifting the flour before measuring it out creates the best crumb.
  2. Use room temperature beer. It will give you a better rise and baked texture than a bottle straight out of the fridge.
  3. Don’t over-mix the dough. When you add the beer, you want to just mix it in enough so the dry ingredients are moistened and everything is incorporated. (This usually takes about 5 or 6 turns in the bowl with my wooden spoon or spatula.) A few dry streaks are okay. Overworking the dough will yield a too-dense loaf.
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Common Questions About Beer Bread

Q. Can I use other sweeteners instead of granulated sugar?

A. Sure! I’ve made this loaf with light brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup (especially delicious with a pumpkin ale during the fall).

Just as with the granulated sugar, add anywhere from 1 to 4 tablespoons of any of these natural sweeteners, to your personal preferences.

Q. Why do you specify a range for the sweetener quantities?

A. So you can customize the loaf! You can make beer bread with just a hint of sweetness or more, depending on the flavor you like best and how you’re going to serve it.

For instance, you might want to make the bread a little less sweet to serve with a soup or stew than if you were going to have the slices on their own, as a snack.

The amount of sweetener can also depend on the type of beer you’re using. Some beers (or hard ciders) have more of a natural sweetness to them that will need less added sugar in the bread.

Q. I see a lot of recipes that call for self-rising flour. Can I use it here?

A. Yes. I don’t typically keep self-rising flour in my pantry, so I wrote the recipe using all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. To substitute self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt.

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Serving and Storing Beer Bread

I like to serve beer bread just slightly warm with a smidge of softened or whipped butter (usually salted). When I’m going for a sweet treat, I’ll add a drizzle of honey, or use honey or maple butter.

Savory beer bread is great with chili on game day (we love it alongside my Instant Pot Texas-Style Chili), a hearty bowl of soup, cut into cubes to serve with dips, or just on it’s own for an easy, home-baked snack.

I do find that beer bread is best the day it’s made. It can get a little heavy on day 2 and beyond.

That said, if you’re going to store leftovers, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap (make sure they’re cooled fully) and store at room temperature to enjoy on a second day. For the best texture and flavor, I like to re-warm the loaf in the oven at 350 degrees F, wrapped in foil.

My friends and I haven’t liked the texture of beer bread that had been frozen. This is a recipe that we prefer to make and serve it fresh.

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📖 Recipe

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Beer Bread

Beer Bread is a classic quick bread that's great for casual entertaining. It's lightly-sweet, buttery, and delicious served as an appetizer, snack, or side.

Print Pin Rate Save

Course: Bread

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 slices

Estimated Calories: 227kcal

Author: Amanda Biddle

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur) , 350 grams (measured with the spoon-and-level method after sifting)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder , (12 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt , (6 grams)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar , (25-50 grams), depending on how sweet you like your bread
  • 12 ounce bottle of beer , room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter , melted (28 grams), plus additional for greasing the loaf pan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 1 pound (8 ½" x 4 ½" x 2 ¾" high) loaf pan.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in beer and stir just to combine. For a tender bread, don't over-mix. Batter will be thick and won't have a totally smooth appearance.

  • Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out so it reaches all four corners. Drizzle with the melted butter.

  • Bake for 35-55 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. (Baking time will depend on the heat conductivity of the pan you're using, as well as your oven; my loaves most often take 40-45 mintues.)

  • Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Slice the bread when it's just slightly warm or room temperature and serve.

Notes

The bread is best enjoyed the day it’s baked, but can be stored at room temperature for an extra day. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. To refresh the loaf, wrap it in foil and warm it for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

For substitutions, see the FAQ’s above.

For tips on choosing a beer to make this bread, see the Beer Types section above.

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

Keyword: beer bread recipe, classic beer bread

About our Recipes:Please note that our recipes have been developed using the US Customary measurement system and have not been tested for high altitude/elevation cooking and baking.

Have you made this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe below! Take a picture? Tag @stripedspatula and #stripedspatula on Instagram!

Beer Bread Recipe - Striped Spatula (2024)

FAQs

What beer makes the best beer bread? ›

Lighter beers, such as lagers, ales and pilsners, will give your bread a lighter color, and mild taste that just about everyone loves. Darker beers like stouts and porters make a darker-colored loaf and have a stronger beer flavor. Hoppy beers like IPAs will give your bread a more bitter taste.

Why is my beer bread so dense? ›

Overworking the dough of your beer bread will affect the texture, causing it to turn from soft and chewy to tough and condensed.

Does beer have to be room temperature for beer bread? ›

Recipe Tips

Use room temperature beer: This helps the bread rise and creates a better texture than cold beer. Don't over-mix: After adding the beer to the dry ingredients, mix enough until just incorporated and nothing more. Overworking the dough will create a very dense loaf.

Why is my beer bread crumbly? ›

Don't Overmix. Overmixing the batter can cause the bread to turn out tough or crumbly. Stir gently and stop as soon as the flour disappears (and any mix-ins are incorporated).

What type of yeast is used in beer and bread? ›

The strains of yeast used to make beer, bread, and wine come from the species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is known as “brewer's yeast” or “baker's yeast” for good reason: it's responsible for the fermentation that makes beer alcoholic and allows a lump of dough to rise into a loaf of bread.

What can you substitute for beer in beer bread? ›

Can You Use Something Other Than Beer in Beer Bread? Absolutely! Almost any carbonated or noncarbonated beverage can be used, including water, soda pop, milk or buttermilk, fruit juice and even creamed corn! In general substitute 12 fluid ounces of whatever liquid you choose in place of beer.

What makes bread lighter and fluffier? ›

Add Sugar

Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer. As a result, sugar improves the bread's taste, structure and texture. Yeast also eats up sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which raises the dough and makes bread fluffy.

How do you know when beer bread is done? ›

Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 1/2" into the top of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Does the alcohol cook out of beer bread? ›

It's important to note that when using beer in bread recipes, the alcohol content will cook off during the baking process, so the bread will not be alcoholic. Additionally, if you are sensitive to gluten, be sure to use a gluten-free beer or substitute another liquid, such as soda or carbonated water.

Can beer bread mix go bad? ›

All of the molly&you® Beer Bread Mixes have a shelf life of 2-3 years. Our products have the 'best by date' on the bottom of every package.

Can I use water instead of beer in beer bread? ›

If you prefer make this recipe non-alcoholic, you can substitute the beer with a non-alcoholic beer like O'Douls or just water.

Does beer bread go bad? ›

Unopened beer bread generally lasts up to a week past the sell-by date. Once opened, it's best to consume it within 2-3 days. If you've baked homemade beer bread, try to consume it within 2-3 days as well. If you choose to freeze it, beer bread can last from 2 to 3 months.

What pairs well with beer bread? ›

Think brisket, chicken, ribs, steaks, pork loin – all pair wonderfully with a slice of beer bread. When you're trying to keep it lighter, pair beer bread with your favorite salad. We highly recommend Caesar salad!

Is Miller High Life good for beer bread? ›

I've made beer bread with everything from craft beers (Allagash White, Moosehead, etc.), to commercial beers like Heineken, Miller Highlife, and Samuel Adams Boston Lager (which we found lends more of a pronounced aroma than others on the list, and didn't make our favorite loaf).

Why does my homemade bread taste like beer? ›

The yeast converts the sugars in bread to create C02 that makes the bread rise, but it also creates some alcohol, just like in beer and wine fermentation. That flavor just means that the yeast has been given sufficient time to work. The alcohol evaporates at the temperatures that bread bakes.

What kind of beer is used in Trader Joe's beer bread? ›

It's also the phrase you'll find gracing each box of Trader Joe's Beer Bread Mix. The flavor of the finished loaf really depends on what kind of beer you use: Go with a lager for a lighter profile, an IPA for a hearty, hoppy taste, or a stout for a rich result with a slightly darker finished product.

What is the best beer to bake with? ›

Amber and brown ales tend to be less bitter than the alternatives and feature a nutty flavor. Because of this, these beers are often recommended for caramels, cookies, and pies. Light-colored beers have their place in baking, too. Lagers and Witbiers are used in lighter cakes and cookies.

What is a good lager for bread? ›

One of my favorite beers to use is Yuengling Lager. It's a medium-bodied lager with notes of caramel malt and a sweetness that makes it perfect for beer bread.

What kind of beer has the most brewers yeast? ›

Hefeweizen is a classic example of beer that is not especially high in alcohol, typically coming in between 4% and 6%, but it has perhaps the highest levels of yeast suspended in the beer. Hefes are known for their cloudy, hazy appearance and their nice thick head.

References

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