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Thursday
Feb022012

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer has a time and place. Sporting events and hot summer nights. Wild concerts and Super Bowl parties. A refreshing side to a slice of pizza or a platter of fries. Whether you enjoy it pale or dark, bitter or balanced, light or filling enough to be a meal, there is a beer for everyone and every occasion. Sometimes the trickiest part is finding the right one for you. In my third year since reaching the legal drinking age, I'm not quite sure I've found my one and only just yet.

That said, I've always been more of a wine kind of gal.

Beer Bread Beer Bread

Beer bread, opposed to a mug of frothy ale, is something I can get behind. It's no secret that I love bread in each and every form. Beer bread is no exception. If left to my own devices (with no concept of willpower or prying, concerned eyes), I could very well eat the entire loaf by myself.

After years of baking beer bread from box mixes, it wasn't until I set out on my own that I realized how absolutely easy it is to make without a mix. In fact, it takes only a minute longer to whisk together the base ingredients. A whole minute. Sometimes I'm amazed by the ease bread can come together.

Beer Bread

For those of you are hesitant about making yeast breads, this is for you. Beer bread is technically a "yeast" bread but, since yeast comes only from the beer, you don't have to worry about proofing or anything else that comes with that process. Of course, you don't have to share that minor detail with those you are trying to impress.

The special ingredient in this particular recipe is the butter. Though the butter can be optional (especially if you are watching your waistline), I wholeheartedly recommend you brush it heavily on the bread before baking. It really gives the bread a thick, buttery crust that is absolutely wonderful.

In fact, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite part.

Beer Bread Beer Bread

Beer Bread is buttery, chewy, and tastes like your favorite beer. The yeast in the beer interacts with the sugar to help the bread to rise (and the baking powder gives the bread an additional boost to keep it from becoming dense). Be wise, however, in choosing the beer you use. A beer with fruit tones will lend a sweeter, fruity bread. Likewise, a dark ale will lend a robust flavor to the final product. I recommend you use a beer you know and love (I've also heard rumor that cheap, regular beer often tastes better than anything else, but I haven't given this theory a true test). Beer bread is excellent when sliced and spread with butter, cubed and sprinkled on top a thick, hearty chili, or dipped into a spinach or cheese dip. Give it a try—the recipe couldn't be easier!

One Year Ago: Cocoa Almond Meringues

Beer Bread

Yields 1 loaf

3 cups bread flour (all-purpose will also work)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
12 ounce can or bottle of beer (choose your favorite!)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in beer and mix until just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan. Pour melted butter over the top of the dough.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is browned. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Reader Comments (29)

I love beer bread, I make it all the time, mine doesn't have any beer though, it is more like a soda bread with beer instead of buttermilk. I will try this more substantial recipe next time and save it for my favorite meal: Saturday breakfasts. Oh, can't wait!
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterValeria
Mmm this sounds lovely! I can't wait to try!
You had me at beer.
02.3.2012 | Unregistered Commentermovita beaucoup
I'm definitely a wine girl and have never really enjoyed the taste of beer, but I do love using it in bread. I have a tried and tested Dan Lepard recipe which I normally use, but will definitely be giving yours a go too so I can compare :-)
02.3.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
This looks great!! I might just be making this for the SuperBowl, I love that its a quick bread too.
I loooove beer bread, so tempting just to eat it all in one go! Your pictures are so beautiful, I feel like I should go make some right now!
I made this today and it was delicious. A great combination of crunchiness and chewiness.
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda
When Trader Joe's had a beer bread mix a few years back it was one of the only exceptions I made to baking from scratch ... super excited to try this recipe!
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBowen
your bread looks perfect & delicious! i've never had beer bread before... sounds super good :)
This sounds wonderful! I had no idea it was so easy!
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I mixed up a loaf to go with sweet potato soup, and it's in the oven as I type! Super excited! I didn't have all the right ingredients, so I'll let you know if my substitutions turned out edible or not. :-)
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
I just want to pick at this bread peice by peice and eat the entire loaf. I love how rustic it looks and that crust looks incredible. Why must all the great looking things have alcohol in it? I'm sure if I asked my parents for the beer they would give it to me, knowing I wouldn't actually drink it straight, but still, it's the principle of the thing. I guess I'll just have to imagine the taste :)
So, a followup report: I didn't have real butter, so I used the same amount of melted margarine. I baked it in a silicone pan, which I know a lot of people don't like for bread because it insulates the sides and bottom too well and your bread doesn't brown well. And, I used a Miller High Life (almost the cheapest beer there is) pint-sized can...which meant I had an extra 4 oz. of it for drinking, haha.

But despite the differences, I think it turned out great! Very hearty and chewy, and the top crust did turn golden and crunchy. It was a perfect choice to eat with and dip into soup! My husband especially enjoyed it alongside a glass of beer--albeit a "nicer" beer, haha.

And the best part, I would say, is that it takes only about an hour from start to finish, with no fussy steps and only a handful of ingredients. Readers, even if you don't believe an experienced baker when she says a recipe is easy, you can believe a novice like me!

I could definitely get used to this bread. :-)
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
I have an almost identical recipe. You can substitute self-rising flour and omit the salt and baking powder (the flour has it in it already). LOVE love love beer bread to go with dips. SO much cheaper than buying the box mix from the home parties.
02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWestMIWifenMommy
I love beer bread - it's so easy! Thanks for reminding me to bake a loaf, it's been too long.

Gorgeous photos!
02.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKare
i made this tonight and it is all i can do to keep myself frm going into the kitchen and cutting "just one more little piece"! I hate the taste of beer and just used cheap Bud Light with lime flavor ... I have to agree that the butter really makes the crust ... yum!
02.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdona
I'm also more of a wine girl (I think I'm still searching for that perfect beer), but since I'm definitely hesitant when it comes to baking with yeast, this sounds like it might be a perfect bread recipe for me to try!
This reminds me of a German family cake recipe. It calls for two sticks of butter melted in the pan, then you add the cake batter, and then you dump a whole can of pie cherries in the middle of it. I must be hungry!!! I'm sure this recipe will be as delicious! My Beer bread is baking now and smells wonderful. As usual, thanks for the awesome recipe!
02.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Now THIS is something I MUST try. Hubby loves beer. He loves my quick breads. How can I go wrong! Cheers!
I love it! It's really cool to see you do something with beer. I'm going to make it this week and the hardest part will be picking a bottle to use.
Kristin what kind of beer did you use for this one?
02.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob Welch
Thanks for posting this. I'm going to make this later today!
02.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenteryesterdaydream
Mmm, what a great recipe! I used Granville Island's Maple Cream Ale and ended up with a deliciously sweet and chewy bread. Thanks for posting - I love the new format you are using for your posts.
02.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
I made this for Fat Tuesday and it was awesome: in the oven within five minutes, no fuss, no muss. I used Dos Equis Amber. The bread turned out incredibly rich and moist with a wonderful crust. It was a hit at dinner. I'm going to put the batter into muffin molds next time to enjoy more of the crunch from the crust. Thanks for sharing!
02.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
I prepared this bread last night and it was so great. I just love your recipies and your photos. Greetings from Uruguay, South America.
04.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElisa
Hi! I was wondering if it could made with whole wheat flour, and how that might change baking powder amounts or baking times or something?? Thank you so much! I made this once with all purpose and it was DELICIOUS. Just curious about trying it with WW. :)
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
This looks so delicious and easy! I'm going to make it this weekend, can't wait!
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLocaholic
This recipe is terrific and oh-so simple! I love bread with yeast, but with a busy schedule this bread certainly does the trick in half the time. I've made it twice and my boyfriend loves it as well--he even calls it "better-than-bread" bread. Thanks for sharing!
04.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCassandra
I'm not a beer person (Cider is my preference), but the boyfriend loooooooves beer. I made this with a can of Goose Island 312, and it was amazing. After a day, the beer flavor was much more prominent. Thank you for sharing!
06.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
I am trying this now with Blue Moon Pumpkin and a bit of pumpkin pie spice...we will see how it goes!
09.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

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