Beer Bread

Serves 12

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 bottle or can (12 ounces) beer
1 egg, beaten

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add beer (no sips!) and stir with a fork until just combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead quickly to form a ball. Place bread on a baking sheet and confidently slit an X on top with a serrated or very sharp knife. Brush loaf with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve!

39 Comments

  1. Tammy says

    This recipe sounds great but I dont like beer so how strong is the taste and is there a substitute for the beer? Thank you

    • Pam says

      I’ve made it with light beer, Tammy, and the bread’s flavorful without a strong beer flavor. I think that’s your best bet.

  2. Ollie says

    I made it today; it was WONDERFUL! I hosted a small post meeting nosh today and served it with MUCH butter, olives, cherry tomatoes, cheese and pepperocinis. There is none left. I used 100% whole wheat flour because that is what we had…next time-honey wheat!

  3. Gracee says

    I’m not much of a baker so I dont know if this a dumb question or not,but can you use whole wheat flour?

  4. Rose says

    Still waiting to hear if this can be made into soup bowls (like panera bread) and would the baking time and temp. be different.

  5. Tee Collins says

    Hi,

    I followed this recipe to a ‘T’ not just once, but twice. Both times it turned out to be a beautiful, but tasteless and extremely dense bread. Won’t be trying this again.

  6. Pam says

    Hey Rose,

    Tee is right. This bread is not light and fluffy like a yeast bread. The crust is crisp, the crumb has good chew. I think I’d stick with yeast bread for soup bowls. But I do think you could make smaller, more individual loaves with this bread. Baking time would need reducing, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how much without testing first.
    Yes, Tee bread is denser than a light fluffy yeast bread. We purposely made it plain so it would work as accompaniment at dinner with leftovers for toast the next morning, but there’s nothing wrong with adding anything to this bread to make it more interesting–cheese, herbs, zests etc.

    • Pam says

      Hey Marie,

      We wanted a not-too sweet bread as well. In our research we saw recipes with up to 1/2 cup. Our recipe started with 1/4 cup which we thought was too sweet,
      In our experiments, however, we found you couldn’t go less than 3 tablespoons without it starting to affect the bread’s texture.

  7. Bill Lucas says

    Ladies,

    Your bread looks great. One question, I also have your Corned Beef and Cabbage Slaw Slider recipe. Do you think this bread could be used instead of the “small party rolls” you ask for in that recipe. Going all Irish here with Guinness?

    • Pam says

      I dunno, Bill. I think I’d stick with small party rolls for the sliders. Beer bread is more an accompaniment to soup or stew or to be toasted with butter and jam. You could certainly make corned beef sandwiches with the bread, but I think the rolls are more festive.

  8. Rachel says

    In case anyone is wondering (like Gracee above), I made this bread this afternoon with half whole wheat flour and half white and it turned out lovely! I used Guinness as my beer and it has a lovely nutty Guinness-y aroma without too much “beer” flavor. Great, incredibly easy recipe!!

  9. Lisa Poyser says

    I love, love, love this recipe. I think you could do this wrong and it would come out right. It’s fast and easy, just the way I like it. I couldn’t quite get the X on top with the serrated knife, but it came out fine anyway.

    Leftover bread made killer sandwiches and french toast…!

  10. Tiara says

    I made this with a delicious Irish red Ale from a brewhouse down the street from me. It was one of the best breads I have ever made! The ale gave it such a perfect juxtapose of yeasty sweet and salty. I Was lucky enought o grab 2 slices before my puppy snuck up on the counter and dragged it off! A 15 lb little basset collie mix ate the WHOLE thing!

  11. says

    I just made this. It came out of my oven 15 minutes ago. My two daughters (5 and 9) just devoured half the loaf. I love the crispy outside and my 9-year-old loves the squishy inside (she has loose teeth). This is the first time I’ve ever made bread – although I do love cooking and baking, I’ve just never made bread before. I used Bud Light, and I didn’t have any issues with the batter being runny. It was just like in the video. I didn’t pre-sift any of my ingredients (which was hard for me given my OCD tendencies), not sure if this made a difference or not. Heaven…just heaven. Thank you.

    Jill

  12. Susan M. says

    I made the bread last week and froze half. It was easy to make and tasted good. The inside was still a little moist even though I baked it longer, but the crust is really hard. I have a hard time sawing through it with my bread knife, and it tends to fall apart, especially if I try to cut thinner slices. I didn’t do the egg wash. Any suggestions, or is it supposed to be like that? Thanks!

  13. Mary Brandow says

    This recipe is the best!!! we have made over 10

    loaves. Plain and with raisins and more cinnamon

    Sooo easy and good!

  14. Jean Malizia says

    I’ve made this with a few beers, as well as with whole wheat flour. The whole wheat needed more leavening – I might add a little baking soda next time or just use half white flour. The best loaf so far has been white unbleached flour and Blue Moon beer. I think it’s called Spring Ale. It has lemon and orange peel flavoring in it and the bread was amazing. Be sure your oven is the correct temperature, it really makes a difference.

  15. W. Gross says

    I love baking bread but trying to do by scratch never really worked. I’d always said if Jesus was a loaf of bread…he wouldn’t have risen with me around…that’s why I have my bread machine. I tried your Beer Bread and it is wonderful!!! I’m going to research other recipes and Irish soda bread. Thank You Three Many Cooks !!!!

  16. Reta Wright says

    Loved the beer bread, first time I had ever made any type of homemade bread. The video really helped. Thanks so much. Keep up the videos.

  17. W. Gross says

    I made another loaf today using Budweiser beer and as usual, it came out great!! One thing you all might like to try is to spray some Pam on your cookie sheet before you place the dough on. Last time I baked w/o the spray I had a heck of a time getting my bread off and pulled the bottom off it. With Pam it slides right off. My Dad says I better not go near his Dos XXs.

  18. Betty Strader says

    Originally got your recipe from my Saturday paper supplement, but lost it after baking a loaf we loved. Anyway,I found this recipe online. I know the recipe I had used yeast. How much? (This recipe has none)

    • Pam says

      Thanks for writing, Betty. You have found our original recipe. We didn’t use yeast. It’ a quick bread. Enjoy!

  19. Lenny says

    I normally don’t bake , but when I saw this recipe for beer bread in the Sunday paper, it seemed easy ,so I decided to try it!
    It WAS easy, and so delicious !
    I hope to make it over and over trying different beers, ales, and lagers!

    Thank you, ladies!

  20. says

    I love beer bread; I’ve been making it since moving to Colorado and had never heard of it before so have always called it ”Coors Beer Bread’ – back when Coors was not widely available and still had a cache about it!

    Ours is made in a pan and covered with melted butter so this is definitely lighter. And…I don’t like beer that much either but I love beer bread. Strange but true!

  21. Brenda K says

    I just discovered this wonderful recipe from USA Weekend one year after it was in the paper! I am anxious to try it, but would like to use whole wheat flour and way less salt for a healthy, low sodium version. I would like to ask if I will be successful? Do I need to add anything to compensate like Jean Malizia (a person who previously commented) suggested? Will using WW flour & LESS SALT affect how it rises? In addition, should the beer be cold or warm? Thank you for an easy recipe for those who are impatient & don’t have a lot of time! I watched your video showing how to make it! Very helpful! I am anxious to see what other great recipes you share on your site! Thank you again! :-)
    PS: Loved the suggestion of using “light” beer! Thank you to all commenters as well!!

  22. says

    Hey Brenda,

    Without trying the bread with whole-wheat flour and less salt, it’s hard to predict exact results. Cutting salt will not affect rising.

    If you want to make the bread with whole wheat flour, I’d recommend trying white whole wheat flour which can be substituted cup for cup for regular whole wheat flour. With this flour you get the great texture of white flour and all the health benefits of whole wheat flour. If making the bread with regular whole wheat flour, I’d use three parts white flour to one part whole wheat. Good luck!

  23. mo says

    I have made this twice. It came out pretty good, but for some reason it always winds up very wet and very sticky when mixed, and my hands are completely caked with the batter. In the video, it looks like the mixture is fairly dry and there is no residue left on your hands. Because of this, I cannot form a tall ball since when I pull my hands away, they stick and spread out the ball again. Then gravity takes over and the ball spreads into a short wide “mound” instead of a ball. Any suggestions about this? How do you keep your hands from sticking to the dough?

    Also, I second the above reader’s question about the beer. Should it be cold or room temp or does it matter?

    • says

      Hey Mo,

      Depending on the humidity and the moisture content in the flour, the dough may require less or more flour. If yours is too wet, simply place the dough ball on a heavily floured work surface and knead in whatever amount of flour to create a soft but not so sticky ball. We’ve always made the dough with room temperature beer, but I don’t think beer temperature really much matters.

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