Simple Beer Bread Recipe

Here's the coolest thing about this four-ingredient beer bread recipe: it's not a recipe for just one specific type of bread, but rather for literally thousands of different breads, because there are so many thousands of different beers out there. Just make sure "to use a variety that you like — you can taste it!" says chef and food writer Kate Shungu of Gift of Hospitality. And the recipe can also be modified for spice and cheese lovers, which we'll also explain below.

When planning which beer to use, think about pairings. "Beer bread pairs wonderfully with soup or chili," says Shungu. "I also serve it as a side dish for roast chicken, steak, pork chops, ribs, and more. It's a nice alternative to a dinner roll." 

For a hearty meal like chili or steak, a robust porter or stout serves beautifully. For chicken or pork, a lager or even a pilsner makes for a more subtle loaf. And for ribs, consider balancing the tang with a nice, bitter pale or even an IPA.

And note that many non-alcoholic beers pack in plenty of flavor and can be ordered online, so there's no barrier to making beer bread, especially considering there are just a few ingredients needed for this basic beer bread recipe that yields a bread that's anything but basic.

Beer bread ingredients

In fairness to the fabulous complexity that goes into making a great beer, there are really more ingredients at play in this bread than we let on earlier. In its simplest — AKA classic –  form, beer contains at least four ingredients on its own: water, barley, hops, and yeast (Thank you very much Reinheitsgebot, the so-called German Purity Law from the year 1516 that mandated the proper ingredients for brewing beer.). But in practice, there are just four ingredients needed to make this homemade beer bread: a 12-ounce can or bottle (or draught pull, why not?) of beer, 3 cups of self-rising flour (here's how to make your own at home), 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter.

Pre-heat the oven, prep a pan, and mix the dry ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees Fahrenheit and then grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. If you want to add a bit more flavor, you can drizzle a bit of extra melted butter on the bottom of the pan, too (but there will be plenty of buttery goodness added later).

Now, place the self-rising flour and the granulated sugar in a large bowl together and whisk them well to ensure the dry ingredients are completely combined.

Mix in the beer and pour in the batter

Pour the beer into the bowl with the dry ingredients, making sure to pour it in evenly over the top of the flour and sugar. Then, stir just until the wet and dry ingredients have combined, but not too much: "Avoid over mixing, which will make the bread tough," says Shungu. It's one of the few mistakes you can make with this nice and easy recipe, the chef advises.

Now, pour the batter into the greased loaf pan, using a spatula to scrape out any bits left in the bowl.

Bake the bread then butter it

Pop the prepared loaf pan onto a center rack of that 350-degree oven and bake your beer bread for 50 minutes. After that time, or if it looks like the bread is browning, stick a toothpick in the center of the loaf. If it comes out with wet crumbs on it, bake for 5 more minutes, and test again. If the toothpick is clean, remove the loaf from the oven.

Immediately drizzle the melted butter over the beer bread, then let the loaf sit for 10 minutes. Now, carefully run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to release the bread, and then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a rack. And then enjoy!

If you would like chili cheese beer bread instead

Want to whip up a cheesy, spicy beer bread for even more delectable dining? Couldn't be much easier! In the same step where you add the beer, also add in 1 cup of shredded cheddar and a 4-ounce can of diced green chilis (or your own fresh-cut chilis of choice) along with the beer, and then proceed with the recipe as directed.

And just as with the beer, Shungu says, "You can customize the cheese. Use your favorite shredded cheese, but Colby jack or shredded gouda would be delicious."

Simple Beer Bread Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
Grab a 12-ounce bottle of beer of choice and enjoy this beer bread recipe that includes just four ingredients: self-rising flour, beer, butter and sugar.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
8
slices
beer bread
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 12-oz bottle of beer
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
Optional Ingredients
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chopped chilis
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place the self-rising flour and the granulated sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients to combine.
  5. Pour the beer into the batter, and stir until just combined.
  6. Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan.
  7. Place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Stick a toothpick in the center of the loaf to test.
  9. If it comes out with wet crumbs on it, bake for 5 more minutes, and test again.
  10. Once the toothpick is clean, remove the loaf from the oven.
  11. Pour the melted butter over the beer bread.
  12. Let the loaf sit for 10 minutes.
  13. Carefully run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to release the loaf.
  14. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool.
  15. To make a cheddar chili beer bread, stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and 4 ounces of diced green chilis along with the beer.
  16. Then, proceed with recipe as directed.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 241
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 2.8 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 11.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 561.6 mg
Protein 4.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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