Baking with Beer: Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

I’m not much of a cook or baker but I love beer. Since I still had an abundance of less than bubbly Irish Red Ale beer I decided to continue my beer food quest and found a beer bread recipe. This recipe is simple and quick – and it only has 6 ingredients. For my level of expertise (or lack there of) I had this recipe knocked out and ready to taste test in just over an hour.

So... I don't know why this photo is in black and white but I'm going to leave it because I think it's kind of funny that it turned out not in color...

So… I don’t know why this photo is in black and white but I’m going to leave it because I think it’s kind of funny that it turned out not in color…

This recipe was inspired by Gerald Norman I first collected all the ingredients I would need: 3 cups sifted flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup sugar 12 oz beer ½ cup butter Next I preheated the oven for 375 degrees. I mixed all the dry ingredients putting them in the sifter and sifted everything into the bowl. You can omit the baking powder and salt if you are using self-rising flour. I added them both as I was not using self-rising flour. If you don’t sift your ingredients your bread will end up hard. Sifters are pretty inexpensive if you don’t have one – I picked up mine for $6 at the Walmart. After you have sifted the dry ingredients, next add the beer and mix well.

pouring the beer into the sifted ingredients

pouring the beer into the sifted ingredients

I put the dough into a buttered baking pan and used a spoon to smooth it out.  It gave it a “rough and rustic” look.

The dough in the pan after "smoothing" out with a spoon

The dough in the pan after “smoothing” out with a spoon

Once I had gotten the dough smoothed out I poured the melted butter over the top of the dough and placed it in the oven. There is a variation to this recipe by adding the butter into the dough instead of pouring it on top. It gives you a softer crust putting the butter in the dough – I tried it with my next batch and prefer pouring the butter over the top – the crunchy buttery crust is perfection!

butter poured over the beer bread

butter poured over the beer bread

The bread baked for one hour. Once the hour was up I pulled the bread out and laid it on a paper towel for cooling. You could definitely see the effects of the butter as the paper towel was soaking up the excess butter. The recipe said you could reduce the butter to a 1/4 cup, but I like buttery bread so I kept the full amount.

Sliced beer bread

Sliced beer bread

I let the bread rest for 15 minutes and found a serrated knife to cut the bread. It was tougher to cut than I had expected but the hard crust was a delight to eat as it was saturated in buttery goodness. The bread was dense and full of flavor. You could definitely taste the beer flavor which was not only good but an added bonus. I used an Irish Red Ale for my beer but you can experiment with any beer you like… beer is kind of like wine – you cook with what you would drink! I tried the bread both warm and cold. I prefer it warm as the butter soaks into the bread making it an enjoyable treat. I shared a little bit with Boomer and he became obsessed with the bread. I even caught him sniffing around the counter in the kitchen where the bread was still cooling before I put it away. Probably going to have to keep an eye on him when the bread is out! I have since remade this recipe with a wheat beer and added cranberries mixed into the bread and it was quite delightful!

beer bread with cranberries

Wheat Beer Bread with Cranberries

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