You don’t have to look far to find about a million different recipes for beer bread online — it’s quick, easy, and fairly tasty and well-textured for the amount of effort you don’t have to expend while making it.
Unlike “regular” bread, however, beer bread is made without yeast or (endless) kneading or waiting or punching down or more waiting.
In a way, this simple bread is closer to the way one would make a cake, but without the fat and sugar and egg. Not to make it sound weird or unappetizing, though, because with the right balance of sugar, salt, and beer, you can have something amazing on your hands.
I’ve made beer bread several times now, with various flours and beers and paired with different entrees, but this time I have definitely discovered my favourite combination of ingredients.
This time the flavour turned out so good that one of my friends ate over half a loaf in twenty minutes.
I mean, I was both flattered and irritated, but obviously he thought it was amazing enough to stuff himself silly — maybe I should take it as a compliment?
Either way, I can’t take all the credit, since the biggest factor in how well your beer bread turns out depends on what kind of beer you use!
Normally, as a beer drinker, I prefer ales and stouts and porters: sweet, toasty, dark beers. But honestly, for a beer bread, using a dark brew will make your final product turn out far too sweet!
For a well-balanced, slightly sweet, slight salty beer bread, I recommend using a light beer with a decent amount of hops. These days I use an imported lager, Czechvar (which is extraordinarily refreshing and crisp if you like light beer), but something like Molson or Miller would work, too.
Try to use a lager, pilsner, or pale ale — head to your nearest liquor store and ask for a bit of advice if you don’t know the difference, because it’s worth learning.
Beer Bread made with Czechvar
*adapted from allrecipes.com
- 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 bottle of beer, lager (12 oz or 341 ml)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Sift your flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Dig a little “hole” in the middle of your dry ingredients and add your beer and vinegar to the bowl.
Now, make sure you’ve washed your hands!
Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Once all the liquid is incorporated, turn the dough and any loose flour out onto a clean and dry surface. Knead the bread a little and incorporate all the flour into the dough. It will be sticky and cling to your fingers, but do your best to wrestle it into a prepared loaf pan and have it completely cover the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the top of the bread has become hard and started to brown.