Beer bread is the answer to homemade bread without the fuss! This simple recipe uses beer, cheese, and a few pantry ingredients to make a tasty and easy loaf with a delicious buttery crust. Full of flavor and so easy to make.
When we want delicious, homemade bread without the effort of kneading and rising, we use this simple beer bread recipe. Here are a few reasons why beer bread is so amazing:
- Quick: Skip the lengthy kneading and rising times. Self-rising flour and beer’s carbonation make this bread so easy.
- Beginner-friendly: Even if you’ve never baked a loaf in your life, this recipe is foolproof.
- Customizable: The flavor combinations are endless, from savory to sweet, cheesy to spicy.
- Versatile: Perfect snack, game-day appetizer, or a side dish to soups and stews.
The Best Beer for Beer Bread
You do taste the beer used in this bread recipe, so use something you already enjoy the flavor of. Here are some suggestions for the best beer to use for homemade beer bread.
- Lagers and Pilsners: Clean and crisp, these offer classic flavors that complement the bread without overpowering it.
- Amber Ales: Add malty sweetness and nutty notes.
- Stouts: Their richer, often bittersweet profile creates a more complex flavor. They also add color, like in this stout beer bread recipe.
- Avoid: Overly hoppy beers like IPAs and APAs, as their bitterness can be too strong for the bread. Most beers label the IBU level, which shares how bitter the beer tastes.
Best Cheese to Use
Most cheese will work when making beer bread. In our photos, we used a sharp white cheddar. Chef Richard loves Gruyère and made a version of this bread with Jarlsberg cheese, adding a sweeter note.
- Sharp: Aged cheddar, Gruyère, parmesan
- Spicy: Pepper jack, Monterey Jack
- Melty: Mozzarella, Fontina, Jarlsberg, or Swiss
- Mix and Match: Create your own custom blends!
How to Make Beer Bread
If you can stir ingredients together in a bowl, you can make beer bread. The full recipe is below, but I’ll quickly walk you through the process here.
To start, we’ll mix self-raising flour, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Self-raising flour is a secret in this recipe since it already has baking powder and a little salt mixed in. If you don’t have self-raising flour, I’ve included a DIY version in the tips section of the recipe below.
Now, pour in 12 ounces of beer (a whole can, in my case) and some melted butter. Then, combine that with your shredded cheese. Our photos show that the mixture resembles a thick pancake batter rather than dough.
Spoon mixture into a loaf pan, and top with some melted butter. We’ll add more melted butter later to encourage a golden brown, crisp, buttery crust! I’ve seen many beer bread recipes that look almost white after baking. This trick of basting melted butter on top while our bread bakes gives the most beautiful crust!
Storing Your Beer Bread
- Room temperature: Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Beyond that, the bread will begin to dry out.
- Refrigerator: We don’t recommend refrigerating beer bread since the fridge environment tends to dry it out.
- Freezing: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before enjoying. I like freezing slices for individual servings.
Easy Beer Bread (Buttery Crust!)
This is my favorite recipe for beer bread. It’s no-knead and so easy to make. I love the golden-brown and buttery crust and the soft, tight crumb inside. Serve this bread with butter, honey, homemade honey butter, apple butter, pumpkin butter, soups, stews, or as an appetizer with cheese.
You Will Need
3 cups (390g) self-rising flour, see notes for substitute
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
4 twists black pepper
12 ounces beer, suggestions below
9 tablespoons (125g) butter, melted
1 ½ cups (5oz or 140g) grated cheese, like white cheddar, Gruyère, or Jarslberg
1Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and brush a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with a bit of the melted butter.
2Whisk the self-rising flour, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
3Pour in the beer and half of the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined. The mixture will look like thick pancake batter.
4Fold in the cheese.
5Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan, lightly pressing it into an even layer.
6Brush the top with some of the remaining butter (leaving some butter for adding later on).
7Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan in the oven, and brush on more butter. Bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat by rotating the pan, brushing on more butter, and bake for another 10 minutes.
8Brush on any remaining butter, and bake for 5 minutes. A total bake time of 55 minutes. If you are getting too much color or want to stop the top from getting too brown, loosely tent the bread with foil.
9The bread is fully baked when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the loaf pan to a cooling rack and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Use a butter knife to run around the edges, and gently turn the pan over to remove the loaf. Rest for another 10 minutes before slicing.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Self-Raising Flour: Unlike all-purpose flour, self-rising flour adds baking powder and salt. For 3 cups of self-rising flour, whisk 3 cups of all-purpose flour with 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Butter: I love salted butter in this recipe. To reduce the salt, substitute unsalted.
- Beer Suggestions: Avoid hoppy beers. For this recipe, we enjoy lagers, pilsners, amber ales, and stout beer.
- Leave out cheese: Cheese and butter make this bread super flavorful, but you can leave the cheese out and still make the recipe.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.