Beer bread is one of the easiest bread to make. If you are in need of a quick fix and have a can or a bottle of beer sitting around and some flour, you pretty much can whip out a hearty loaf by just mixing flour with beer, bake and you are done! The beauty of this bread is that it doesn’t require yeast (because it is in the beer), so no extra rising time. It usually comes out with a nice crust and a softer middle section that requires a serrated bread knife to cut clean slices. Even though I have never been a big fan of beer, I have to say that it doesn’t taste like beer and it works really nicely for making a quick loaf of bread. We used a light non-alcoholic beer. I would stay away from dark beer as it will really change the flavor of the bread…unless of course you love beer and don’t mind the strong taste.
Truth be told, the basic 3-ingredient recipe could use a little more flavor. So I added some chopped black olives, dried rosemary, and a lot of garlic. I also added some olive oil to make it a little richer. It becomes a wonderful quick Mediterranean bread that goes beautifully with a nice minestrone or any European hearty soup!
What type of flour to use?
– Beer bread is naturally dense bread so definitely avoid using heavy flour like bread flour because you will end up with a brick!
Believe me, you only make that mistake once! It was so heavy and hard that I remember thinking the best use for it would be to put it in my mother-in-law’s purse so that she can use it as a defense weapon if someone tries to mess with her! Discreet but very effective!
– All-purpose flour (high in protein) works since this bread doesn’t need to expand.
– Self-rising flour is a mix of flour, salt, and baking powder). It has low protein and low gluten content.
It will create a fluffier bread because it contains leavening agents that will lighten the loaf. If you aren’t quite sure which flour does what, remember that self-rising is the flour you want to make flaky baked goods like a pizza crust, biscuits, and more. Repeat after me: “Self-rising=flaky”
How to make self-rising flour from all-purpose flour
Just mix 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Gluten-free beer bread?
Yes, you can! You can make a gluten-free version using a gluten-free flour mix and add 2 tsp of baking powder and it comes out perfect. Many gluten-free recipes use egg white but it isn’t necessary.
Quick note, when the bread bakes, most of the alcohol evaporates and it develops air channels that make it look a little funky on the top and the sides. It looks very artisanal! This is a hearty bread!
Beer bread shouldn’t be refrigerated. It will keep covered on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can freeze the rest if you want by wrapping it in plastic.
I have served this bread with gazpacho in the summer (toasting it first!), with a creamy corn soup, with borscht, cream of mushroom soup, you get the idea!
It also works well to make croutons!
So without further ado, here is the recipe!
Olive Rosemary Beer Bread
- Silicone bread baking dish or parchment paper to line bread tin
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 12oz light beer (regular or non-alcoholic)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried chopped rosemary
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line a bread tin with parchment paper or lightly oil it.
- Mix all the dried ingredients in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the middle and add the olive oil and the beer.
- Mix with hands until all is well incorporated.
- Pour into a bread tin and flatten making sure that the corners are filled.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until the top and the middle are done.
- Cool for 10 minutes and remove from tin.
- When the load is completely cooled down, use a serrated knife to slice it. Be careful to hold the bread as you slice as pieces may come off.