Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Beer Bread

View Recipe
Beer Bread, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Bread scares me. Not eating it. It’s the making of it that I’m terrified of. Floored with fear, I tell you. The whole yeast thing gets me. It seems too temperamental and unforgiving. Then there’s the kneading and waiting…
Au contraire—there’s beer bread.

Looks and tastes impressive, but couldn’t be easier to prepare. A totally nonthreatening process. Even for a yeast-a-phobic like me.

There’s actually no yeast to worry about at all. The main ingredient is beer (which contains your bubbly yeast). And there are only four ingredients total.
Beer. Flour. Baking powder. Sugar. Butter (optional for the top). Smush and bake.


You can use any old beer you want. Some say the cheap beers work best. (Miller time!) But I’ve seen that people make Guinness beer bread too (totally next on my list). * Update* So I tried making it with a really hoppy Samuel Adams and it increased the bake time by about 25 minutes for some reason. The bread turned out okay, but a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I also found it too dense. Might just recommend sticking with a cheapo beer or something with less flavor. Perhaps hoppy beers are too heavy? who knows.

Either way, it’s a sweet and salty bread with a golden textured crust and deep yeast flavor that really and truly tastes like beer. Leave the dough virgin for that full beer flavor or add in your favorite herbs. Oregano. Rosemary. Caraway seed. Fennel seed. I kept this one straight up and cracked black pepper on just about every slice I ate. It was magic.


Beer bread makes excellent toast. Have it with a fried egg. Also glorious with soup. Go crazy.

Print RecipeBack to Top


Makes 1 loaf bread. Coating top of dough with butter before baking in optional, but really adds to the crust’s texture. Omit for vegan. Cheap beer seems to work best. I tried making it with a really hoppy Samuel Adams and it increased the bake time by about 25 minutes for some reason. The bread turned out good, but with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Maybe just stick with a cheapo beer or something with less flavor.

You need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • One 12oz can or bottle of beer. (any beer)
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Sift well with fork. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed, but don’t over mix (best to just use your hands). Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Melt butter and brush across top of dough. This is optional (if you’re vegan), BUT it really adds to the crust. Makes it golden and crusty!
  4. Bake for about 40 or so minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.Bake time will vary with beer type.



  1. Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    It’s in the oven as I type this and it smells so yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Dana Wetherington
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    I make beer bread also, but instead of all purpose flour, I use self rising, thereby omitting the need for the baking soda. It is a great recipe to play with adding different flavors of beer and herbs.

  3. Julie
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone tried this with rye flour? I have some in my pantry, been waiting to use it and think this might be perfect.

  4. Emme O
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    I highly recommend this recipe. 1: its very basic, easy and super quick.
    2: Its fucking delicious and fills the house with a wonderful aroma!


    p.s Thanks for the sweet recipe!

  5. Angela Patti
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    I was just wondering, if I wanted to add herbs and/or cheese how much I should put in? Thanks :)

  6. gabi
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Hi Angela,
    Both herbs and cheese would work great! Just do a pinch or so (like a teaspoon) of herbs to start. Something like fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano. As for cheese, I would start with 1/3 cup. I haven’t actually put cheese in before baking so I can’t attest to the success of it or how it will impact the bake time. Give it a try though!

  7. skot
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    can i make this without the baking powder? can i use baking soda?

  8. Jamie
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    I just made this recipe using only whole wheat flour (not 1/2 and 1/2 like you generally have to do with whole wheat, simply because I didn’t have anything else on hand), 4 tbsp honey, and added half of another beer (Bud Light, left over from guests). Turned out just fine! It’s not as sweet as the original, but it is a moist wheat bread. Will definitely make again!

  9. Brent Vermillion
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    I made mine bacon and onion flavored with Bud Light Platinum (I bought a six pack of this to try but it is almost undrinkable, foul stuff). Before I measured the flour I put a heaping tablespoon of onion powder in the bottom of the measuring cup. I also greased the loaf pan with bacon fat and substituted the butter with bacon fat to brush over the top (I was going to use olive oil but I think I will save that for a rosemary/parmesan flavored one next week). I liked this variation of your bread recipe but I think it could be more. This was a little too sweet, did not rise as much as I would like and not enough bacon flavor. I will make it again with half the sugar, add teaspoon of baking soda with the baking powder and 2 slices of chopped up pre-cooked thick cut bacon.

    To do most cheeses in this bread I would recommend dicing the cheese 1/4 inch or bigger and freezing it before adding it in right before the beer. Then make bread as normal, baking time make need adjustment. I have found if you just toss in fresh grated cheese it just kind of melts into the bread and you get a cheesy flavor but not nice little chunks of cheese.

    Overall a great recipe, thank you for this.

  10. malynda
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    Just made this, added cheddar cheese and finely diced jalapenos. I also added a little extra baking powder and got a nice rise out of it. Had to bake almost an hour but looks and smells delish! I think next time I might do bacon, jalapeno, cheddar mix. Trying to think of more add-ins. Anyone else have some good suggestions?!

  11. Brendan Gramer
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    FYI – Hops contribute bitterness to a beer. If your bread came out too bitter, that’s because the beer was too hoppy. I recommend going with less hoppy beers like Stouts or Porters or Lagers.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll have to try baking this. Thinking of a bourbon porter and throwing in some raisins into the dough.

  12. Olga
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    I just made this and OMG! Soooo good and so easy! I made mine with coors light. I also added a teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary and a handful of chopped kalamata olives. I’m eating it with prosciutto and it is absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Craig
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Very good and very easy! Great recipe. Thanks for posting. I used regular Budweiser and the cooking time was the same as what you posted.

  14. Dan
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    I love beer bread and a loaf pretty much every time I run out of bread. I found that the hoppy breads can be incredibly tasty if done right.

    Here’s some tricks I’ve found through lots of trial and error:
    Omit the salt and baking powder and use self-rising flour instead. It gets rid of the taste of baking powder and helps avoid getting the bread too hard.
    And go ahead and use a mesh strainer for your flour, it helps keep your bread from turning into a brick.
    I also cut in up to a 1/3 of a cup of butter before mixing in the beer; it helps get that buttery taste all the way through the bread.
    Finally, I add up to a 1/3 a cup of sugar, depending on the beer I use. If I want it to be sweeter because I’m using a lighter beer, perhaps more sugar. Less if I’m using like an IPA.

    As for cooking times… they totally vary… I’ve always blamed my oven, but I don’t know. haha.

    My co-workers go crazy when I bring a loaf in.

  15. Jordan
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    Made this exactly according to recipe but with whole wheat flour and sierra nevada pale ale. It turned out great! I had no bread pans though so used a bundt pan and the bread cooked within 30 minutes. So tasty. Definitely going to toy around with this recipe and make it many more times.

  16. TJ
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    My brother makes this all the time from your blog. I taste tested when I visited last weekend and WOW!!! I loved the crusty top and flavor. Mine is in the oven currently! I used Sam Adams Summer Ale (lighter than their normal). You are awesome :)

  17. Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Permalink


  18. Posted August 7, 2013 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    I found this recipe via mint and pinned it back in 2011 and have made it many times. It is always eaten up lickety split. Thank you for sharing such an easy and delicious recipe!

  19. Alicia Steiner
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    Made it this morning. I really like the texture, it’s a biscuit meets bread. As a bonus it takes all of two minutes to make! Next time, because I will most certainly be making it again, I will halve the sugar for a more savory flavor since it is quite sweet as is. With this batch I’m going to be eating it with some cinnamon and a drizzle of local honey. Mmmmmmm. Thank you for the recipe!

  20. gabi
    Posted July 12, 2014 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Oh wow, honey and cinnamon on beer bread sounds amazing, Alicia!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *