Here’s one I’ve been sitting on for a while. This beer bread is by far the simplest bread recipe I’ve ever come across, and if you’re into beer cheese dip, it makes a tasty grilled cheese with the same flavor notes. The bread recipe comes from Vegetarian & Cooking.
I first tried baking this bread because I ended up with four bottles of this stuff:
Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot barleywine-style ale. I got it as a joke–my family will sometimes sit and watch marathons of “Finding Bigfoot” on Animal Planet for no good reason, so when my sister saw Sasquatch-themed beer at the store, she snagged it for me.
I am a beer drinker (though not exclusively) but I prefer an amber ale or a nice dark stout to a hoppy IPA, and this barleywine ale was way too bitter for my tastes. While it proved to be undrinkable, the Bigfoot ale made several loaves of very tasty beer bread.
I used the full amount of sugar to compensate for the bitterness of the beer; if you’re using a lighter, sweeter brew, use less. At some point I’d like to experiment with subbing honey or brown sugar for the plain granulated so the sweetness isn’t so bright in the final result.
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 12-oz beer
- 3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat flour; all-purpose or regular whole wheat would work just as well)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, depending on the bitterness of the beer
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp butter, plus some for the pan
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a loaf pan with a bit of butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. When the oven is hot and you’re ready to bake the bread, pour the beer over the dry ingredients. It will foam up like a science experiment, and then subside. Stir until the ingredients are just combined. If you’re using a whole wheat flour, you may need an extra splash of beer or water. I added a little extra beer because my batter looked dry.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake it for about 50 minutes.
- Melt about a tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the loaf with it. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then pop it out and cool completely.
This bread keeps for several days on the counter wrapped in foil. Once you get tired of eating it plain or spread with butter, make a grilled cheese with it:
Beer Bread Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices beer bread
- 1 oz cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar)
- 1 tbsp butter
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
- When the skillet is hot, place the unbuttered sides of the bread down in the skillet. This is a dense bread, so you want to toast the inside before assembling the sandwich.
- When the dry sides of the bread are just beginning to brown, flip a slice onto the buttered side and top with the cheese. Place the other slice on top. Cook the sandwich for a few minutes on each side until the outside is browned and the cheese is melted.