Sunday 4 March 2012

Beer Bread

I can hear some cries now - drink your beer, not cook with them!  But if you ever have leftover bottles of beer sitting forlornly in your fridge, and you're not about to add more to the jackhammers pounding in your head, ta-dah...Beer bread!  Stupidly easy to make, and guaranteed to chase the blues away once you get a whiff of the aroma wafting out from the oven.  Ah guaranteah y'all that...quintessentially American. 

It only takes all of 5 minutes to put together.  Yes, you read that right.  5 minutes.  No kneading.  No proofing.  No rolling and shaping and what-have-you.  Just stir all the ingredients together.  Just 6 things.  At the end of it, you get a buttery, chewy bread with a faint hint of your favourite brew.  The texture is more like cornbread than regular bread.  Dip it in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, serve it over some chunky soup, or simply slapped with some butter - it's a winner :)  

This is so seriously addictive, it ought to come with its own warnings.  Half the loaf landed in my tummy before you could say beer barrel polka.

So how does it work?  While there is no added yeast, there is yeast in the beer.  The beer, with the sugar and baking powder produces CO2 which reacts by bubbling and rising happily in the heat.  Don't worry about the batter - it should look quite thick, lumpy and sticky.  And shove the pan immediately into the oven as you don't want to lose any of the lovely CO2 before the heat gets to it.

How strong or mild the flavour is will depend very much on your beer.  I used Tiger beer which is a pale lager, so the bread was quite mild.  For something more robust,  I think I'm going to try a Guinness Stout next.  Black dog bread*, anyone?

Makes 1 loaf 9 x 4 inches
3 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
350ml beer - 1 can or 1 bottle
2 tbsp butter or olive oil

1.  Grease a 9 inch x 4 inch loaf pan.  Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F.
2.  Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
3.  Make a well in the centre, and mix in the beer until incorporated.  You should get a thick, lumpy batter.
4.  Pour the batter into pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. 
5.  5 minutes before time, brush the melted butter over the bread and finish up in the oven.
6.  Bread is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Turn out and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Knock yourself out.

the Guinness Stout mascot used to be a bull-dog.  That's why it is colloquially known as black dog.  Not that I'm going to bake a black dog!


  1. 5 Mins!? oh yeah! Will definitely be trying it soon! Belazu balsamic is ze best!!!! ;)

    1. Hi Sylvia - 5 minutes includes measuring the ingredients. LOL. Yes, Belazu is very nice. I'll have to haul some back the next time.

    2. Will be making this today and Guinness Stout will be the beer of choice since it's St Paddy's weekend! :P Will let you know how it goes!

    3. Do let me know how it turned out. It's one way of getting your beer fix minus the alcohol ;)


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