How To Make Easy 5-Ingredient Beer Bread

updated Jan 8, 2021
How To Make Easy 5-Ingredient Beer Bread

Simply mix melted butter, honey, bubbly beer, flour, baking soda, and salt together for a hearty loaf that's ready in under an hour.

Makes1 (9x5-inch) loaf

Prep5 minutes

Cook45 minutes to 55 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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beer bread laid out on table with three slices cut falling on each other
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Grocers have tricked us into assuming beer bread has to start with a boxed mix. But this easy quick bread requires just five ingredients (plus salt, an ingredient we consider a freebie!) that are probably already in your kitchen. Simply mix melted butter, honey, bubbly beer, flour, baking soda, and salt together for a hearty loaf that’s ready in under an hour.

With its crunchy golden crust and tender, springy crumb, beer bread is exactly what hearty soups, stews, and chilis need this winter. Here’s everything you need to know.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

The Best Beer for Beer Bread

With so many styles of beer, is there one that’s best for bread baking? The simple answer is that your favorite beer is the best beer for beer bread! Lighter beers like pilsners and lagers give the bread a mild, yeasty flavor. Hoppy beers like IPAs and dark beers, like porters or stouts, will impart a stronger, slightly bitter flavor to the bread. No matter which style beer you choose, it is best to begin with a room-temperature bottle. Room-temperature beer will prevent the melted butter from seizing when the two are combined.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Does Beer Bread Need to Rise?

No! Beer bread relies primarily on fast-acting baking powder for leavening (not active dry yeast), and the bubbles of carbonation from the beer also help lift the batter as it bakes, creating a springy and tender loaf.

Best of all, this beer bread comes together in just one bowl. Although quick bread recipes will often instruct you to mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, you can save a dish by melting the butter in a large-enough bowl to mix all of the batter. Once the butter is ready, whisk in beer and honey until completely smooth. Add the dry ingredients — the flour, baking powder, and salt — all at once to the center of the bowl, then stir just until no dry spots remain. Over-mixing can make the bread gummy and tough, so it’s better to leave a few small lumps than to beat the mixture until smooth.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

How to Serve Beer Bread

Sweet honey balances the buttery, yeasty flavor of this quick bread, making it a versatile loaf that can be slathered with butter and served alongside any cozy winter dinner. Leftovers can be sliced, toasted, and paired with eggs for breakfast the next morning. The bread can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for a quick addition to future meals.

Ready to take it up a notch? Try this Cheddar & Chive variation.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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How to make easy 5-ingredient beer bread.

How To Make Easy 5-Ingredient Beer Bread

Simply mix melted butter, honey, bubbly beer, flour, baking soda, and salt together for a hearty loaf that's ready in under an hour.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 55 minutes

Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

  • 12 ounces

    room temperature beer (1 1/2 cups), such as lager or ale

  • 1/4 cup

    honey

  • 3 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Equipment

  • 9x5-inch loaf pan

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Mixing bowl

  • Whisk

  • Spatula

  • Wire cooling rack

  • Serrated knife

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven and prepare a loaf pan. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter, then line with a parchment paper sling that hangs off the 2 longer sides.

  2. Melt the butter. Cut 6 tablespoons unsalted butter into 6 pieces. Place in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10-second bursts until completely melted, 50 to 60 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt the butter on the stovetop and transfer to a large bowl.)

  3. Combine the wet ingredients. Add 12 ounces beer and 1/4 cup honey and whisk to combine.

  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir with a spatula just until no dry spots remain. Do not overmix, a few lumps are fine.

  5. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

  6. Bake the bread. Bake until browned and the center of the loaf springs back when gently pressed, 45 to 55 minutes.

  7. Cool the bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Although best eaten fresh, this bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.