I’ve never really been a bread baker. I love the whole process of baking and cooking, but it would be nice to have fewer comments and moans about it once it’s served. Back after we got married we had a bread maker so I made bread for a while. It wasn’t a great bread maker and the OH preferred shop bought. So it got banished away.
This year, like so many others, I decided to try baking bread again but by hand. We used a mix once, but then tried dinner rolls to use for burgers which were good. And also tried an easy crusty no knead bread. Mine wasn’t the most successful – slight fold in it meant it didn’t cook all the way through, but note to self not to faff with dough, just whack it in the proving bowl. It still tasted good though.
I’m all for fast bread that uses few ingredients. While I love bread with extra seeds in, the OH and N prefer white bread. Great for toast, but I’d rather have something more flavoursome for everyday sandwiches.
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A work colleague mentioned she’d tried making beer bread. Not something I’d come across but I thought it was worth a try despite me not liking beer. She’d advised using less sugar than the recipe she used as it was a little too sweet, so I did some digging and found a few with lower sugar amounts.
You can use any beer, although stouts and ales will give it a much stronger taste than using lager. I also read a few recipes that said you can use lemonade or something fizzy. I suppose it’s the fizziness if not the yeast in beer that reacts with the flour and sugar to help make it rise.
Rise it did, and ended up with a good crust on top. I used a standard loaf tin – it should be a 2lb size, mine fitted ok. You could in theory use a dutch oven / cast iron casserole to make a round shaped loaf, as long as it’s a reasonable height layer of dough once you put it in.
I baked mine in the Aga, so pot luck on the temperature – it’s probably higher than the recipe so worked fine. I just took it used the bottom end of the timings. So it is about adapting to your oven.
Even using lager like I did, the beer bread does have quite a strong beery flavour when eating it as sandwiches on day 1. The OH didn’t moan (or comment), although N did say it had a funny flavour, but then ate 2 slices anyway. Day 2 I sliced it and had it toasted with plenty of butter on and it was delicious. So it might just depend what you eat with it and whether it’s as bread or toast.
I’ll be making it again, especially as it was good for a first attempt, so you can’t really fail a second and third time. Plus of course, it’s fast, easy and convenient. 3 ingredients only. No proving or kneading necessary. Just combine then put into a buttered and floured tin, then into the preheated oven. Easy.
To make beer bread
Mix the sugar and flour, then add the beer.
Mix until combined and sticky.
Pour into a greased and floured loaf tin.
Bake at 180C for 50-60 minutes then leave to cool before serving.
Beer bread recipe
A simple 3 ingredient no knead bread made with beer
- 375 g self raising flour
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 330 ml beer or lager
Preheat oven to 180C / GM4
Grease and flour a loaf tin (2lb or approximately 23×12 cm)
In a large bowl mix the flour and sugar.
Add the beer or lager, mix into the flour and sugar with a spoon until it’s combined (it will still be quite a sticky dough)
Tip into the loaf tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is crunchy
Leave to cool on a rack before turning out of the tin. The bottom should sound hollow
Have you tried beer bread?