|”If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”|
– Thorin Oakenshield, The Hobbit
Beer bread is seriously delicious and so easy to make. It has a crispy, buttery crust with a soft, tender inside, and it takes only 5 minutes or less to prepare the batter. And while the recipe calls for only a few, simple ingredients, you can easily dress it up - I often add some grated sharp cheddar to the batter, or some dehydrated onions, dill or caraway seeds. If you use a small Dutch oven or a cast iron bread pan to bake this bread, all the better for getting a really crispy crust (although any bread pan will work just fine). My family’s favorite way to enjoy beer bread is served with a big pat of butter, alongside a hearty stew or chili.
If you don’t like beer, you may still enjoy this recipe. It’s doesn’t exactly taste just like beer, but does have a pleasing, yeasty flavor. As for the alcohol content of the finished bread, I can’t say for sure, but I believe it is probably rather low. If you don’t drink alcohol, or are concerned about giving it to your little ones, you can substitute a non-alcoholic beer. This should work just fine since this particular recipe doesn’t rely on any yeast in the beer as a leavening agent, but instead uses self-rising flour to make the bread rise. Any beer will work but different varieties of beer will give the bread different flavors. Experiment and find out which ones you like best!
Now I have made beer bread in the past from other recipes, and they turned out just fine, but this recipe is my favorite, and it is an old one. I came across it in an old issue of Mother Earth News magazine (circa 1979), and I adapted it just a little bit (because you really can’t mess too much with these perfect old recipes).
Makes 1 loaf
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 12 ounces beer
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan or other baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Stir in the beer, adding a few ounces at a time.
- Pour batter into greased pan, and pour butter over the top.
- Bake bread in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.