I was recently challenged to share a recipe that is not only easy, but manly. And well, what could be more manly than BEER? Nothing. It’s how chest hair is born.
What I love about beer bread is that it takes just a handful of ingredients, you can make the dough in one bowl, and it cooks up in no time at all. Just mix and bake. Simple as that. You can also throw in any add ins that strike your fancy, such as cheese, herbs, or spices. For this recipe I opted for some shredded cheddar and dill.
Science will have you believe that you need sugar in order to make beer bread. It has something to do with how the yeast in the beer reacts with the sugar and helps it to rise, etc. But since this recipe also includes 4 teaspoons of baking powder, you really don’t need to worry about that. I ended up making two loaves, one with sugar and one without, and I found that I greatly preferred the taste of the sugar free version. Your mileage may vary, so here is a little breakdown:
Without sugar: Produces a dense and fluffy bread with a good rise. The beer and dill flavor is very pronounced, making it quite savory. Goes with everything.
With sugar: Produces a dense and fluffy bread with a good rise. The sugar makes the bread a bit sweeter (duh) which dulls the other flavors a tad. I recommend pairing it with something spicy, like chili.
So with that out of the way, let’s get started!
As I mentioned above, you only need one bowl for this. But you should take the time to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together before adding the liquids. I’d start by mixing the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (if you’re using it) first, then toss in the cheese and dill.
It should look a bit like this when it’s all incorporated.
Now, pour in a can of beer and watch the magic happen. It should fizz up quite a bit. Once it’s all in there begin mixing it right away. If you’d like, you can add some (or all) of the butter at this point, though most people pour it on top of the dough before it goes in the oven. I like to add half to the dough and half to the top.
The dough will be pretty gloopy (if you opt for the sugar version), but spread it out the best you can in a greased loaf pan. If you opt for the sugar free version then your dough will be much thicker than this. Don’t ask me why. Either way, you don’t want that cheese sticking. I dusted my pan with a bit of flour too, just to be sure.
Pouring some (or all) of the butter on top will help it turn golden brown in the oven and give it a nice crust.
I baked mine for approximately 30 minutes, then added some cheese to the top and put it back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.The bake time will vary, but you’ll know it’s done when a skewer poked into the bread comes out clean.
Let it cool for at least 15 minutes on a wire rack, then slice it up and serve!
This bread is dense, chewy, cheesy, buttery—perfect for soups, stews, or even just to snack on. Cube it up for homemade croutons, or make three mini loaves to hand out to friends.
- 3 c (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c sugar (if you like sweeter breads)
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c shredded cheese
- 2-3 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 stick butter (melted and slightly cooled)
- 1 12-oz can of beer
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Prepare your loaf pan by greasing it and lightly coating it in flour.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar if you're using it. Add the cheese and dill and toss the mixture to combine.
- Stir in half of the melted (but cooled) butter and all of the beer.
- Add dough to the loaf pan and top with remaining butter.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, then add a handful of cheese to the top. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing!