Classic Beer Bread

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Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf

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Raise your hand if beer bread was the first type of bread you learned to bake! This classic recipe, with its four simple ingredients, requires nothing more than a bowl, spoon, pan, and oven in the way of tools. Beloved of busy bakers everywhere, the bread is moist, nicely dense and chewy, perfect for toast and sandwiches.

Classic Beer Bread

star rating (11) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf
Published: 03/13/2012


Tips from our bakers

  • Why the large range of sugar? Because you can make this bread as sweet as you like. Using 1 tablespoon of sugar will yield a bread with a mere hint of sweetness; 4 tablespoons will make bread that's noticeably sweet = — though not so sweet you can't use it for sandwiches.
  • Can you make this bread with whole wheat flour? Yes, but it'll be denser. Here's our suggestion for a good compromise: substitute whole wheat flour for half the self-rising flour, adding 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe.
  • Need a side dish really quickly? Pour the batter into 12 greased muffin cups, and enjoy mix and bake muffins in just 25 minutes or less! For muffins, fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the middle, about 14 to 18 minutes; their tops will stay pale. Muffins are best enjoyed warm from the oven.
  • Don't care for beer? Substitute 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) plain seltzer water.
  • Want to make this recipe vegan? Substitute 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the butter in the batter; omit the butter topping.


1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

2) Mix the flour, sugar, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, and the beer, stirring until fairly smooth; don't worry about a scattering of small lumps.

3) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.

4) Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 1/2" into the top of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

5) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool.

6) Wait until the bread cools completely before slicing. Store airtight at room temperature.

Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf.


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  • 01/27/2015
  • ailuy from KAF Community
  • I don't know what is going on, but my comments keep disappearing. So, I will attempt one last time. I have tried making this bread with half KA All Purpose flour and half KA White Whole Wheat flour. I have added 4.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1.5 teaspoons of sea salt. The bread came out comewhat crumbly and VERY salty. Salty to the point of being inedible. I would love to make the bread again, because the smell was awesome. What did I do wrong and what can I do to make it right. Thank you
    Beer bread is more like a quick bread than a yeasted sandwich bread - it uses self rising flour (that includes the baking powder and salt). You can always call our Baker's Hotline at 855-371-2253 and we can continue to trouble shoot with you. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/26/2014
  • Marcia from las vegas, NV
  • The reviews really were helpful. I used bread flour and added flax seed flour. Because bread flour is heavier/higher gluten, and added two eggs. I used small bread pans and reduced the baking time to 20 minutes. This is a great basic recipe and I look forward to experimenting.
  • star rating 07/04/2014
  • Amy from New Zealand
  • Lovely flavor -- classically sweet (even with using only 1 tbsp sugar) and buttery, just as it should be -- but I had trouble with this bread being crumbly. I baked it in a square cake pan instead of a loaf to make squares instead of slices, but I can't imagine that being the problem. I can only assume that it's the flour -- not KAF because it's impossible to buy (regrettably) in the country where I currently reside, and nowhere near as good.
    Hi Amy, it might well have been your flour that caused this bread to be crumbly. If you ever have a chance to chat with us on our Baker's chat, we might be able to help you troubleshoot this recipe from afar. Barb@KAF
  • 12/06/2013
  • Tammy from whitesboro, Texas
  • I love this bread. I make parmesean & pepperoni beer bread. And cheddar & ham or ham &swiss. I love experimenting with this.
  • star rating 08/12/2013
  • P from PA
  • I make this without the butter, with 1/4 c sugar, and use either two small pans or three mini pans, decreasing the baking time accordingly. I like to vary each loaf....maybe a tsp or two of dill, or a TBS of dried onion reconstituted in a like amount of water, for example. Next time perhaps some rosemary and garlic? I plan to try half and half whole wheat with the self rising unbleached, following the KAF suggestion. maybe after that some flour with crunchy grains in it, or just add a bit of toasted wheat germ. I've tried a few beers, and can't tell the difference. You can't go wrong with ths bread!
  • star rating 02/10/2013
  • RealtorKENNY from KAF Community
  • For the first time you make this follow this recipe..use very cheap beer. Then enjoy....then next time...experiment with whatever "add-on" ingredients you like. Try maybe green salad olives and dill weed. I have been all over the place with experiments of very abstract ingredients....dare you...double dare you!!
  • star rating 01/20/2013
  • Heidi48237 from KAF Community
  • Just made this and I am very pleased. Super easy and quick. This will be my new go-to's for a fast last minute loaf.
  • star rating 11/15/2012
  • Mags from Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • This is the basic recipe - take it up a notch or two for real fun. As pointed out in the notes, you don't need self-rising flour to make this recipe. I use 3 teaspoons of baking powder (non-aluminum) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can use all purpose flour or bread flour but don't forget to sift. I add some salad seasonings and an additional pinch of dill when making this bread for my sister. We've also had fun experimenting. I add 1/4-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (no I don't cut the butter much, I still use a stick (8 tablespoons) but 1/4 of that is brushed/poured on top for a crunchier crust. Yes, I've also added 1/4-1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon as well as cheese but those are for taste treats with no regard to healthy nutrition. Delicious! We'll be experimenting with other beers because we'd like to know if there is a taste variation. I expect I'll have to the recipe with a bit of orange juice on top (to cut any bitter beer I use) I'm adding herbs to every loaf (I make 3 every Friday for friends and family. My sister took her first loaf to work because her car was in the shop and I gave her the loaf when I picked her to drive her that afternoon. The loaf didn't last the afternoon when her co-workers found it.
  • star rating 09/10/2012
  • spcatquilt from KAF Community
  • Very Easy to make and delish! Very Tastie- Not at all "beery". I will make this bread again. I used a "Wild Blueberry ale" and wish I had added some blueberries to the time!
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