Classic Beer Bread

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.

Prep
3 mins
Bake
45 to 55 mins
Total
48 mins
Yield
one 9" x 5" loaf
Classic Beer Bread

Instructions

  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.

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.
  • Want to make this recipe vegan? Substitute 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the butter in the batter; omit the butter topping.
  • Don't care for beer? Substitute 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) plain seltzer water.