The foundation of beer and bread are very similar. For both, yeast is used to turn sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. In the case of bread, however, most of this alcohol escapes through evaporation in the baking process. Nevertheless, the main components in both are the same: grain, sugar, and water. In this beer bread, we simply replaced the water with beer making for an exceptionally tasty bread. This is unlike any bread you’ll find on your supermarket shelf (that’s a good thing!). We believe homemade bread can rival even the best artisan bread companies. For one, it’s very fresh, and you can modify the outcome based on your individual preferences. If you like it moist, dryer, with a hard crust, soft crust…your creation is entirely in your hands. Plus, with this bread, you pick the beer!
For our bread, since we were baking it over the holidays, we chose one of our favorite holiday beers: Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon. This dark beer with notes of hickory and dried fruit has the perfect nutty spice component that we thought would pair perfectly with our loaf, so we poured in the entire bottle. We awaited anxiously for the bread to be done since the smell of bread and warming spices filled the house.
After what seemed like forever, we pulled it out. We brushed our bread with the egg wash before putting it in the oven which made a nice shiny brown crust. However, when we broke into it, the center was so soft and the steam arising was incredibly aromatic. We plan to make this recipe with a bunch of different beers and test all the outcomes – but this one is definitely a winner.
We used a beer bread mix for our bread, which contained the same dry ingredients as the recipe below: self-rising flour and sugar. Since this mix is ridiculously easy to make from scratch we just broke down the recipe so you’ll be able to make this beer-bread awesomeness without the ingredients already mixed. So just choose your favorite beer, and get baking! Oh yes, and be sure to report back with some of your favorite beer + bread combinations. We will too!
Optional: one egg and a splash of milk for brushing on top
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a sheet pan pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and whisk until combined. Add the beer in slowly. Grab the bowl on each side and give it a little shake back and forth. Don't worry if it foams up a little. Grab a fork and stir with a fork slowly until the mixture comes together into a giant ball. The mixture should be fairly sticky. Do not over mix!
Use your hands to gather together in one large clump and place directly on your cookie sheet. If you'd like an extra delicious crust, beat the egg and milk in a small bowl until combined and brush layer on top of the uncooked dough.
Place in the center of your oven and bake approximately 50 minutes or until the crust is a deep caramel brown color. Let sit for about 10 minutes before digging in. Make sure you have lots of butter close by to enjoy it with!
You can also bake this bread directly on a pizza stone, if you have one. Just dust some flour and place dough directly on top. Bake for same amount of time.