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Blog Post

Here are two different types of beer bread recipes.  The first is a yeast based beer bread, and the second uses a self-rising flour. I've tried both these recipes with several different beers.  I can't say that one is better than the other, but they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Yeast bread - disadvantages are that it is time consuming, messy (have to knead), recipe can be cantankerous. Over a few days, the bread begins to develop a stronger beer aroma.

  • Live Oak Oaktoberfest - light and just slightly malty. Beer aroma not strong until 4 days or so.
  • Live Oak Hefewiezen - citrus-y notes right from the get go. I'm not sure how it ages, because it was eaten. :o)
  • (512) Wit - also citrus-y with a slightly tangy finish at the end. This one also disappeared quite quickly.
  • (512) Pecan Porter - just a tad tougher (more glutinous I felt) than light beer breads. Deep stout aroma.  Fabulous with chocolate chips. I added 1 cup of dark chocolate chips at the second kneading phase.
  • Uncle Billy's Insomniac Stout - slightly tougher bread with a light coffee aroma. Also fabulous with chocolate chips.

The self-rising bread - disadvantages is more of a corn bread/cake texture, tends to be bitter when using darker beers.  The texture of this bread recipe also seems to be more variable. Humidity could also play a role. 

  • Live Oak Oaktoberfest - pungent malty aroma. This bread holds up well in the fridge.
  • Live Oak Hefewiezen - deeper citrus aroma. Very dense.
  • (512) Pecan Porter - deep aroma, bitter after taste. Texture tended to be gummier.
  • Shiner Bock - very malty flavor and slightly sweeter. Excellent with roast beef, mustard, and smoked provolone. Just fabulous.

Yeast recipe (very similar to the sticky beer bun recipe, but beer makes it less tender and doughy): Makes approximately 2 small loaves or 1 large watermelon sized loaf.

Dough:

  • 1 cup beer
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of malt extract (extra pale)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast) or substitute regular active yeast and double rise time.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Optional: mix-ins such as chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, or grains

Warm beer and butter in glass measuring cup in the microwave or the stove top to 120F to 130F. Be very precise on the temperature as it is important to get the yeast activated.  Too hot will kill the yeast.  Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with hook attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, malt extract, egg, yeast, and salt. Mix for 3 minutes, occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add the remaining flour. Stir on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. The dough will get tougher and tougher for the mixer to move.  If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball. Drink the rest of the beer at this point so it doesn't go flat.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours (4 hours if you regular active yeast).  If it is larger than double, that's okay, just punch it down more on the next step.   Turn dough out onto lightly flour work surface and knead again. Mix in dried fruit, nuts, grains, or chocolate at this point if you like.  I use chocolate for dark beers, and probably dried cranberries for lighter beers. Split dough in half if making two smaller loaves.  Shape the bread slightly, and place in lightly greased baking pan.  Allow to rise covered with plastic wrap in a warm draft-free place for at least 40 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  The bread will be done once the internal temperature reaches 205-210 degrees. Allow to cool enough to eat. You may butter the top as it cools. Be patient.  The smell is intoxicating, but you must wait or else you'll burn yourself.

 Self-Rising recipe, makes 1 small loaf:

  • 1 cup beer
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup of malt extract (extra pale)
  • Optional: mix-ins such as chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, or grains

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more or less self-rising flour to achieve a fairly thick batter.  It should be less thick than bread dough, but more dense than cake batter.  Humidity might also play a role in how much flour you need.  Pour into a greased loaf pan or into a 9x11 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the center is no longer jiggly. Cool and serve with butter.

Live Oak Oaktoberfest beer bread (yeast recipe) shown with the beer

Live Oak Oaktoberfest beer bread (self-rise recipe) served with Live Oak Hefeweizen Lemon Curd

Uncle Billy's Insomniac Stout with chocolate chips (yeast recipe), unfrosted sticky buns in the back

Live Oak Hefeweizen Beer Bread, yeast recipe