Beer Batter Bread

I remember growing up “bread and butter” used to be a thing. At dinner there would be a loaf of fluffy white sandwich bread and we’d smear it with what I suspect was probably some type of margarine spread (my memory fails me on the specifics). I must have gotten my fill as a kid because these days I’m really not much for bread or rolls with my dinner unless we’re out at a restaurant, in which case all bets are off :)

We’ve been eating a lot of soup lately, and I know in Shane’s mind it’s a stretch to call a bowl of soup a complete meal, so one night I decided to make him bread to go with it. While I’m not big on it, he still loves a slice of bread served alongside dinner. Of course I waited until about 5 pm to come up with this plan (typical…) so my options were limited.

Beer Batter Bread

Luckily, this beer batter bread is one you can whip up at the last minute on a total whim. There are only a handful of ingredients, most of which I can almost guarantee you have in your house at all times. It’s a quick bread so you won’t find yeast among the ingredients required, which also means the prep time is literally just a few minutes. A handful of dry ingredients are whisked together, and then a bottle of beer is stirred in. Transfer the batter to the baking pan, drizzle with melted butter and into the oven it goes. And best of all, when it’s done baking there’s no waiting for it to cool! Is there anything better than a thick slice of warm bread slathered in butter? I think not.

You could make this bread with almost any beer you like so it’s perfect to use up those random bottles hanging out in the back of the fridge. For me, that meant grabbing a wheat beer leftover from a 12-pack we brought home from Canada last summer. The bread will take on the characteristics of the beer you choose so be sure to go with something you like drinking. I love that you could make this bread five times with five different beers and the result would be a slightly different flavor profile every time!

Beer Batter Bread
from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12 oz) bottle beer, at room temperature and unopened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Open the beer and immediately pour it all into the bowl with the dry ingredients (there will be lots of foam, that’s ok). Stir the batter until it just comes together – it’s going to be very thick and a little lumpy so don’t try to use a whisk here.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it into an even layer. Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out of the pan. You can cut into this bread and serve it warm or wait for it to cool to room temperature – either way, slather with butter first :)

{Note: the recipe suggested this recipe be served the day it was made, but we ate leftovers the following day too. I just popped them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to soften and warm them up.}