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Fallen in love with 3-ingredient beer bread. What's your twist?

I made Lone Star bread tonight. :)

12 oz beer
3 C flour
3 t baking powder
3T sugar
1.5 t salt

(It would have been 3 ingredients had I used self-rising flour (omit salt & baking powder).

Bake at 375 for one hour.

Anyway, my mind is reeling with possibilities. Has anyone tried different types of beer? Adding honey or molasses to the top while baking? Using different sweeteners in the bread?

I'm just very taken with how easy it was, and how I could make up some mixes in baggies in the pantry and then just pour in a bottle of beer. I do like to bake yeast breads but this was so quick compared to yeast bread, and tasted better than my normally-failed biscuits. I want to try it making small loaves (more crust factor).

I'd love any variations or suggestions, even some exotic ones. Like what about dark chocolate chips added in, and using a really dark beer and possible some orange flavor somehow?

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  1. MarbleFallsParadise, just mix and bake, that's it? No kneading or shaping or waiting?

    My beer/salt/flour batter for onion rings, tempura, etc. is delicious--I'll try the bread !

    2 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      MarbleFalls, between this and the no-flour pb cookies, I'm baking like a crazy person. I made a garlic/oregano one yesterday and a pb with peanuts one today. I figured beer and peanuts go together?

      The batter tasted a mite salty, so I'm going by another version I saw here and just using sugar, the self rising flour, 2 tbl regular flour and the beer.

      blue room, that's it! Mix the dry, pour in the beer, and bake. Dot with butter a few minutes before it's done, and there you have it.

      1. re: dolores

        Thanks, dolores..
        could be good with dill and/or onion..

    2. add 2-3 T dill seed. Great with soups and stews.

      Isn't this called Batter Bread? (bakling powder instead of yeast)

      1. To the beer batter add 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped.

        1. MFP, don't call me Paula Deen, but my recipe calls for a stick of melted butter - first in the loaf pan, then I reserve a bit to pour over the top, and the rest is mixed in with the batter. I also love this bread, and occasionally add different grated cheeses..... mmmmmmm! I love this bread with soup, and am going to try some leftover bread as paninni's tomorrow night.

          5 Replies
          1. re: DLAOKC

            Cheeses, yes! Maybe chopped up pepperoni and provolone?

            The peanut butter + peanuts one was deemed a success.

            I like the butter idea too. What a cool bread.

            1. re: dolores

              I used to make a bread similar to this years ago and lost the recipe - thanks for posting! It truly is one of the simplest things you can make. I used to add some chopped fresh thyme for variety.

              1. re: dolores

                Yes to the butter. And I almost gasped aloud with the pepperoni & provolone idea. Maybe that plus the basil. Oh YUM!

                1. re: dolores

                  how much PB and peanuts did you add?

                  1. re: geminigirl

                    geminigirl, I winged it. I would say, conservatively, a quarter cup of extra crunchy PB and an equal amount of unsalted peanuts. If the batter is 'too' smooshy, add a little more flour. It's a sticky batter, so it takes well to experimentation.

              2. would this be a use for the beers in the fridge we never, ever drink? Or beer that has been in the fridge just long enough I don't want to drink it (I have some pumpkin beer from last fall)?

                4 Replies
                1. re: alexajord

                  My recipe calls for warm beer...but yes, I say you can use any beer except Bud lite. LOL In fact, I have a recipe that calls for Sam Adams IPA and mades a dang fine bread.

                  1. re: alexajord

                    Absolutely, alexajord. We had beer in the fridge for friends who drink beer. But since it's been there quite awhile, I'm having a ball using it up.

                    My next is an Italian Seasoning beer bread.

                    1. re: dolores

                      You know, I grabbed it originally somewhere off the internet and can't find the original spot I got it from. Wish I could so I could give them credit.

                      1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                        Well, I thank you, MarbleFallsParadise. It's revolutionary!

                  2. Ok, yeah, I am truly going to go the grocery store & have so much fun buying random heavy beers & will post back if I come up with any inspirational results. I really want to try a sweet version with orange zest & chocolate. Actually, we have a ton of Meyer lemons & satsumas right now, so maybe a citrusy bread w/some appropriate beer. I'm not a beer drinker at all so I don't know what would go with citrus except maybe Corona???

                    Oh - Corona bread with lime & flaked sea salt on top. Get out!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                      Thanks so much for posting this - I had never heard of beer bread (and never get to bake anymore due to baby plus dieting husband). I made it last night and it was great!

                      Well, okay, it was a little odd because I added dried Italian herbs and grated Asiago before pouring in the beer, which was Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer. I didn't realize how strongly it would smell and taste of cherries.

                      Which brings me to my suggestion -- use this or some other fruity beer, maybe even a lambic, for your sweet version. I also subbed 1/2 cup of oats for 1/2 cup of the flour and I bet that would be good in a sweet version too.

                      We have one more bottle of Cherry Wheat and I plan to steal your idea for a sweet version, using TJ's frozen cherries, chopped dark chocolate, oats, and maybe pistachios.

                    2. I made a sweet version, still using beer, by increasing the sugar and adding dried cherries and cardamom. Really good.

                      On the savoury side, I mix in mustard seeds and curry powder, as well as some chopped onion (you can use dried onion flakes if you'd rather).

                      1. would honey or maple syrup work as well for the sweet?

                        would you cook onions before adding?

                        1. Why yes, as a matter of fact, I DO mean three teaspoons. Sorry. Now I can't edit my original post. It should be three TEAspoons of baking powder, not TABLEspoons. No wonder it was salty. Thanks for the catch.

                          [Note: the recipe has been edited to be correct. The Chowhound Team]

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                            Also, my bread was done after 42 minutes in a 375 degree oven. It's delicious. I am ready to try adding some of the goodies suggested here.

                          2. Fresh dill minced, poppy seeds and reconstituted dried chopped onions.

                            1. Yes, I love this easy (and the original is super lowfat) bread. Of course, I usually doctor it up with some sometimes "fattening" ingredients!

                              My latest version had dried italian seasoning, fresh grated parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper, and some paprika (mainly for color). It went wonderfully with our pasta dinner.

                              I am dying to know how the citrus/dark chocolate version turns out - please post back!

                              1. OK,made this last night with a porter, self-rising flour, about 1T of honey instead of the sugar, chopped yellow onion, dried dill weed, and ground mustard seed...

                                was unbelievably moist and deliciously oniony! the crust was amazingly flavorful!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: TSQ75

                                  I love the way the crust gets crunchy.

                                  Who originated this recipe? I think it's great. Who needs yeast!

                                2. Has anybody baked this in a cast iron skillet? And finished it like fococia? You know, poke holes in the top with your fingers, pour on some olive oil, and spread some olives and/or sliced onion.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    You can also do this with sodas to make a tea bread.

                                    1. re: lstormont

                                      hmm? really? i thought the whole point of it was the yeast in the beer?

                                      1. re: TSQ75

                                        It's more the carbon dioxide than the yeast, from what I understand, with the self-rising flour.

                                  2. Can I use guiness as the beer? I have a bottle sitting in my fridge, and I don't do guiness, or much beer for that matter, so this would be a great recipe to try it on!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: anzu

                                      Oh yes. And if it were me, I'd make an English breakfast beer bread! Or a variation thereof -- bangers, beans, chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, onions.

                                      The sky's the limit with this recipe, it is way cool.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        Chorizo! Somebody mentioned chorizo in another thread. Are there Portuguese beers?

                                        You can vary the ingredients according to the nationality of the beer!

                                        Okay, now I'm getting giddy.

                                    2. Back in the 60s we called this 3-2-1 Bread (3 C self-rising flour, 2 TBLS sugar, 1 bottle of beer) Topping w/ a stick of butter gilded the lily but made it difficult to make toast the following morning - too much fat in the toaster = small fires.

                                      Thanks for the memories; I'd forgotten about this one.

                                      1. Ok, I tried it tonight in a cast iron skillet, used 1 cup whole wheat flour plus 2 cups white flour, dotted the top with butter, and squeezed honey liberally all over the top.

                                        The pros: I liked have some whole wheat in there, and the honey crust on top was great. There was a nice chewy crust on the sides and bottom.

                                        The cons: It was doughy. Dense. And I still want more crust.

                                        So, do I try mini-loaf pans to get more crust ratio? And any thoughts on why so dense?


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                                          I don't get why it would be more dense than if you baked it in a loaf pan. Could the whole wheat flour have done that? Maybe it needed to bake longer because the cast iron took longer to heat up than a loaf pan.

                                          Just wondering, how high did it get in the skillet and how big is the skillet?

                                          At this rate, you'll be selling this bread from a push-cart soon.

                                        2. Also, I made a beer cheese spread to go with it (from one of my ladies' magazines - maybe Better Homes & Gardens??):

                                          1 cup shredded cheddar
                                          Garlic according to taste
                                          Onion to taste, chopped fine
                                          Hot sauce

                                          Mix above in a stand mixer, then slowly add 6 oz of beer, mixing on medium-high until smooth and creamy.

                                          Salt & season further to taste, chill 2 hours, then keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. Will keep in the freezer for one month.

                                          LOVED it with the beer bread. Oh wow. And all I had was that nasty Lone Star. I can't imagine what this would be like with a heartier beer. For my hot sauce, I used Tabasco Chipotle, but I can see numerous different avenues there - sriracha, or Tabasco green, or Cajun Power, for starters.

                                          I am going to gain 500 lbs before Christmas even gets here, just from beer bread and beer cheese. And I don't even like to drink beer.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                                            I've done this with great success (from an old Peg Bracken recipe)

                                            --Brewski Muffins--

                                            3 cups Bisquick buttermilk baking mix
                                            1 can beer

                                            Bake in a muffin tin.

                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                              I have bisquick, but can't seem to find the "buttermilk" variety - have you used the plain version for these muffins? thanks

                                              1. re: geminigirl

                                                Used to be you couldn't find Bisquick without the buttermilk included, but now I see that only their buttermilk biscuit mix has it.

                                                I haven't tried it without the buttermilk.

                                          2. Omg. I looooooove this board. And you guys for very conveniently posting this recipe with such great timing. It gave me a great way to get rid of my Guiness. I just made it (literally came out of the oven 5 minutes before posting this) and had a piece with pumpkin seed oil, and the combo is divine. I can definitely taste the beer, which makes the bread taste very yeasty. I added rosemary and grated gruyere cheese, both of which complement the beery taste really well. I also used half whole wheat flour.

                                            I had a little trouble with the dough, which was extremely sticky--in fact, sticky enough that I added another 1/2-1 cup of flour.

                                            And to think that three days ago, I had never heard of beer bread.

                                            I wish they had the equivalent of a productive board like this for classical music. . .
                                            In the meantime, I think I need to eat more bread. . ..

                                            1. I would try the dry hidden valley ranch dressing with cheddar cheese. I make biscuits with these all the time and it's similar to Red Lobsters cheese biscuits..

                                              1. Just an update: I made these for our Christmas gift baskets, and one of the tips I read elsewhere was really helpful (I actually thought it was from this thread but I guess not). You make the dough as above with the same amounts, then split the one batch into two blobs of dough, put in loaf pans (I patted it/stretched it out to cover the bottom of the loaf pan) and let rise in a warm place for an hour. They do rise a bit, then you bake, reducing time as needed. I did do the half stick of melted butter poured over the top, and it does make it good.

                                                I have two pans in the oven now and another batch rising. It's so good with butter and honey. I still have only used Lone Star, but I'm eyeing the Guiness.

                                                You end up with two flatter loaves, but get more crust (a plus for me) and none of the doughiness I was having a problem with originally.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                                                  A cheese/beer spread? Bisquick and beer? A dry salad mix to give a cheesey flavor???

                                                  Oh man, off to the store again.

                                                  A question -- do I need the baking powder with the Bisquick?

                                                  MarbleFalls, good idea on letting it rise, I didn't know it would. I love the crunchy crust, so more of a good thing is, well, good! And I don't like beer either.

                                                2. I came back to check something on this recipe and thought I'd post an update. We make this regularly now, and the best variation I have discovered is to make it in a muffin pan. I let it rise for about 30 minutes in the muffin pan, topped with a pat of butter for each "muffin."

                                                  Our last batch was made partly with whole wheat flour and included shredded cheddar and some cooked venison breakfast sausage. The version I'm making today will include added ground flax seed and more whole wheat flour - trying to ramp up the health factor.

                                                  My kids want to make a batch with mozzarella and pepperoni, with a marinara sauce for dipping.

                                                  This bread has been a lifesaver for me, and especially now with the muffins, because one batch makes 12 huge muffins and I usually freeze a few. If I make loaves, I split it into two loaves and let rise, then after baking I freeze one loaf.

                                                  I'm still interested in other ideas for this bread and I'm thinking about doing a sweet one, and also one factoring in peanut butter perhaps.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                                                    How about a dab each of peanut butter and jelly in the middle of each muffin?

                                                  2. I love beer bread.

                                                    a few trials could be...using Sapporo beer...maybe toss in some wasabi and ginger.

                                                    or a Guinness and some caraway...

                                                    or Corona with chipotle.....

                                                    or maybe even a Molson Canadian with some maple syrup !!!!

                                                    1. ...whatever you do, don't use baking soda instead of baking powder. Especially when you've got guests coming over,
                                                      On the otherhand- it rose and looked beautiful!

                                                      1. I make this everytime I make soup for dinner. Even my kids will mix it up and pop it in the oven when I am on my way home. Soup in the slow cooker, kids make bread and dinner is ready when I get home. I always do it the same way:

                                                        2 c grated sharp cheddar
                                                        1/4 c minced onion
                                                        2 cloves garlic

                                                        Used lots of different beers but Guinness is the best

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: julesincoq

                                                          I have GOT to try this bread again. Made it several years ago and it sucked so bad - but then I tend to suck at all things doughy - will try again and I'm going w/ this recommendation!

                                                        2. I make the same recipe, found it on Epicurious years ago.

                                                          I have only added handfuls of dried herbs to it but this thread has inspired me to get more creative. Oh, and I use half the amount of sugar the Epicurious recipe calls for.

                                                          1. I make another type of beer bread, not this quick, but it uses a ton of chopped/ sauteed onions and garlic mixed with walnuts rolled into it like a jelly roll and sea salt on the top. Has gotten some rave reviews.