Last updated on January 27th, 2022
This is my own, original recipe for Rustic Beer Bread. The bread — actually, it’s a “boule” — has a deep, fermented flavor and a crackling-crisp crust. Its crumb is delightfully chewy and baguette-like. Looking for a loaf that goes with everything, and that you can easily mix and knead by hand? Here’s the video and printable recipe:
The above video includes details which, for me, anyway, can be tricky to describe in mere words. So please watch the video before proceeding onto the printable recipe below. And if you are hungry for more good eats, be sure to sign up to receive my email updates. xKevin
Rustic Beer Bread: Questions and Answers
What does Rustic Beer Bread taste like? The bread recalls sourdough, without any hint of “sourness.” It has a pleasantly mild fermented taste and aroma.
What are the ways to enjoy beer bread? Use it for sandwiches, croutons, and you-name-it. It’s exceedingly wonderful when toasted and topped with brie, camembert, or Welsh Rabbit/Rarebit. Of course, it’s also exquisite for sopping up the broth in this vegetable soup!
What beer to use? I used Saranac Pale Ale, but you can use any beer you like. Just make sure the beer is at room temperature.
Alrighty then. Here’s the printable recipe:
Rustic Beer Bread
- 4 cups (555 grams) bread flour, scooped and leveled
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) salt
- 12 ounces (341 ml) beer of your choice at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Then add the beer and olive oil, and stir until a stiff, shaggy dough develops -- about 30 seconds. Tip the dough onto a non-floured surface, and knead, by hand, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic -- about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, flip the dough to grease its other side, and then cover the bowl with clingfilm or a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm location until doubled in volume -- 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down, pat it out, and form it into a tight ball. Pinch the seam to seal it. Then place the ball seam side down in a greased bowl. Dust the top with flour. Cover loosely with clingfilm or a dry tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume -- usually 30 to 45 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, place a heavy, oven-proof pot (covered with its lid) on the lower-third level of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- When the dough is ready, sprinkle its top with flour or cornmeal. Then remove the ripping-hot pot from the oven, and place it on your protected work surface. Flip the dough into the pot, its seam side now facing up. Cover the pot with its hot lid, and return it to the oven. Bake for exactly 30 minutes. Then uncover the pot, lower the oven temperature to 400°F, and bake until the crust browns and splits at the seam -- 10-15 minutes. Transfer the bread to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Hi Kevin, It looks like step one could be done in a bread maker machine? Thoughts? This bread looks wonderful and will give it a try for sure!
I’m with Beth. I was just thinking the same thing- bread machine or dough hook in stand mixer? Also, using a local hard cider in place of beer? Love all your tips & recipes!
Linda k says
Thanks for the beer bread recipe just the thing to go with my roasted chicken and butternut squash soup I am making this week. Best way to keep warm during our recent cold snap here in hockey capital Minnesota
Val Holmes says
I can’t wait to try this. What a beautiful sight that dough is! Thank you for sharing, Kevin. You don’t know how much I look forward to Sunday and your wonderful blog…warms my soul.
This looks fabulous, I’ll make it today! What volume is your pan? I have several like yours but want to make sure I use the right one. Thanks!
Debra Elliott says
Hi Kevin! Proofing this bread now, feels like a beautiful dough and I’m excited to try it. I have tried many of your bread recipes…alot of them, and they always come out a success. Keep giving us great recipes to try and I love your youtube channel as well! It can be very helpful to have that visual when words aren’t enough.
I always look forward to Sundays and cooking with Kevin:)
Your California friend,
Oh Kevin. That looks utterly wonderful. I LOVE your videos. You are very engaging and make us all feel so welcome. It’s like visiting a brother! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. I also love all your gardening videos and home decorating as well. I am so happy I found your website. I definitely plan to try the beer bread. Have to find a Dutch oven, though. Take care and thanks again. Sincerely, Susan
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Beth and kt – You can use a stand mixer outfitted with a dough hook to knead this dough. Enjoy!
Hi Sheila – I used a 5-quart Dutch oven. If you don’t have enameled cast iron, just use any 5 quart (or larger) oven proof pot with a lid.
Hi Debra – Hope the bread turns out deliciously for you!
Hi Susan – Thank you so much!
I’m making this right now as we’re in the midst of a snow/ice storm here in PA. The lovely dough is rising now on a table close to fireplace to keep it warm. I used the last can of Mad Elf holiday ale! – and can’t wait to see how this comes out. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing a fun recipe for a cozy day at home.
Hello Kevin. I like bread with a crispy crust but have experienced that my homemade bread looses that crust by the next day, and I wont eat it. Can I half this dough and freeze half to make a smaller loaf in a smaller pot and how would I treat and use the frozen half to use later? Or do you have any storage suggestions to keep a larger loaf crispy?
Penny Moebes says
Why do most recipes using flour (bread, cake, etc.) not call for sifting flour before measuring? I was taught to do this many years ago by a 4-H Club leader and have always done it this way. Surprising how much difference in both volume and weight when done this way.
Thanks for doing what you do. I seldom comment, but your recipes are really excellent, your videos are excellent, and you have taken a lot of anxiety out of my cooking (for guests and family events)- which I enjoy, but was pretty stressed about. All of the recipes I’ve made have been really great (and that’s cooked by me…if you were cooking they would be would be excellent- haha) Thanks
Pat C says
I love your videos. And yes, we are definitely watching them. Like the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the videos demonstrate very clearly what the written words are instructing. Some of us may have no idea what kneading dough really looks like. And I love the personal stories you tell along the way. It just makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Thank you!
Will definitely try this! I have never made one of your recipes that hasn’t turned out delicious. You’re biscuits are a staple in our house. Being able to watch you make the recipes step by step is so helpful. Please keep the videos coming!!
carol ann says
Made this today with Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA- it was delicious! Barely could wait for it to cool before we sliced it; husband pronounced it the best ever. It doesn’t really taste of beer- just a wonderfully yeasty flavor with a wonderful crisp crust. You can’t go wrong making this bread; I’m thinking of making it our standard loaf.
LeslieJean Swan says
Hey! Bread looks great! I want to make it with 100% whole wheat (red) or white whole wheat and I want to bake it in a Ninja Foodi pressure cooker/air fryer. I will be living in a van and a Ninja will be my only source for baking. I don’t think I can find a Dutch oven I could use in one of these. Can you let me know if I need to alter amounts of
ingredients or baking times? This is really important to me as I am a whole-foods vegan and make ALLL my own food. I only buy ingredients as God made them…then I know exactly what I’m eating! I know beer might be stretching it a bit, but I can sacrifice being a purist for a great bread. I’m not a beer drinker at all, but I do know that beer makes amazing bread like sourdough! Sourdough in a van is unsustainable if you have a life! Thanks!
Thank you! Kevin – Just starting to make my second loaf. This recipe is so easy – and it works! Very happy.
We are now enjoying our second bake of this wonderful recipe of yours, Kevin. The only covered oven proof dish we have is a large Romertopf clay pot that has to be put into a cold oven. So, I put parchment on the bottom of the clay pot and did the second rise in it. Put the Romertopf into a cold oven, turned it up to 425 and baked. The moisture in the clay made a wonderful crust.
Your recipes are always favorites here.
The bread turned out great—perfect texture (crusty outside and chewy inside). My only problem is that I didn’t like the beer flavor (or any beer flavor, for that matter). Any suggestions for another liquid to substitute?
P.S. My husband and neighbors loved it.
I can’t wait to try it! Love your videos!
Holly Rose says
I followed your beer bread recipe and came out with a delicious rustic loaf. Yesterday, I recreated it but threw in a cup and a half of mashed potatoes and it was even better. Thanks, Kevin. You’re the best.
I used a bread machine for mixing & the first rising. Worked great! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Sounds like a fun dough to bake and better yet to eat! Can’t wait. Thanks!!
Terri Akin says
I made the bread 2 days ago and the crust is as hard and crunchy as the day I baked it. Good flavor and texture. Had it with hot soup. Deeeelish!!! Thanks!
Are you using the Convection option when you baked this bread? I always use convection when baking and have to adjust the temperature and timing the recommended 20% lower and shorter. It would be an enormous help if you mentioned whether you are using convection or conventional baking. I’ll be trying this as soon as my bread flour order arrives from Sunrise.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Mundi – I don’t use the convection setting for breads.
Marsha Rabe says
Should the beer be flat or fizzy? Does it matter?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Marsha – The beer (which should be at room temperature) will be fizzy when you open it and pour it into the dough mixture. But it is the bread yeast, not the beer bubbles, which will cause the dough to rise. (Hope this answered your question!)
Hi Kevin, I baked the bread today followed exactly except baked on baking tray sprayed water onto the dough. Turned out very aromatic and crusty. Wish I could show you the picture of my bread
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Susan – I’m so glad!!! And yes, I’d love to see a picture of your Beer Bread. If you’re on InstaGram, share the photo there, and be sure to tag me (#kevinleejacobs).
Pat C says
I was surprised to see Beer Bread on Mr. Fox’s plate of Cabbage Pie. I thought that he was gluten free. Is he not gluten free now? Just wondering.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Pat C – Mr. Fox permits himself a small amount of gluten every now and then. He does not have Celiac disease.
Jeannie Crust says
I enjoy making and especially kneading bread, so will definitely make this one!