Monday, August 11, 2014

Leftover Beer? Bread!

We have a small refrigerator in our laundry room that is used mainly for drinks and extra produce. I was cleaning it out the other day and found 2 cans of beer stuck in the very back of the bottom shelf. They had been long forgotten and I was trying to remember when we bought them  I think it was for a  weekend family reunion 2 years ago. Whoa! I guess you can say we are not overly big beer drinkers. ( Or at least not Miller drinkers)

I wanted to just throw it out, but that gooby part of me that wants to use everything we buy wouldn't let me.  I started googling what to do with leftover beer.  No garden slug issues here so I didn't need to put it in in a dish to drown them.  I suppose I could have used it as a hair conditioner, but it is summer and my summer "do" is hair pulled back with a head band, twisted up and held with an alligator clip.

I kept searching and finally found this recipe for beer bread at Half Baked Harvest.  I liked it for a couple of reasons.  First it did not require self rising flour (I had none) and second, it did not require a boatload of butter .  The third reason was just a bonus , rather than using regular sugar this recipe used brown sugar and anytime I have an option I opt for brown sugar.  Oh, and did I mention it has only 5 ingredients?

                                                      5 Ingredient Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces of beer

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Add the beer and stir until everything is moist, but not smooth.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45ish minutes. ( I am always reluctant to sound dogmatic on baking times.  Everyone's oven seems to be calibrated differently and it can make the difference in a few minutes either way.)  Let the bread rest then pop it out of the pan.  Just make sure you have a stick of butter handy.  I am a firm believer in the cook having to sample the first bite of a new recipe.  After all you wouldn't want to serve others something that wasn't tasty right?  I am always willing to be the taster, I am just self sacrificing that way.

This was really good, even made with skunky beer.  I was surprised that the yeast in the beer was still active.  When I mixed everything together I let it sit in the bowl for a few minutes to see if it was going to rise and amazingly it did.  I really liked to yeasty, brown sugary taste.  I think the brown sugar added a little richer flavor to the bread than white sugar does. ( Did I mention I made one with white sugar also just for the taste comparison?  Brown sugar wins hands down.)

The loaf was not pretty.  It was a lumpy, crusty bread, but was very delicious.  The only change I will probably make is to spritz a dab of neutral flavored oil on top of the bread the last 10 minutes of baking.  I think it might make the top softer and a little prettier.

So next time you find an old beer hanging in the back of the fridge instead of pitching it, make bread.  Everyone will love you for it. That is, if you share!


  1. I've always heard about beer bread but never made any. I'll have to give it a try sometime, but beer doesn't seem to go bad here.

  2. It was quick and easy, but I would not use good beer. Maybe you could buy an off brand you don't really care for specifically for bread making

  3. Replies
    1. It was tasty, in spite of using the really old past its prime beer! I think the brown sugar makes all the difference in the flavor.

  4. This recipe came at a great time. We have a few beers in the refrigerator that we used to batter chicken with and I wasn't sure what to do with the leftovers. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Anytime Brandi, and I am really enjoying your blog. Just happened on it and so glad I did!