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Wholemeal Beer Bread (no knead and no yeast)

A quick and simple recipe for wholemeal beer bread made from just 4 ingredients, flour, sugar, salt and beer. This bread does not need yeast or strong bread flour and there's no kneading.

Loaf of Wholemeal Beer Bread on a Wooden Board


WHOLEMEAL BEER BREAD


I've been baking a lot of bread recently while we've been spending all this time at home.

I've started to have a go at sourdough bread, I've made a basic white loaf, a French boule, a light rye bloomer and I've been making a lot of my basic wholemeal bread, which is great for sandwiches.

All of these loaves take time to make and they all require strong bread flour and yeast, which are sometimes hard to get hold of.

My wholemeal beer bread is the opposite of all the other loaves I've been making.

ONE BOWL NO KNEAD BREAD


Beer bread is super quick to make. It take 2-3 minutes to make.

It's all made in one bowl and there's no waiting for it to rise for hours either.

Just mix it, pop it in a loaf tin and straight in the oven. Bish, bash, bosh and it's done.

The other great thing about it, is you don't need strong bread flour or yeast.


wholemeal self-raising flour in a clear plastic mixing bowl

WHAT FLOUR IS USED IN BEER BREAD?


Most bread is made with strong flour also known as bread flour. Bread flour is high in protein which produces lots of gluten. Kneading develops this gluten which gives you the light airy texture in bread.

To make beer bread, you don't need strong bread flour, you can just use the everyday flour you have in your cupboard or pantry.

You can use either self-raising flour or plain flour.

SELF-RAISING FLOUR


If you use self-raising flour you don't need to add a raising agent.

PLAIN FLOUR


If you use plain four, you add need a raising agent, so add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to help with the rise.


SUBSTITUTE FOR BAKING POWDER


If you're using plain flour you need a raising agent.

Both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) are raising agents, but the baking powder already has acidic ingredient (cream of tartar) in it to create the chemical reaction that gives the rise when you bake. 

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) doesn't have this acidic ingredient added so you need to add it.
You can easily make your own substitute for baking powder.

1 tablespoon of baking powder - can be substituted with a mixture of ¾ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and 1 ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar.

1 teaspoon of baking powder - can be substituted with a mixture of ¼ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar.

If you don't have cream of tartar, don't worry, as long as you have something acidic in your recipe like lemon juice, yoghurt or vinegar. A teaspoon of vinegar would be my choice for beer bread. 


Wholemeal beer bread loaf with a slice cut on a wooden board next to a  bowl of broccoli soup

WHOLEMEAL FLOUR


I used wholemeal self-raising flour to make this loaf.

It might not be a flour you have in your cupboard, so you can use any brown or wholemeal flour to make this bread, just remember if you use a plain flour it needs a raising agent, as described above.

The rule of thumb when making a brown loaf or a wholemeal loaf is add some white flour to make the loaf lighter, but this time I didn't bother, I just used the wholemeal and it was great.

Want it lighter, then yes add some white flour. Remember you still need the same amount of flour so add some white, then make up the weight/quantity with brown or wholemeal. 

You can't go wrong with it as long as the overall quantity of flour you add is correct.

Experiment, try making one with all brown or wholemeal, one with mostly brown or wholemeal and one with mostly white flour.



WHAT BEER IS BEST FOR BEER BREAD?


It's called beer bread, but you can actually use beer, lager, stout or ale to make this quick, yeast-free bread.

If you use a light ale or lager, the flavour will be milder.

If you use a heavier beer, porter or stout, the flavour with be more pronounced and stronger.


DOES BEER REPLACE YEAST IN BEER BREAD?


The yeast in beer does help with the rise in a beer bread, but most beers, lagers and ales, don't have enough to use in place of yeast without the help of another raising agent like baking powder.

Many craft beers have a higher quantity of yeast, but unless you want to spend time experimenting with different beers, it is best to add a raising agent.




overhead shot of wholemeal beer bread and a bowl of broccoli soup

WHATS THE BEST WAY TO SERVE BEER BREAD?


Beer bread is a rustic bread, so it's best served simply. It's not a good bread for sandwiches.

  1. Buttered - it's good just buttered with dairy-free spread or butter
  2. Hummus - it's great topped with hummus
  3. Cheese - top it with cream cheese or any of your favourite cheeses
  4. Soup - it's delicious served with or dunked in soup
  5. Stew - it's hearty enough to be served with stew and it's just the thing to mop up gravy
  6. Toast - it makes a really good slice of toast

READERS BREAD


My readers started making batches of this bread, pretty quickly after I shared it. Their bread looks pretty amazing. I'm so impressed.

Em served hers with 'cheesey' courgette soup that looks so good and Jodie used hers to mop up the sauce in her tomato pasta sauce.



Three friends, Lisa, Sharon and Craig said they would try making the bread, so I challenged them to a Bake Off and they rose to the challenge. 

Lisa used self raising flour and added paprika,  Sharon used half dark rye flour and French lager in hers and Craig used white self-raising flour, a pale ale and added chilli flakes. They all looks fabulous!

See how easy it is to change the flours and flavours? 
Scroll down for more ideas for variations to beer bread.







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IS IT OK TO GIVE CHILDREN BEER BREAD?

child eating bread with soup at dining table

It's OK to serve beer bread to children.

While there is beer in beer bread, nearly all of the alcohol evaporates while the beer bread is baking.

They won't be eating a whole loaf in one sitting so there will be a very small amount in the slices they do eat. It's not enough to worry about.

If you are still concerned you could use an alcohol-free beer, but really it beer bread is fine for kids to eat. 

Although you may want to use a light ale or lager to make it as richer stouts, beers and porters add a stronger flavour to beer bread which children probably won't enjoy.

As you can see my son is enjoying some beer bread with broccoli soup. 


overhead shot of baked beer bread in loaf tin on wooden worktop


HOW LONG WILL BEER BREAD KEEP?


Beer bread is at it's best on the day it is baked, but it is great the next day toasted.

I would try to use it up over no more than 2 days.

If you don't think you'll eat the whole loaf the day you bake it, wait until it is cool then slice it and freeze in a freezer bag, taking out slices to toast as you need them.

Just remember ....... quick bread = use it quick! 

Same rule applies to other quick breads like soda bread.


VARIATIONS TO WHOLEMEAL BEER BREAD


Start with this easy beer bread then make a few changes for a completely different loaf.

  • White flour - use white flour instead of wholemeal
  • Seeds - add seeds to the bread. You can add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds (also known as linseeds), hemp seeds and poppy seeds. 
    • toast the sunflower and pumpkins seeds in a dry pan before adding for more flavour. 
    • add your seeds to the mixture or sprinkle on top of the loaf before baking.
  • Cheese - you can add grated cheese to the mixture (vegetarian or vegan)
  • Spices - try adding spices to your loaf, ground cumin, turmeric, ground ginger and paprika are all good options.
  • Herbs - add dried herbs to your loaf, dried coriander, basil, chives, oregano and thyme are all good options



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Wholemeal Beer Bread (no knead and no yeast)

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HOW TO MAKE WHOLEMEAL BEER BREAD

Scroll down for step by step photos and tips, followed by a full printable recipe.


Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP ONE - Flour in bowl
STEP ONE - FLOUR

Preheat your oven and grease a 2 lb/900g loaf tin.

Add your flour to the bowl. Sift it for a lighter mix.

If you're using plain flour, add baking powder at this stage.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP TWO - Sugar and salt added to the bowl
STEP TWO - SUGAR AND SALT

Now add the sugar and salt which help to add flavour to the loaf.

I used demerara sugar, but you can use brown sugar or caster sugar. Whatever sugar you have, although I wouldn't use icing (confectioners) sugar.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP THREE - Ingredients in mixing bowl are given a good mix
STEP 3 - MIX

Give the ingredients a good mix before you add the beer, as you don't want to mix it too much once the beer is added.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP FOUR - Photo of beer being poured from measuring jug into the bowl of flour, salt and sugar
STEP 4 - BEER

Next pour in your beer.

Remember you don't have to use beer, you can use lager, stout, porter or ale.

I measured mine using scales set to ml as my can of lager was bigger than required.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP FIVE - an overhead shot of the flour in the baking bowl covered with bubbly froth from the beer
STEP 5 - WORK QUICKLY

Once the beer is added, you want to work quickly as the chemical reaction between the baking powder in the self-raising flour or the baking powder you've added to plain flour will start working, so you want it in the oven as soon as possible.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP SIX - The dough mixed with a pink spatula in the mixing bowl7
STEP 6 - MIX

Mix quickly, but don't over mix. You just want to incorporate all the flour into the beer.

I use cutting motions with a silicone spatula, making sure all the flour in the bottom and on the sides of the bowl is combined.

It doesn't take a lot of mixing before you have a dough.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP SEVEN - one shot of dough in prepared loaf tin and in the next the loaf has a sprinkle of flour over the top
STEP SEVEN - LOAF TIN

Place the dough in the prepared loaf tin, then sprinkle it with flour.

There is no need to let it rise like a regular loaf, in fact it's important to get it into the oven quickly.

Wholemeal Beer Bread - STEP EIGHT - BAKE - an overhead shot of the golden baked loaf in the loaf tin
STEP 8 - BAKE

Bake in the oven until golden with a crisp crust.

Remove from the oven and tip onto a baking rack to cool.

It you turn it over and tap the base of the loaf,  it should sound hollow with a, crisp, sharp sound. If the sound is dull and it feels heavy, it needs to bake a bit longer.

Once cool, cut and serve.

beer bread, wholemeal beer bread, wholemeal bread, brown bread, brown beer bread, no knead bread, no yeast bread, easy bread, quick bread
baking
Scottish, vegan
Yield: 8-10 thick slices
Author:
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Wholemeal Beer Bread

Wholemeal Beer Bread

A quick and simple recipe for wholemeal beer bread made from just 4 ingredients, flour, sugar, salt and beer. This bread does not need yeast or strong bread flour and there's no kneading.
Prep time: 2 MCook time: 45 MTotal time: 47 M

Ingredients:

  • 375g/3 cups self-raising wholemeal flour (see notes for using plain flour)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (you can add more)
  • 330 ml/ 1.4 cups beer (lager, stout or ale)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c/170c fan/375f/gas mark 5.
  2. Grease a 2 lb/900g loaf tin.
  3. Pour all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Pour in the beer and fold in until just combined.
  5. Place the dough in the loaf tin, sprinkle with flour and bake for 45 minutes until crisp and golden.
  6. Once out of the oven, remove from the tin and tap the base. It should sound hollow, if it doesn't pop it back in for a bit longer.
  7. Leave to cool on a baking rack and then slice.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes:

Grease the loaf tin well, including the lip of the tin for easy removal of the loaf.

If you are using plain and not self-raising flour, add 1 tbsp baking powder.
Once you have poured the beer in, work quickly.

Don't over mix the dough, just fold the dry ingredients into the beer until just combined.

Once the dough is in the loaf tin, get it in the oven right away, don't leave it to go back to as the yeast, sugar and baking powder in the self-raising flour start working as soon as they touch. You want to get the loaf in as quickly as possible so this mixture is still active.

Bake until golden and crisp. Bread should always have a bit of colour.

Once you take it out of the oven, remove from the loaf tin right away and tap the base of the bread. If it sounds hollow it's ready, if it sounds heavy, with a dull sound, it need to go back in a bit longer.

Adjust how strong your loaf is by the strength of the lager or beer. A light lager or ale will make a fresher bread, which will appeal more to children, but a heavy beer or stout will produce a stronger hoppy taste to the bread, which some may find too strong.

Use your beer bread fresh on the day you make it and slice it to make toast on day two for the best results.

Beer bread is best eaten fresh on the day it is made, but you can keep it a second day for toast.

Beer bread can be frozen on the day it is made. Make sure it is completely cool then slice. Pop it in a freezer bag with pieces of freezer-friendly baking paper between the slices. Take out just how many slices you need.
Calories
176.06
Fat (grams)
1.13
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.19
Carbs (grams)
35.21
Fiber (grams)
4.82
Net carbs
30.39
Sugar (grams)
1.52
Protein (grams)
6.14
Sodium (milligrams)
875.00
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
Created using The Recipes Generator

26 comments

  1. This was so great! Learned lots about making bread! Easier than I thought it would be and so tasty!

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    1. I am so glad you made it and enjoyed it Noelle. You are not the first to make a recipe the same day I post it.

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  2. I'm making this for the weekend, I bet everyone is going to devour it!

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    1. I know you will love it Shadi. It's so quick and easy and everyone loves freshly made bread.

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  3. I tried your black olive bread but used green olives that I had and it was really good. We ate it with our weekly pot of soup. I'll try this one too. I don't have wholemeal self raising flour but I do have some wholemeal flour so I will try it with baking powder as you suggest. Jill

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the olive bread. I'll have to try it with green olives too. Enjoy this one when you make it.

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    2. I made it! I used wholemeal flour and baking powder and it came out great. Another great recipe. Jill

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    3. Oh I am so glad you enjoyed it. It's definitely a good recipe to have. Thanks for letting me know.

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  4. I am always on a hunt for a quicker and easier recipe when it comes to bread. Can't wait to give yours a try now!

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    Replies
    1. This is definitely the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy it!

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  5. I can’t wait to try out this bread recipe! Looks so simple and delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jordin. I hope you enjoy it, it is easy and very tasty.

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  6. I love the top of the bread. So rustic. I love making bread but mostly do yeast bread. Can't wait to try this soon. It will be perfect with my beef stew this weekend

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    Replies
    1. Yes it really is a rustic loaf and it's great served with a stew. Enjoy!

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  7. This bread came out so great! I made it with a big pot of chili and it was perfect for dunking and absorbing all that flavor!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, it must have been so good with chilli. Thanks for that tip and glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. I was googleing for a bread made with no yeast and found this. I am so pleased as I have everything I need and can borrow one of my husbands bottles of stout. I am sure he won't mind. I am making a beef stew tonight, so I am going to make this loaf to serve with it.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoyed the loaf. I bet it was good with your stew. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  9. Making my own homemade bread is always a bit nerve wracking for me, but this recipe is easy to follow and turned out great!

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    1. Haha yes I know what you mean. I am glad you tried my beer bread and it worked so well. It's a great wee recipe.

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  10. I have been using a lot of beer in baking too, really, who needs yeast? I love the malty flavor beer imparts in this bread.

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes true, although I've not tried it in anything but bread so far.

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  11. Oh wow! What a beautiful bread and its perfect coz I a . Ot able to find yeast at all...and I Have beer in my fridge! Can't wait to make it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes yeast can be difficult to find at the moment. This recipe is so easy, with ingredients you are more likely to have. I hope you enjoy it.

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  12. This bread was delicious. However I would reduce the amount of salt added. 1 tbsp was too much for my family’s liking.

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    Replies
    1. I've made it again with less and I think you are right, it is better. I have adjusted the recipe. People can add more if they like. Thanks for commenting.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x