Beer Bread

Beer Bread is a simple, quick loaf that balances the malt flavour of beer with the sweetness of the wholegrain.

It is dense, as is any truly wholemeal loaf. For a lighter version, you can use a 50:50 white/wholemeal flour mix; or make a yeast bread, replacing the water with the beer.

The flavour of your bread will depend on your choice of beer. I have chosen Guinness –
firstly, because (no doubt, stimulated by my own Irish genes) I like the flavour and, secondly, because it rekindles happy memories of a few weeks spent in Ireland when I was introduced to Guinness and Murphy’s. And, after all, I am posting this recipe in anticipation of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Whichever beer you select, you need to activate its natural yeasts before baking. To do this, warm it slightly before mixing it with the flour.

Vary the flavours and texture of your loaf with the addition of cheese, herbs, sun-dried tomatoes or, as I have suggested here, walnuts.

Diets for which Beer Bread are suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Low Fat, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 15 mins | Cook: 40 mins | Serves: 15+ slices

2 tbsp (1 fl oz) vegetable oil
1 tbsp treacle
450 gm (1 lb) wholemeal flour*
25 gm (1 oz) rolled oats
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
100 gm (2/3 cup) walnuts, chopped (optional, not Nut Free)**
400 ml (13 fl oz) Guinness or other beer***


PREHEAT oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
GREASE a loaf tin (24 x 13 cm/ 9 1/2 x 5inch).
HEAT oil and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat.
COMBINE the wholemeal, oats, sugar, baking soda and (if using) chopped walnuts.
MIX these ingredients to ensure they are evenly distributed.
WARM the Guinness gently to activate the yeast.
ADD the Guinness to the oil and treacle and stir.
ADD the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well.
FILL the loaf tin with the bread mix.
BAKE for approximately 40. (The bread will rise, brown and come away slightly from the edge of the tin when cooked. It will give a hollow sound when the bottom of the loaf is tapped.)
COOL, wrapped in a tea towel.


– Delicious with soups, salads, etc.
– Try with soft cheese and Dukkah


* Use half white flour for a lighter loaf or use a grain flour for more texture.
** The addition of walnut or seeds is optional (pumpkin and sunflower seeds are suitable for Nut Free diets).
*** Vegan diet, check suitability of the beer, Guinness now Vegan.

Other Bread style recipes:

Bread – Spelt Flour
Banana Bread

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