No Yeast? No Problem: Bake Some Beer Bread

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Photo: Mark Bonica (Flickr)

So you’re desperate to bake some bread, but yeast is sold out and your flour stash is running low, which means making a sourdough starter isn’t in the cards since sourdough starter requires, in the words of one of my accomplished baker friends, “a fuck ton of flour.” But I have a solution! The solution is beer bread.

Beer bread! Beer bread is DUMB EASY and is very, very good, and it will provide with you that whole “Look! I baked a loaf of bread” moment you’re so desperately looking for. I’ve published variations on this recipe on two now-defunct websites, but given the current yeast and flour shortages, as well as the OH MY GOD I MUST MAKE BREAD thing that’s happening to so many people, I figured it was worth re-upping it.

A mixing bowl and spoon


Measuring cups and spoons


A loaf pan

Optional: A pastry brush


2 ½ cups flour — white, wheat, or a mix of flours (rye flour?!?) if you feel like getting wild

1 tablespoon sugar (honey or agave or etc are also fine sweeteners to use)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 12-ounce bottle of beer

  1. In a bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to mix.
  2. Open two bottles of beer and sowly pour one bottle of beer into the dry mix and stir well to combine. Drink the other bottle.
  3. If necessary, i.e. if your batter looks like a big ole sloppy wet mess, add flour in ¼ cup increments until it better resembles dough —  it should be neither super-sticky nor super-dry.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375° for 45 minutes, checking for doneness after 30 minutes.
  • If you want a crustier loaf, put a roasting pan of ice and water in the bottom of the oven.
  • If you want a shiny loaf, brush the top of the dough with an egg wash — 1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water — using a pastry brush.
  • Add-ins! You can make a flavored beer bread, oh sure. Some ideas: Stir a tablespoon of a spice blend (Italian seasoning? Old Bay?? Lawry’s Seasoned Salt??? If using a blend that contains salt, either reduce or omit the teaspoon of salt) into the dry mix, mix in ½ cup of shredded or grated cheese, stir in a ½ cup of raisins and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon for something sweeter.

Okay so! Go forth and bake and then come back here and share a photo of your loaf so that we may admire your homesteading moment.