Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (2024)

50 minutes

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4.94 from 63 votes

by Lisa Longley


posted: 05/16/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

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by Lisa Longley


posted: 05/16/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Jump to Recipe

This Beer Bread recipe could not be more simple to make or delicious! Made with only three ingredients, it is the easiest way to make homemade bread.

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (2)

Three Ingredient Beer Bread is so much better than what you get using a mix, and it is just as easy to make! It doesn’t require you to proof yeast and it’s only three ingredients. Plus it’s so easy to add in other mix-ins, like honey or cheese! As an added bonus, you don’t even need a bread machine.


Was looking for a simple bread recipe, and it cant be any simpler. Love it, love it, love it.

Why this Beer Bread Recipe Works

This homemade beer bread recipe starts with self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is a combination of flour, baking powder, and salt. The combination of the baking powder and the salt work together to act as a leavening agent.

In my Pizza Dough recipe, you can see how we add yeast (the leavening agent) to warm water and wait for it to proof before adding it to the flour mixture and letting that dough rise. By using self rising flour, we skip that step in this recipe.

How to Make Beer Bread

This is just a brief overview of this delicious and easy bread recipe. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Prepare the bread pan. Spray a 9 by 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray. Be sure to see my bread pan recommendation below, as pans can make a huge difference.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the self rising flour and the sugar.
  3. Stir in the beer. Read below for my recommendations on beer and alternatives.
  4. Bake the bread. After adding the dough to the prepared bread pan bake the bread. In the last three minutes of baking, add melted butter if desired.
Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (3)

How to Make Self Rising Flour

There are a few differences when it comes to all-purpose flour and self-rising flour. Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt, all-purpose flour does not. Additionally, self-rising flour is made with wheat and is lower in protein than all-purpose flour.

It is possible to make a substitute for self-rising flour with all-purpose flour, but keep in mind it won’t be exactly the same because you are changing the protein level.

For every one cup of flour you use, you need one teaspoon fresh baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon table salt. So for this recipe, you can replace the self-rising flour with:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (4)

Best Bread Pan

The first question I ask people when they tell me a bread recipe didn’t work was what kind of loaf pan they used. Metal, ceramic, and glass all conduct heat differently and will have a different impact on your baking recipe. I opt for metal for all my baked goods because it conducts heat the best.

The bread pan you see here is this one from USA Pans. It is my favorite and cooks bread perfectly every single time.


Best Bread Pan

This pan is such a favorite that I own two of them so I can double my bread recipes!

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (5)

Best Beer for Beer Bread

I get that question a lot with this recipe. The answer is: Whatever type of beer you like. It is important to use a beer that you would drink on it’s own because it can be a strong flavor in this bread.

I use a pilsner because it is light and doesn’t have an intense flavor. Though I have only made this recipe with pilsner beers, this bread will work with any type of beer. It also works with soda (read more on that below). This is a great recipe to play around with and figure out what you like.

Making Beer Bread with Soda

If you have someone in your life who is sober, you can still make this great bread! This recipe works great with soda. I make it with lemon-lime soda (like Sprite or 7-Up). It has just a slightly smaller rise that is barely noticeable. Because of the additional sugar content, it browns just slightly more.

Overall, soda is a great substitute for beer in this recipe. I think that a lemon lime soda is the best choice because it has the mildest taste of sodas.

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (6)

Making Beer Bread Gluten Free

This recipe can be made gluten-free if you make your own self-rising flour with gluten-free flour. As you can see, it doesn’t have quite the same rise as when you use flour with gluten, but it absolutely does work.

I suggest using a gluten-free flour that is meant to replace all-purpose flour one-for-one. I used King Arthur’s brand in this test. You will want to use:

  • 3 cups gluten-free one-for-one flour substitute
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt

Butter on Top

A lot of recipes call for a few tablespoons of melted butter on top of the bread. I call this a three ingredient beer bread because my family loves this recipe without the butter on top. If you want the butter, have at it. I recommend using three tablespoons of melted butter and pouring it over the bread in the last three to five minutes of baking to prevent it from browning or burning.

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (7)

Tips and Tricks

  • Use fresh self-rising flour. Self-rising flour, because of the baking powder, only has about a six month shelf life. The further you get out from that six month mark, the less of a rise you are going to get in your bread.
  • Use a great bread pan. See my recommendation above.
  • Avoid overmeasuring your flour. This will lead to dried out bread. Make sure you whisk the flour in the container you are storing it in, and then use a spoon to fill your dry measuring cups before leveling it off.
  • Resist the urge to slice into it right away. Bread really does need to cool before you can slice into it. It needs almost a full hour to get nice solid slices.

Storing and Freezing

Store this bread in an airtight container, once it has fully cooled, for up to a week. It can be stored at room temperature. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

This bread freezes great. Store in an airtight container (a gallon ziplock bag works great), and keep in the freezer for up to three months. It will also work great to cut it into slices, freeze them in a single layer for a few hours, and then transfer them to an airtight container.

Beer Bread Mix as a Gift

This would be a fantastic gift for a new neighbor or around the holidays.

  • Combine the flour and sugar together in a mason jar.
  • Add the mason jar, a bottle of beer, and a bread pan to a basket.

Beer Bread Recipes

Because this recipe is so simple, there are a lot of variations that can be done. Really the sky is the limit when it comes to mix-ins.

  • My Bacon Cheese Beer Bread is the simplest of all the variations, but so delicious.
  • This Jalapeño Popper Beer Bread is probably my favorite. It really does taste like a Jalapeño Popper as beer bread.
  • If you want to try something really different and delicious, then this Buffalo Beer Bread is for you.
  • Finally, this Beer Bread Bowl is so fun. Use it as a bowl for my Spinach Dip, and then use the inside of the bowl cut up for dipping.


What type of beer is best for beer bread?

I love making this with a light beer like a pilsner because it has such a mild flavor. That being said, this recipe will work with any beer.

Can I use soda to make beer bread?

Yes! A can of soda will make a perfect substitute for beer in this recipe.

How do I make gluten-free beer bread?

This recipe can be made gluten-free by replacing the self-rising flour with a one-for-one gluten flour replacement and adding in baking powder and salt. You can see the exact instructions above.

Does the alcohol cook out of beer bread?

Simply put, no. It takes three hours to completely cook alcohol out of food. That being said, this bread bakes for a little under an hour, so it will bake off about 75% of the alcohol. So you have 1/4 of a low-alcohol content beer over 10 slices of bread.

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (8)

What to Serve with Beer Bread

Honestly, I want to answer this question with nothing. Just eat it, it’s so good. But! I really do love it as a simple bread to make with my soup recipes. Here are a few of my favorites to serve it with:

  • Crockpot Chili
  • Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Corn Chowder

If you make my easy beer bread recipe or any of these recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you!

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (9)

4.94 from 63 votes

Three Ingredient Beer Bread

Serves: 10 slices

(tap # to scale)

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Cook: 40 minutes minutes

Total: 50 minutes minutes

This Three Ingredient Beer Bread could not be more simple to make or delicious! This beer bread recipe is the easiest way to make homemade bread.

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  • 3 cups self-rising flour (339 grams) read here for how to make self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (99 grams)
  • 12 ounces beer (354.88 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Spray a 9 by 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray.

  • Whisk together the flour and sugar. Mix in the beer until it is thoroughly combined. The batter may be thick.

  • Pour the batter into the bread pan and bake for 40 minutes. If you want to use butter, pour it over the batter in the last 3 to 5 minutes of baking.

  • Take out of the oven and let sit for five minutes in the pan, remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Please note that the nutritional information includes using butter. Without the butter it has 189 calories per slice and 1 gram of fat.

Serving: 1slice Calories: 219kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 9mg (3%) Sodium: 3mg Potassium: 48mg (1%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 10g (11%) Vitamin A: 106IU (2%) Calcium: 8mg (1%) Iron: 0.4mg (2%)

Author: Lisa Longley

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: American

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (10)

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Three Ingredient Beer Bread

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

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Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (15)

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (16)


MEAL PLAN LIKE A BOSSdownload my free top 10 easy dinner ebook!

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (17)

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Pat Foster says

    Great recipe, thank you.
    Instead of beer, a delicious alternative is Trader Joe’s Sparkling Honey Crisp Apple Juice Beverage which is sold in individual 12 oz cans.


    • Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (18)Lisa Longley says

      Great suggestion!


  2. Marci says

    Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (19)
    This recipe is very good and so easy! I rubbed it with a little butter and sprinkled on some white cheddar seasoning. It will be a party pleaser and great with soups, too.

    Thanks so much for posting!


    • Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (20)Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked it, Marci!


older comments

Three Ingredient Beer Bread Recipe - Simple Joy (2024)


What is the best beer to use for beer bread? ›

Lighter beers, such as lagers, ales and pilsners, will give your bread a lighter color, and mild taste that just about everyone loves. Darker beers like stouts and porters make a darker-colored loaf and have a stronger beer flavor. Hoppy beers like IPAs will give your bread a more bitter taste.

What can you substitute for beer in beer bread? ›

Can You Use Something Other Than Beer in Beer Bread? Absolutely! Almost any carbonated or noncarbonated beverage can be used, including water, soda pop, milk or buttermilk, fruit juice and even creamed corn! In general substitute 12 fluid ounces of whatever liquid you choose in place of beer.

Should beer be cold for beer bread? ›

Use room temperature beer: This helps the bread rise and creates a better texture than cold beer. Don't over-mix: After adding the beer to the dry ingredients, mix enough until just incorporated and nothing more. Overworking the dough will create a very dense loaf.

Can you make bread with beer instead of water? ›

Beer is grain, yeast and water—it's liquid bread! —so it really compliments a loaf, and as a replacement for water, it adds something special to the most humble bake. It couldn't be simpler to try this out: just get your normal loaf recipe and change out beer for water, 1:1.

Why is my beer bread tough? ›

If you bake an overworked dough, it will come out hard. Even though you aren't kneading beer bread, the same principle applies. It can be harder to tell when the dough is overworked, though, since you won't feel it in your hands and the mixture isn't supposed to be smooth. Instead, rely on your eyes.

Why is my beer bread so dense? ›

Without sufficient leavening from the beer, a loaf of beer bread will be fairly dense and heavy unless an additional leavening agent (e.g., baking soda, baking powder, baker's yeast and sugar, sourdough starter, or wild yeast cultured from the environment) is added.

What is the common ingredient in beer and bread? ›

Yeast – Yeast, oh magical yeast. Both beer and bread share a primary yeasting agent: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yes, there are other yeasts that will, and do, ferment bread and beer, but S. cerevisiae is the king.

Why does my homemade bread taste like beer? ›

If your bread has a sour, yeasty flavour and smells of alcohol then you have either used too much yeast.or you may have use stale yeast or creamed fresh yeast with sugar.

What type of yeast is used in beer and bread? ›

The majority of beers use a yeast strain called Saccharomyces. This translates from Latin to “sugar fungus.” It's apt, given that the yeast that goes into beer looooooves sugar. Within that genera, there are two specific species of Saccharomyces yeast that get the most use: lager yeast and ale yeast.

How do you know when beer bread is done? ›

Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 1/2" into the top of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Is Miller High Life good for beer bread? ›

I've made beer bread with everything from craft beers (Allagash White, Moosehead, etc.), to commercial beers like Heineken, Miller Highlife, and Samuel Adams Boston Lager (which we found lends more of a pronounced aroma than others on the list, and didn't make our favorite loaf).

Does the alcohol burn off in beer bread? ›

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), baked or simmered dishes that contain alcohol will retain 40% of the original amount after 15 minutes of cooking, 35% after 30 minutes and 25% after an hour. But there's no point at which all of the alcohol disappears.

What does adding milk instead of water do bread? ›

It adds nutritional value to baked goods. Mainly protein, calcium, and vitamin B12 which are all necessary for a heathy diet. But we don't only look for the nutritional benefits when using milk in our bread dough. The fat and lactose in milk help with tenderizing the crumb of the bread making it softer and sweeter.

Can children have beer bread? ›

Keep in mind, the alcohol evaporates in the baking process, so it is safe for the kids to enjoy as well. Add in cheese if you like, it's not necessary, but it is delicious. Drizzling butter on top helps it have a nice crust. This beer bread comes together in less than 5 minutes and bakes in less than an hour!

What happens if you use milk instead of water to make bread? ›

You would enrich the dough with milk proteins and fat. You will need a bit more milk than the amount of water required (because of the milk solids). The dough will be softer, the crumb less open. You will have to bake it at lower temperatures than a lean bread.

What is the best beer to bake with? ›

If you're new to baking with beer, porters and stouts are the best place to begin.

What kind of beer is used in Trader Joe's beer bread? ›

It's also the phrase you'll find gracing each box of Trader Joe's Beer Bread Mix. The flavor of the finished loaf really depends on what kind of beer you use: Go with a lager for a lighter profile, an IPA for a hearty, hoppy taste, or a stout for a rich result with a slightly darker finished product.

Can you use flavored beer for beer bread? ›

Go Seasonal. Try making beer bread with pumpkin ale, a nutty brown winter ale, or even a hard cider. Beer Lover's Choice. Use a fully flavored beer.

What type of beer has the most yeast? ›

Hefeweizen is a classic example of beer that is not especially high in alcohol, typically coming in between 4% and 6%, but it has perhaps the highest levels of yeast suspended in the beer. Hefes are known for their cloudy, hazy appearance and their nice thick head.

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