Do you like the smell of beer? Historically, beer is something that I don’t like to drink, but I like to smell. When my husband drinks one of his home brews. I’m constantly sticking my nose in it, “Can I smell it? I want to smell it!”
Smells make me think of times or particular events in life. My “beer smell” memories aren’t from drinking beer, actually. One memory takes me back to smelling that “cheap beer” stench in Boston bars that also smell like wet mop, usually near Fenway Park. I’d walk in with some friends and we’d say, “This place smells like cheap beer and wet mop. Ummmm, we’ll pass.
In contrast, my other beer smell memory is a pleasant one, and does not include the cheap beer or wet mop smell! Mom used to make beer bread for us as kids, which was usually accompanied something hearty and warm, like homemade soup. These days, I eat bread pretty infrequently. Since I have a gluten allergy, the only bread I eat is what I bake from scratch. If I’m going to make it and eat it, I want it to so good that it’s something I want to make over and over again. Otherwise, I don’t want to waste my time or my calories.
I revised my Mom’s beer bread recipe so that it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and corn-free. Her recipes have all kinds of notes on them, which are almost impossible to read. But she can decipher her notes for me.
For this recipe, you can use a gluten-free beer that you like. I’ve used some gluten-free beers that I was able to find here in Denmark and those worked well. However, this batch was different. My husband makes beer and brewed a gluten free beer for me over the past couple of months, using millet grains and buckwheat grains! If you read my previous post (which was a guest post by my husband), then you already know this. He just tapped it last week and now I’m making bread with it. I even drank some of it, and it was mighty fine. That’s saying a lot from a person who doesn’t drink beer. I like pulling the little handle on the tap, too. I wish we had a tap that poured out hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.
Since my beer bread is gluten-free and there’s no wheat flour, I had to think about how to add more flavor. I played around with the different flours and found a great combination that gives the bread really nice flavor. One of the flours I used is millet flour—and that’s nice since the beer is made with millet as well. I replaced some of the white sugar with brown sugar for a little more flavor. Mom uses 8 tablespoons of butter. I reduced the fat in my recipe to only 2 tablespoons (using palm shortening and a light olive oil). I found that it didn’t need that much fat in it. I used “special baking soda” that does not contain corn starch. Lastly, I added xanthum gum because the bread will crumble without it. I tried using less xanthum gum and it crumbled. So definitely use the amount in my recipe. No more and no less.
I can’t stress to you how easy this bread is to make. Everything goes in one bowl. And it only takes about 30 minutes to bake.
We like to eat it with soup roasted carrot ginger soup or split pea soup. You can even see the beer bread making a guest appearance in my split pea soup post from a few months ago.
This beer bread freezes really well and travels well. We keep a few frozen slices in our tiny freezer. It’s a nice accompaniment to dinner, lunch, and even can be served as something to nibble on with some wine or beer. For more formal occasions, I make it in a round pan and serve it in slices.
You can also bake this in a square pan, and can serve it in squares like we did this weekend when we hosted some guests who tasted my husband’s new beers. Pick your own shape. If you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, beer bread might be appropriate!
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9” round baking dish or a square baking dish (8”x8”) with a little palm shortening.
Combine all flours, special baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift them twice and add the sugar to the mixture. The picture on the left is after the first sifting. The picture on the right is after the second sifting. All of the clumps are gone.
Melt the 1 tablespoon of shortening and let it cool. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the room temperature shortening. Now you have all of your ingredients ready to go.
Add the shortening/oil mixture to dry ingredients along with the beer. Mix for a minute on medium speed until combined.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until there is a crust on top. Then lightly tent the bread with tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°-200°
For the record, my skat likes my gluten-free version of this beer bread even better than the one with wheat flour and butter. Wow! That’s a good review. I’m so happy with this recipe and hope you’ll try it out at home!
Yield: 10 slices (if using a 9” round pan)
1 tablespoon olive oil (14g)
1 tablespoon palm shortening (12g)
2.43 cups (360g) total flour
1 cup (160g) white rice flour
½ cup (80g) brown rice flour
½ cup (60g) tapioca flour
⅓ cup (40g) millet flour
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons (20g) potato starch
1 tablespoon, plus 1½ teaspoons special baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons xanthum gum
1¼ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
12 oz. gluten free beer
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9” round glass baking dish or a square baking dish (8”x8”) with a little palm shortening.
- Combine all flours, special baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift them twice and add the sugar to the mixture.
- Melt the 1 tablespoon of shortening and let it cool. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the room temperature shortening.
- Add the shortening/oil mixture to dry ingredients along with the beer. Mix for a minute on medium speed until combined.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until there is a crust on top. Then lightly tent the bread with tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°-200°
- A 9” round glass baking dish or a square baking dish (8”x8”) work well. If your pans are glass, you may need to cook the bread for a bit longer. Just check on it as it’s baking.
- Bread is best if eaten within 3 days. Otherwise, you can freeze individual slices. This bread freezes very well.