Easy and crusty no-knead 5-ingredient beer bread recipe. Sweet, delicious, healthy and nutritious bread with a little prickliness.
OK, it’s time to reveal my little secret I have been keeping from you. I love beer! Not that I’m drinking too much of it, but I like to enjoy an occasional glass of good quality beer. Living in Germany, it makes it very easy. There is such a variety of beers, from dark wheat beers to Indian pale ales, with craft beer and micro-brewing becoming increasingly popular. My husband is very passionate about beer as well. Some years ago we brewed our own beer at home! It was not a big success, but it was still great experience.
My husband is a member of a brewing club, where he has access to all the necessary equipment and ingredient, to make any kind of beer possible. The best thing is testing, of course! Another good thing is that there are leftovers from the brewing process in the form of spent grain, or draff, which is the residue of husks left after the grain was fermented. There is nothing much you can do with it. I mean, you can feed it to livestock or make a compost out of it. Since we live in a flat, we use it for baking bread and it’s really the best thing you can do with it.
After one full brewing cycle (about 200 liters or 53 gallons), you are left with 50-60 kilograms of draff (110-130 pounds). To bake one loaf of bread, you need 250 grams of draff (1/2 pound). It’s not like you can use it up in your lifetime, even if you bake a loaf per day! What I do is, I freeze it in individual ziploc bags (as much as my freezer allows me to, usually up to 4 kilograms or 9 pounds) and it’s more than enough for me for quite a while.
You might wonder, what to do if you don’t have a husband who is a member of a brewing club? Where to get the draff if you don’t brew your own beer? The answer is simple: thanks to Amazon, you can buy any kind of malt for home brewing you want (for example, this honey malt), soak it over night, boil for about 40 minutes, and you end up with the same “processed” malt as the real draff, left after brewing. I encourage you to experiment with different kind of malt, such as caramel malt, Belgian aromatic malt, white wheat malt, red wheat malt, black malt, amber malt, chocolate malt, etc. You might even want to get yourself a home brewing starter kit, to try brewing fancy craft beer by yourself! For starters, pour yourself a glass of beer and keep reading to learn how to bake the easiest ever 5-ingredient beer bread at home!
How to Make Easy 5-ingredient No-Knead Beer Bread
This recipe is very simple and doesn’t require any prior skills neither in baking, nor in brewing. The first ingredient is obviously draff or spent grain. If you don’t have after-brewing draff, use the malt soaked over night and boiled in water for 40 minutes. Let it cool, drain it and it’s ready for use. Malt or draff will add an interesting prickly texture to your bread, as well as a nice sweetish flavor. It’s also partly responsible for a nice crusty surface of your beer bread loaf. The second ingredient is flour. You can usually substitute a half of the total flour with whole wheat flour and get good results, making your bread more nutritious and healthy. Next comes the main star of this recipe, BEER. Take your favorite beer or use the leftover stale beer. Obviously, the flavor will differ depending on the kind of beer you use, wheat, dark or normal just pilsner. The last two ingredients are dry yeast and salt, which I assume you already have at home.
To make the dough for the beer bread, mix all the ingredients except of salt in a bowl. Cover and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place. Add salt and let sit for 10 more minutes. Form a loaf or transfer the dough to a backing form and bake for around 1 hour. Insert a wooden toothpick in the middle of the loaf to check whether it’s done. If it comes out dry, your beer bread is ready! Let it cool a bit and enjoy. Here is the full recipe:
Easy Beer Bread
- 250 grams or 9 oz draff see notes above
- 500 grams or 4 cups flour I use 1/2 whole grain flour and 1/2 white flour
- 250 ml or 1 cup beer
- 1 7 grams package or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- PREPARE YOUR DRAFF: If you use the home brewing dry malt, soak it over night and boil in water for 40 minutes. Let it cool, drain it and it's ready for use.
- MAKE THE DOUGH: Mix all the ingredients except of salt in a bowl. Cover and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 210 °C or 410 °F. Add salt and form a loaf. Sprinkle it with a bit of flour and make 3-4 diagonal cuts. Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let sit for 10 more minutes.
- BAKE THE BREAD: Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour. Insert a wooden toothpick in the middle of the loaf to check whether it's done. If it comes out dry, your beer bread is ready! Let it cool a bit and enjoy.
What is your experience in baking bread? Or maybe you like beer? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 😉
P.S. Check a recipe for my whole grain spelt bread!