Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tips

beerbread2 Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tips

My latest gluten free bread recipe is made with an entire bottle of gluten free beer- Get it? Whole Beer Bread? If you have gluten free beer hanging out at your house make sure to set aside a bottle for this recipe! My husband and I don’t drink beer, so I always have to go to the store to make beer batters and beer bread.

The beer gives the bread an excellent flavor. I made this bread using certified gluten free oat flour and sorghum flour because they are familiar whole grain flours to me. I really like the taste of these flours. I also used molasses and brown sugar because these ingredients complement the beer flavor well and keep the bread moist.

I thought I would share a few baking tips with the recipe:

Gluten Free Bread Baking Tips

Bread can be a little challenging! With a little practice and experimentation, however, you will become a gluten free bread baking expert in no time at all.

1. Use familiar whole grain flours. After you go gluten-free, experiment with whole grain gluten free flours and figure out your top three favorites. Those are the flours you should highlight (or choose from) in your gluten free bread. Remember that you may not like a flour the first time you try it, so try a few recipes before vetoing one. Some of my favorite whole grain gluten free flours are oat flour, millet flour, and sorghum flour. I think whole grain flours turn out a better tasting loaf of bread.

2. Try baking gluten free bread ‘by hand’ first. It is much easier to control the variables in a recipe when you bake the bread by hand. I think bread machines are fantastic for the tried and true recipes, but when I am in experimentation mode, I want to bake bread by hand. Overall, I think I get better results with a KitchenAid mixer and the oven, but maybe that is just me! If you don’t bake a lot and don’t have a lot of counter space to spare, I would opt for this bread machine Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tipsbecause it is lighter and easier to store. I use my yellow KitchenAid Stand Mixer Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tipsat least 5 times a week, so I made room on my counter!

3. Preheat your oven. I make sure to turn my oven on at least 15 minutes before I start baking my bread. You want your oven to be nice and hot when the bread starts to bake.

4. Proof your yeast. I prep my yeast in tiny clear prep bowls with a teaspoon of sugar for 10-15 minutes, so that I know for sure that my yeast is doing its job. I invest too much money in gluten free flour to take my chances here!

5. Rise time is just a guideline. Depending on where you live and what season it is your rise time will vary. If your dough has doubled in size, your bread is ready to bake.

6. Make sure dough is “kneaded.” I know most gluten free bread recipes do not call for a long mixing time, but I think that gluten free flours actually absorb some liquid during this additional mix time. I mix the dough to get a better idea of how much liquid I really need. It also heats up the yeast, which is beneficial for rising. I know a lot of great gluten free bakers don’t mix their bread dough this long, so it isn’t necessary for a good loaf. Mixing just helps me get the liquid-dry ingredient ratio just right!

7. Don’t forget the salt. The bread will need the enhanced flavor. Don’t let the salt come in direct contact with the yeast because it will kill the yeast.

8. Use a thermometer before you add the liquids. My mother swears she can just tell the temperature that is right to bake bread. I think I can finally feel it, but I like to rely on a thermometer. Liquids should be warm but not too hot because it will kill the yeast. Try 105 degrees.

9. Use Flax seed meal. Flax seed meal contains omega-3 fatty acids and valuable dietary fiber. It may even fight cancer, so putting it in your sandwich bread may not be a bad idea.

10. Use the flat paddle attachment to your mixer. I know some of you use your KitchenAid dough hook, but I prefer to use the flat paddle attachment for mixing gluten free breads.

11. Different flour brands may require different liquid amounts. Sometimes a different brand of rice flour may require more or less liquid than another (Arrowhead Mills vs. Bob’s Red Mill).

12. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Don’t let cold eggs kill your yeast. Set your eggs aside when you are mixing the dry ingredients to give them a chance to warm up. If the eggs are still too cold, try holding them (in a measuring cup) over a pan of hot water.

13. Check the Ph of your water or use bottled water. You can call the local water department or be lazy and just use bottled water. Most city water is more alkaline, so you would want to add a little vinegar to the dough.

14. Smooth the top of your bread. Oil a Silicone Spatula Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tipsand carefully smooth the top of the dough before putting the loaf in the oven. This will make your loaf more attractive.

15. Use a high-quality pan. Your loaf pan doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be heavy duty. I use this 5-by-10-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Large Loaf Pan Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tipsor these 4-1/2-by-8-1/2-Inch Loaf Pansfor my gluten free bread recipes.

16. Double-check the ingredient list. I check off the dry ingredients as I go which prevents me from leaving something out. I am a mom and frequently interrupted!

17. Mix the dry ingredients (minus the yeast) for next time. You may have gotten in the habit already of making your own mixes for muffins, etc. When I find a recipe I like, I will measure out the dry ingredients into a ziplock bag for next time while I am making today’s loaf of bread. This makes it much easier the next time around.

18. Add some flavor with your liquid choice. I used gluten free beer in this recipe and it added lots of good flavor to my loaf. You can also try coffee, which complements molasses and brown sugar well too. Don’t feel limited to milk or water. Just keep ph in mind.

19. Learn to eyeball the right dough consistency. Gluten free bread dough will be shiny. It will hold the twirls of the mixer. It will look like stiff cake batter and will not be as thick as cookie dough. You will learn exactly what this looks like. When you get it wrong by a couple tablespoons the bread may fail, but don’t give up- you will get it! I always give liquid measurements in my recipes because I think it helps you learn how much liquid to put in a recipe, but a recipe’s liquid needs (based on humidity, season, flour brands, substitutions made) may vary and it is up to you to recognize what the dough is supposed to look like!

20. Use a Digital Thermometer Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tipsto check if the bread is done. Tap the bread and see if it sounds hollow. Check the internal temperature of the bread- I like mine to reach about 208 degrees. This may be higher than normal bread, but for some reason gluten free bread has a tendency to have raw spots, so I wait a few more degrees.

21. Add some flavor with an “add-in”. Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked has an excellent recipe for sundried tomato bread. The sundried tomatoes add both flavor and extra moistness.

22. Adjust baking time. Don’t assume the recipe is the problem right away. If your bread seems dry or the crust is too hard, cut back on the baking time (again, this is where the thermometer comes in handy). If you are a newbie, I suggest erring on the side of more time in the oven rather than less (totally the opposite from other gluten free baked goods) but dry gluten free bread can be used for breadcrumbs, etc. and underbaked bread is much worse in my opinion. I would go with the thermometer and tap approach if you are unsure!

23. Store your bread carefully. Don’t put homemade gluten free bread in the refrigerator. It will make the texture gummy. I store bread in a ziplock bag that has had the air squished out.

24. Remove your bread from the loaf pan to cool. I leave my bread to cool in the loaf pan for no more than 5 minutes before I invert the loaf onto a rack. The texture of the crust is much better this way.

25. Relax and take your time. Turn on some music and enjoy making gluten free bread. It is just as enjoyable (maybe more so!) than making regular bread; it just takes a little readjustment.

beerbread Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tips


1/2 cup certified gluten free oat flour (substitution: quinoa flour)

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup arrowroot (substitution: cornstarch)

1 cup white rice flour (substitution: superfine brown rice flour)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (optional)

3 teaspoons xanthan gum

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons of molasses

1 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites

5 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (cooled slightly)

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 bottle of warm gluten free beer, more or less (I used the entire beer) 12 oz.

2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water


1. Get all your ingredients out of the refrigerator so they can come to room temperature.

2. Separate the eggs in a measuring cup or small bowl so they can warm up.

3. Melt the butter in a small bowl and let it cool down just a little.

4. Pour the beer into a measuring cup (you don’t want the foam on top). Make sure the beer is warm.

5. Sift together all the dry ingredients minus the yeast in your stand mixer.

6. Proof your yeast in a small prep bowl- mix the yeast, one teaspoon of sugar, and 1/4 cup of warm water (105 degrees) for roughly 10-15 minutes.

7. Mix the molasses, vinegar, eggs, and butter together in a med. bowl.

8. Pour this molasses mixture into your dry ingredients. Turn your mixer onto med. speed and mix for a minute or two.

9. Pour the yeast mixture in after it has proofed.

10. Slowly add the warm beer. Let it beat for a few minutes between additions. Let the bread dough beat on high for about 10-13 minutes. This is optional but it helps me get the right amount of liquid in the dough and warms up the yeast.

11. Check the consistency of the dough. It should look like shiny stiff cake batter and hold the twirls of the mixer.

12. Spoon into a greased 10 x 5 pan or 2 8.5 x4.5 pans.

13. Smooth the top of the loaf with a greased scraper/spatula.

14. Cover pan(s) with greased plastic wrap and let rise. It took my loaf about 1 hr. and 15 minutes to rise. The loaf should double in size before baking.

15. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

16. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread is approx. 208 degrees. Check the temperature at the 40 minute mark.

17. Allow bread to cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool.

18. Store in a ziplock bag (unsliced) or slice and freeze.

Makes one large loaf or two medium loaves

Note: It is fine to mix the wet ingredients (minus the beer) in your stand mixer and then add the dry ingredients. It is much easier for me to do it the way the recipe is written since it is the liquid measurement that changes in gluten free bread recipes.

Check out my other gluten free bread recipe, Millet Oatmeal Bread.

Do you have a gluten free bread baking tip? Please leave baking tips in the comments!

beerbreadsandwich Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tips

The beer bread goes GREAT with mustard and salami! We devour this bread! My husband (who is only mostly gluten-free) always claims this bread for his sandwich. We love it.

This bread stays fresh until about the third day with no toasting required.

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