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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40 Responses to “Whole Beer Bread & Baking Tips”

  1. [...] Check out my other gluten free bread recipe with 25 bread baking tips! [...]

  2. This looks very good!
    Please bring me a loaf next time you come over.

    …too demanding?

    Bread is definitely the thing I have not yet managed to replace on my gluten free diet. I miss the whole grain, seed covered, thick breads. Every brand-named GF bread I have bought so far has been BLAH.
    I REALLY liked your millet bread you shared with me, so I am excited to try this one!

  3. Ooh, lots of great tips! I’ll have to try doing this without eggs and see what happens. . . . More yeast might work that out okay?

  4. Wow, that’s a lot of tips! I really enjoyed reading them, and was impressed with how detailed they are. And that bread does look amazing. I think I have everything to make it if I sub the quinoa flour!

  5. Well, I drink my beer, but I will save some for this! Your bread recipes are always so good. They are my stand by recipes! Many good tips too. I’ll have to try this one this week.

  6. This sounds really interesting. I have never had a beer bread before. Does it taste at all like beer?

  7. Sally, maybe add a little more fat somehow too? hmmm… Good luck!

    MF- Thanks!

    Melanie- Gee thanks! I am glad you enjoy gluten free beer. I am in the baby phase right now so you know how that is!

    Kimberly- It adds a good flavor, but I wouldn’t say it tastes like beer. Basically, if you didn’t know beer was in it, you wouldn’t be able to place the flavor. Once you knew, you would be able to taste it… Got me? ;)

  8. Hi, I can’t wait to try this bread recipe, I’ve only made a couple GF breads and none impressed me much (starchy and crumbly and flavorless).

    I live in Europe so I don’t know if our bottles of GF beer are the same size as the U.S.. How many liquid ounces are in the bottle of beer you used?

    Thanks for your help and wonderful website!

  9. Monica- Good point! 12 oz!

  10. FANTASTIC bread!!! Made it today with Ener-G egg replacer & sour cream (which I’ve discovered lends a nice, “eggy” character to my eggless baked goods), and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!! Super-easy, too!

    I also live in Europe, but rather than worry about the *correct* amount of beer (especially since subbing the eggs changes liquid make-up), I just mixed & poured until it looked/felt about right, which was just over half the 0.5L bottle I used, about 300mL, maybe? Yeah, 10-12 oz. sounds about right. :-D

    I made 2 small loaves & have already sliced & frozen one for later. I like this one so much, I may make up another batch of the dry ingredients tonight to use for my next batch! :-) Thanks heaps!!!

  11. Chipmunk- I am so glad! We LOVED the bread too. I am so glad you were able to make it egg-less! You are so sweet to post about your experience! Thanks!

  12. Yum, this looks great, Natalie! I showed this post to my fiancé, who is the resident “breadmaster” since he’s the engineer. He made me a loaf of Pamela’s bread this week for roast beef, spinach, and mayo sandwiches and fontina and red pepper paninis (yumm!).

    We think we’ll try your recipe in a few weeks in our Breadman bread machine so if you have any tips for adapting this recipe for the Breadman, we’d love to hear them (sadly, we don’t yet own a Kitchenaid). Also, how do you warm the beer – or do you just mean to bring it to room temperature?

    My fiancé also adds (jokingly!), that this recipe seems to require two bottles of beer – one for him to drink, and one for me to use while assembling this loaf of bread. :P

  13. M-

    That sandwich sounds great! I will see if I can test it in the Breadman soon. I am teaching my sis how to make gluten free bread in the KitchenAid this weekend so it might be a week or two. I am hoping that Melanie of the Gluti Girls will graciously agree to test it again, but maybe I am pushing my luck! And make sure you get that Kitchenaid on your registry! I told everyone I wasn’t walking down the aisle until I got one- I got three!!! Anyway, I bought the beer warm and heated it in the microwave for 10 sec. Just make sure it isn’t too hot. You will definitely need to warm the beer if it has been in the fridge! Room temp should be absolutely fine-esp. in the summer.

  14. Oh, that bread looks wonderful! And your tips are great–I recently baked a non-GF Beer Bread and many of your tips apply there as well. But I’ve been moving more and more toward gluten-free recipes and would love to start baking GF goodies. So many wonderful recipes to try here on your blog!

  15. Natalie,

    What brand of Oat Flour do you use? I can’t seem to find any where I live, so I want to order online!


  16. Hi Natalie,
    Thanks so much for the post. I made the bread this weekend and it turned out great. After it came out of the oven I let it cool a bit and then I at two big slices with butter. I was in heaven and I think my little baby in my tummy loved it also! I cannot believe how moist it is… the store bought stuff is like cardboard in comparison. I appreciate your website and all your recipes. They are a huge source of encouragement for me:) I am going to try and make it in the bread maker next because my mother-in-law said she has on I can use. I hope it turns out just as good. I have never used a bread maker so we will see.

  17. [...] lunches, I will be making the gluten free beer bread recipe, which I posted last week. I taught my sister how to make my beer bread this weekend and she was [...]

  18. Natalie, I made this recipe today and it was soooooo good. I think maybe even better than your millet bread? Gosh it’s a toss up. The flavor and texture is wonderful. I can’t wait to try a sandwich with it. I made it just before dinner in my Zo. I used the wheat setting with a time of 2:08. It came out perfect just as we finished dinner. I could not wait, but cut into it instantly and started munching! Thank you for another great recipe!

  19. Melanie,

    I am so glad you liked it! Thanks so much for the bread machine info too. You are the best! xoxo

  20. Finally getting to try making this this weekend!

  21. Your wonderful recipes have renewed my faith in gluten-free baking. Your blueberry cake was recipe that saved me from abandoning baked goods altogether! I would really like to try this recipe, but have been unable to find either the oat flour or quinoa flour in my area. Any suggestions for substitutions? If it is a must-have then I will order supplies on line!

  22. Barbara- I am not sure what a good substitution would be. Can you find gluten free oats or quinoa flakes? You could make your own flour by grinding the oats or quinoa flakes. Hopefully, gluten free items will keep getting easier to find locally.

  23. Hi, great recipe and post!!!

    What kind of beer did you use? We really only have one option for gf-beer where i’m from, but am curious what sort of choice you folks have.

  24. Bob- I used Redbridge!

  25. What is sweet rice and what can I substitue for it?

  26. I went to several liquor stores and grocery stores and couldnt find gluten free beer. can u help with beer manufacture that i can call for location of nearest store i can buy in new jersey. thank u.

  27. [...] I am excited to host the menu swap this week.  I am hoping to get some inspiration to cook again.  The pregnancy has kept me out of the kitchen for the most part.  Since I won’t be experiencing relief from morning sickness anytime soon (22 weeks in my other two), I am making tons of lists to get the things I want to get done.  So when I feel good, I can go straight to my list and check something off!  My menu is going right behind that list.  Staying organized will make me feel better.  Blogging has been pushed to the back burner lately, but hopefully that will change.  Right now I am going to sleep with my babies, which does not allow for a lot of late night blogging.  I have a few recipes in mind for the blog, so hopefully they will get posted in the next couple weeks.  In the meantime, check out everyone’s menu of the week! The ingredient of the week is tomatoes.  I will be making tons of tomato sandwiches (weird craving?) this week- check out this recipe for gluten free bread. [...]

  28. Hi, I live in Malaysia and its next to impossible to obtain Xanthan Gum. IS this an absolutely critical ingredient for Gluten free bread or can it be subsituted with something else? My daughter is allergic to wheat and cow’s milk and its really a struggle to prepare her delicious meals.. the poor gal has never tasted Mc D’s or ice cream, chocolate etc.. and of course bread.. which she really longs to have (nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread…right)… Anyway, I hv tried some gluten free bread recipes (minus the xanthum gum).. the texture seems OK but it has a weird after taste … kinda flat… also the bottom burns (esp when i try to make muffins out of the batter)… so they can’t come our clean of the paper cups….Please advise… thks

  29. What is the function of xanthan gum and what can it be substituted with?

  30. I baked this bread last week. I found 8.5 x 4.5″ pans at bed bath and beyond (and of course, I used 20% off coupons). I used quinoa flour (expensive) instead of oat flour because I coulnd’t find any. I used cornstarch, I used Earth Balance Original (GFCF and salted), I used a little less salt, and I didn’t use gelatin. I baked it in my black and decker convection toaster oven: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=14846956
    The directions said to bake it 25 degrees lower than the recipe says when using convection, so I baked it at 325 with convection. After the specified amount of time they were ready and at 206 and 207 degrees. It looked like it would get too done on the top if i left it in any longer.

    I don’t have a stand mixer so I used my hand. My bare right hand. The spatula I was using to mix it wasn’t working (and broke, but it was already messed up). I made sure I mixed it a lot.

    I proofed the yeast (water temp 105). It was active. The dough rose to the top of the pans, which took about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half, but when the bread was ready, it was only about half as high that I think it should have been. It about was twice as wide as tall. About 2 to 2.5 inches tall. It came right out of the pan after it cooled for about 5 minutes — didn’t stick at all.

    So, my concern is. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, or the bread is supposed to be like this. It was also very dense. The texture of it looks like the bread in your picture.

    Now, the review of the bread. The taste and texture was very good. I haven’t tried many GF breads, but this blows other GF breads away, although it is different from wheat bread. My adviser (I am a dietetics major) is in charge of accommodating the special needs of students with allergies, especially celiacs. She has tried a lot of gluten free breads. I brought her some of this bread and she said that it was the best GF bread she has ever tasted, and that was three days after I baked it. I would like a bread is lighter and fluffier, but I don’t want to waste expensive flours on something coming out bad. I baked this one because of the reviews, but its hard to find one with good reviews. I want to try your other bread recipe, but I can’t find millet or sweet rice flour anywhere here, and it still uses the expensive quinoa flour (it was $9.29 for an 18 ounce box).

    I sliced and froze one loaf after the third day, and I ate the other loaf over the course of one week. I toasted it toward the end of the week.

  31. [...] loved to have Marcelaís, from Pip In the City, Chipas, a Paraguyan specialty or Gluten Free Mommy Whole Beer Bread to go with my motherís cheese fondue. I was very impressed the first time I tried Multigrain [...]

  32. This bread looks and sounds delicious! Could I substitute some sort of soda for the beer? I don’t drink or cook with alcohol.

  33. My 6 yo son has recently been diagnosed with Celiac; I’ve been experimenting with bread recipes trying to find the right one for his taste buds. I’ve found it in this recipe! I did make a few modifications to make it “fit” his young palate. First, I increased the amount of brown sugar to 4 Tab and omitted the molasses. The molasses made the bread too “dark” in flavor for him. Secondly, while not a modification to the recipe, but more of a note, I used Red Bridge gluten free beer because it is the least “strongest” I that could find. The beer really makes a difference in terms of flavor; it really tastes like wheat bread. Brilliant idea! Also, I added 2 tea of bread enhancer; I’ve learned to add that to any gluten free bread recipe. Another tip: Combine all the wet ingredients (I bring the beer and eggs to room temperature before I combine them) and let it sit while combining the dry ingredients. This gives the beer a chance to “settle and breath” before putting it into the bread machine. Use a blender to combine all the dry ingredients starting with the oats; by the time you’ve added all the flours together the oats have turned into oat flour. Since I use a bread machine, I don’t proof the yeast; therefore, I omit the water and sugar.

  34. [...] mentioned, but I can’t resist.  Yesterday I woke up tired from staying up late making GF Mommy’s Whole Beer Bread and getting things together to make cabbage rolls for this upcoming weeks’ lunches.  My [...]

  35. I’ve just tried the almond bread and the millet-oatmeal bread recipes…first time ever making gluten free bread. I hope this is the correct place to post this, please advise if not and I will be sure to post appropriately next time. Ok, the flavor is wonderful, and they are really simple to make. My loaves come out of the oven and look beautiful, but then deflate by about half of the size and I end up with super dense small loaves. They taste fine and make great toast, but I’m really looking for something a bit more airy. I’m doing something wrong, but not sure what it is. I do check temperatures of liquids, proof my yeast (although it is a bit old)….followed all of the tips. What am I missing here? Any tips and advice are much appreciated. Thanks

  36. I made this bread yesterday and it is AMAZING!!!!
    How would i adjust it to use it in my bread machine?? i have the zojirushi or whatever. If I can master that, I will be so happy! although by hand wasn’t too bad.

  37. Just wanted to let youknow I tried this bread and love it. I make up my own bread mix in ziplock bags. I tried making this with gluten free beer it was very good . But I also made it with Hornsby’s hard cider and it was great. It has a “brighter ” taste. Thanks for the recipe vikky

  38. Your post has inspired me. I’ve been saying I WILL make gf bread again but I keep putting it off. While I’ve been happy enough with the breads I’ve tried in the past I don’t really care one way or another if I eat them again.
    I miss making bread but why bake bread if it doesn’t satisfy the bread baker in me?
    Thank you for not giving up on bread baking!

  39. I bread a lot of bread and just beginning to make gluten free bread for some friends who require gluten. This beer free bread is delicious. One question I have is it necessary to sift the dry ingredients? Can they just be mixed together?

  40. Thank you thank you thank you for all the great tips and sharing your knowledge. I will try this recipe as soon as I collect the ingredients. I have made all of 2 loaves of bread in my life (both GF, within the last week) and one was from a mix. Needless to say, I really still have no clue what I’m doing and SO appreciate all of you generous GF bloggers making it easier for the rest of us. Thanks! : )

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