Basic Sourdough Beer Bread Recipe

Sourdough beer bread
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  • 3 hrs
  • Prep: 2 hrs 15 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 2 medium loaves (20 servings)
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It’s only natural that beer tastes great when added to sourdough bread. The flavor of the beer and sourdough blends perfectly to make a bread with a strong taste of hops.

Before you begin, you will need to have a sourdough starter ready to go. You can use any starter you like and may enjoy playing with the combination of different styles of beer and different starter bases. For instance, a rye sourdough starter may make an interesting bread with a hoppy IPA beer. Have fun with this recipe and experiment to your heart's content.

The recipe is designed to create two medium-sized loaves and you can freeze one either after the first rise or once it has been baked. 

What You'll Need

  • 12 ounces beer (room temp)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 cups bread flour (approximately)

How to Make It

Preparing the Bread Dough

This recipe calls for just four ingredients, so you will actually spend more time kneading the dough than mixing it.

  1. In a large bowl, add the can of beer and sourdough starter.
  2. Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved.
  3. Mix in enough flour to form a dough that can be kneaded with your hands.
  4. Turn the dough out onto floured board and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, while kneading until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.

    Proof the Dough and Form the Loaves

    It is now time to sit back and wait for you dough to rise (or '"proof" in bread baking lingo). Like most bread, this sourdough needs to go through two stages of proofing with a little kneading and shaping in between.

    1. Place the dough in a greased bowl and flip the dough over so that the top is also greased.
    2. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
    3. Turn the dough out onto floured board and knead for 5 minutes.
    4. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a loaf.
    5. Grease two bread pans and place loaves in the pans.
    6. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

    Bake Your Sourdough Bread

    Once your dough has proofed for the final time, it's ready to bake. This is the best part because your kitchen will quickly fill with that lovely aroma of fresh baked bread (with a hint of hops mixed in, of course).

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
    2. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on.
    3. Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool on a rack or clean towel.
    4. The loaves may be bagged and frozen for later use.