You may not consider yourself a baker, but you’re just a few steps away from pulling a warm loaf of homemade beer bread out of the oven.

There are very few ingredients in this recipe. In fact, if anyone has ever baked anything at your place, you probably already have them on hand. The magic ingredient, of course, is beer. Because it’s fermented, you don’t need to use yeast or wait for the dough to rise. Your favorite brew will leaven the bread for you. We used a Schlafly Oktoberfest we found hiding in the back of our beer fridge, but any flavorful brown beer on the sweeter side will work just fine. Try Sierra Nevada Tumbler, Rogue Hazelnut Brown or Abita Pecan Harvest Ale — any of these beers are worth picking up to have in your fridge, anyway.

The second most important ingredient in this bread is butter. When you grease the loaf pan, really go at it. The more butter you use, the crispier the outside of your loaf will be. Adding melted butter to the dough as well as pouring it on top makes your new favorite carb-heavy treat look and taste great. Bonus: Your kitchen will smell amazing.

You’ll also need all-purpose baking flour, baking powder (different from baking soda), salt and just a little bit of sugar. We use less sugar than similar recipes so you can really taste the beer. (If, for some crazy reason, you want to mask the beer taste, you can double or triple the sugar.)

Beer bread is perfect for serving alongside hearty winter soups or chili, or you can enjoy it as a snack. We like to slice it while it’s still warm and let some butter melt on top. Then we drizzle on some honey and moan while we eat it.

Easy Beer Bread

Cold butter for greasing the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (see note)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 12-ounce bottle of brown beer
1 stick butter, melted

Grease and set aside a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 375º. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the beer and half of the melted butter, then lightly mix again to incorporate all of the ingredients — stopping as soon as everything is incorporated. Do not over mix! The dough will be lumpy, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Transfer the dough to the loaf pan and gently push it into the corners. Pour the remaining melted butter over the top, and put the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for an hour, then remove to a rack to cool. After 5-10 minutes, remove the loaf to the rack to continue cooling. Enjoy immediately, or store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

NOTE: The only time you really have to play baker is when measuring the flour. But it’s easy, we promise! You want three cups of sifted flour — that means it needs to fall gently (preferably through a sifter or mesh strainer, but adding by the spoonful is okay, too) into the measuring cup, and not get packed in there. Pack your flour, and you’ll end up with a beer brick instead of crumbly, buttery beer bread.