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Sourdough Beer Bread

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Sourdough beer bread is a fun and easy homemade bread recipe that combines the tang of sourdough bread with the tang of your favorite beer for a delightfully flavorful bread. 

Sourdough beer bread is a fun and easy homemade bread recipe that combines the tang of sourdough bread with the tang of your favorite beer for a delightfully flavorful bread.  
loaf of bread next to slices of sourdough next to glass of beer
slices of sourdough bread with glass of beer behind

This is one of my favorite sourdough bread recipes to make. It’s easy and flavorful, and it’s a simple recipe that you can turn to again and again. 

In this recipe we use almost as much liquid as we do flour, which means that its has a pretty good hydration rate and is a very easy to work with dough. 

This recipe is perfect for beginner sourdough bakers and bakers who want to just make a good loaf of sourdough bread without all the fuss.

side view of loaf of bread showing the "ear" of the bread

Ingredients Needed

You only need a few pantry staples to make this sourdough beer bread

  • Bread Flour – You need a good quality flour with an extra protein content. I suggest bread flour, but you can use all purpose, too. Just know that you might have to do more stretch and folds to build up the strength of the dough.
  • Beer – We are replacing the water in this recipe with a beer. Go ahead and use one that you like – I recommend using a pale ale, wheat beer, or something similar. You will want it to be about room temperature.
  • Sourdough starter – We are using a 100% hydration starter that has been fed and is active. Read how to make a sourdough starter if you don’t have one, and brush up on how to feed a sourdough starter  to ensure yours is fully active before using.
  • Salt – Salt helps add extra flavor, helps to regulate the yeast activity, and helps to strengthen the gluten development. Don’t skimp or skip it!
loaf of bread next to slices of sourdough next to glass of beer

Equipment Needed

Here are the tools you need to make this recipe:

Jenni Ward/The Gingered Whisk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

*For other tools you need for sourdough baking, check out Sourdough Bread Tools.

loaf of sourdough bread next to slices of bread with knife and glass of beer behind

Baker’s Schedule

Understanding how making this loaf of bread fit into your schedule is a big part of actually MAKING it! I like to work backwards from when I want them to be done to see when I need to start feeding my starter. 

Here is the timeline for baking this bread:

  • Mixing the dough – 30 minutes
  • Bulk Fermentation with stretch and folds – 2 hours minutes
  • Shaping – 10 minutes
  • Final Proofing – 1.5 hours, or until doubled
  • Baking – 45 minutes

*Remember the timing of this recipe depends on the temperature and humidity of your house. If your house is warm and humid, your dough will proof much faster. If your house is cold, your dough will take much longer to proof. Watch the dough, not the clock!

loaf of sourdough beer bread on marble counter

How to make sourdough beer bread

This recipe is very simple to make! Here is a brief overview of the recipe to give you an idea of how it works. For the full set of directions and measurements, please make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below!

Mix the dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine together the flour, beer, and active sourdough starter and mix until just barely combined.
  2. Allow to sit for 20 minutes undisturbed.
  3. Add in the salt and gently knead to mix all the ingredients in.
mixing dough for sourdough beer bread

Bulk ferment with stretch and fold 

  1. Let the dough rise for 20 and knead again very briefly.
  2. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes and knead again very briefly. 
  3. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then knead again very briefly.
  4. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then knead again. You should have done this 4 times.
  5. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
stretch and fold sourdough dough

Shaping

  1. Shape the dough into a ball and
  2. Place the dough (with seam side up) into a well floured banneton type container.

*Recipe Note: If the dough feels really soft and sticky, oil your hands and counter with a little vegetable oil to help you easily shape them without using flour. 

shaping sourdough dough into ball

Final Proofing

  1. Let the dough rise until almost doubled, about 1.5 hours.

*Recipe Note: You can skip the last rest period and instead place your dough container straight into the fridge (don’t forget to cover it so it doesn’t dry out), for an overnight cold fermentation to really bulk up the sourdough flavor.

Baking

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F with a large dutch oven (affiliate link) and lid inside to heat up as well.
  2. Score the bread and quickly and carefully place in the hot dutch oven and cover with the lid.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 425 and bake for an additional 10 or 15 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Carefully transfer the bread to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
scoring the dough before baking

How do I get a softer crust? To get a crust that is not so thick and hard, keep the lid on your dutch oven for another 10 minutes. Then remove the lid and allow the crust to develop a lighter brown color.

freshly baked sourdough loaf in dutch oven

New to sourdough? Read my Ultimate Guide to Sourdough for Beginners to answer all the questions you have!

How to serve this to your family

What can you use sourdough beer bread for?

  • Use it to create awesome sandwiches
  • Serve it beside homemade tomato soup
  • Turn it into grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Make an awesome breakfast strata with it
  • Serve it beside homemade chili.
  • Serve it beside breakfast with eggs!

How to store sourdough bread

This bread stores best at room temperature in a bread bag, or wrapped in a kitchen towel. You can also store the bread, sliced side down, on a wooden cutting board. Do not store in the fridge, the bread will become hard.

slices of sourdough bread next to beer glass

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

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loaf of bread next to slices of sourdough next to glass of beer

Sourdough Beer Bread

Sourdough beer bread is a fun and easy homemade bread recipe that combines the tang of sourdough bread with the tang of your favorite beer for a delightfully flavorful bread.  
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk

Ingredients

  • 450 grams bread flour 
  • 300 grams beer pale ale
  • 120 grams sourdough starter 100% hydration, fed and active
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Mix the dough

  • In a large bowl, combine together the bread flour, beer, and active sourdough starter and mix until just barely combined.
  • Allow to sit for 20 minutes undisturbed.
  • Add in the salt and gentle knead to mix all the ingredients in.

Bulk ferment with stretch and fold

  • Let the dough rise for 20 and knead again very briefly.
  • Let the dough rise for 20 minutes and knead again very briefly.
  • Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then knead again very briefly.
  • Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then knead again. You should have done this 4 times.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it (with seam side up) into a well floured banneton type container.
  • Let the dough rise until almost doubled, about 1.5 hours.

Baking

  • Preheat your oven to 450F with a large dutch oven.
  • Score the bread and quickly and carefully place in the hot dutch oven and cover with the lid.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 425 and bake for 10 or 15 minutes more until golden brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Notes

*Remember the timing of this recipe depends on the temperature and humidity of your house. If your house is warm and humid, your dough will proof much faster. If your house is cold, your dough will take much longer to proof. Watch the dough, not the clock!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.3mg
loaf and three slices of sourdough bread with apples and cheddar cheese

20 Comments

  1. That. Is. Awesome. Wow – yet another reaso I can't wait to get a Dutch oven. BEAUTIFUL bread and it sounds delicious!!!

    1. Yes, you need a dutch oven! And not just one, you need two. One with a flat bottom and legs for the grill and one with a flat bottom and a rounded top for inside the oven. You won't be sorry! 🙂

  2. This is probably the best thing you can do with a can of Coors Light (no offense to anyone who chooses to drink it, I just am also a beer snob)!

    Love the idea of summer grill breads.

  3. Oh, you got me with this one BIG TIME!

    You know, I've always wanted to bake bread on my grill, but refrained from trying because basically I am a wimp. But you succeeded and I shall follow your footsteps! Amazing crust, once my life gets back to normal I shall try this

    (moving. not for sissies. This will be my line forever!)

    1. It wasn't as hard or difficult as I let myself believe that it would be! I can't wait to try it again!
      And yes, moving SUCKS. Hope the unpacking is going better than the packing!

  4. Megan @ Cooking Whims says:

    This looks AMAZING!! I would never have thought to cook bread on the grill!

    1. Thanks Megan! It is so nice to do it outside and not heat up the house!

  5. Sawsan @ chef in disguise says:

    Happy belated birthday to your little lady bug 🙂
    This bread looks amazing, I really need to join you guys in your sourdough adventures

  6. This looks fantastic. Thanks for the wonderful comment on my blog as well. I will have to try out this recipe!

  7. This bread is seriously kick butt! The minute I saw it, I nearly melted, wanting a slice so bad, but then I looked below at the shortbread cookies with pineapple cream, and melted more. You are really cranking up the amazing recipes one after another. I'm going to have to start calling you 'food goddess' soon. BTW, no Battenberg cake? 🙁

    1. Haha, YOU are going to call ME "food goddess"?! You must be crazy! 🙂 A battenberg cake is on its way, just as soon as I have time to make one! 🙂 Hopefully soon!

  8. Whatever it might have lacked cosmetically … are you kidding!
    This is a gorgeous loaf!
    Cheese just does make it better. Beautiful crumb.

  9. Wow, looks awesome. I can see why it did not "survive" the night! Thank you for joining BBD.

  10. Amy (Savory Moments) says:

    What a lovely loaf of bread with a great combination of flavors. It sounds very creative and very yummy.

  11. Mine came out dense and flat, but I am determined to try again next weekend with a few tweaks! Very tasty!!

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