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Cheese & Pepita Beer Bread

I’m more of a cider girl but Mr Tiffin doesn’t mind a beer on a hot summer afternoon. Our friend Andrew brews beer so we always have plenty on hand, Sometimes, there’s a little too much so it got me thinking about ways to use some up. Beer Bread was the answer.

baking tin containing crusty beer bread with cheese & pepita topping

The Quick & The Bread

If you’ve ever spent any time in the cookery section of a secondhand book shop, you’ll have seen an array of unloved, oddball cookbooks. ’50 Ways with Lentils’, ‘Cooking with a Serial Killer’ and ‘How Famous Chefs Use Marshmallaows’ (all real titles). Inevitably, there will be a book on Beer Cookery containing recipes for French Onion Soup, Cheese Fondue and Beef Casserole – all including beer. There’s also likely to be a recipe for Beer Bread.

Beer Bread is a ‘quick bread’. What’s a quick bread? Anything that can be made on the spot and doesn’t need time to rest or prove. Irish Soda Bread is a classic quick bread, using baking (bi carb) soda instead of yeast as a leavening (rising) agent. Quick breads can be made in a hurry or at the last minute. The rising agent in this bread is beer which is not only frothy and full of bubbles, but has yeast as a key ingredient.

A matter of taste

This bread takes less than 5 minutes to pull together and 1 hour to bake. It’s a great standby for picnics or last minute visitors. The final flavour of the bread is very much determined by the beer you use. There will be a slight hint of beer but not overwhelming. I prefer to use a full flavoured ale rather than pale lager or a bitter (which can be a little too bitter for a bread) but it’s really a matter of taste. Avoid using a stout or porter as they are too heavy and not effervescent enough to assist the bread to rise. Including the sugar assists the rising by interacting with the yeast in the beer. Two tablespoons allows you to get away with a neutral flavour that means the beer bread can accompany savoury dishes or can be enjoyed with sweet toppings like pear and ginger jam.

Cheese & Pepita Beer Bread

Cheese & pepita beer bread in baking tin
  • 375g Self raising flour (aprox 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 330 ml beer at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cheese (optional)
  • 2 tbsp pepitas
  1. Place flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir briefly to combine.
  2. Make a well in the centre of flour and slowly add beer.
  3. Stir to combine into a sticky mixture. Do not over mix – a few bits of unmixed flour is fine.
  4. Spoon the batter into greased and parchment lined loaf tin. Sprinkle cheese and pepitas on top, if you are using.
  5. Place the beer bread in an oven at 180c for 60 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven when a skewer comes out clean. Allow the beer bread to sit for a few minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Makes 1 loaf


There’s no end to inclusions and toppings. You could add tasty cheese to the actual mixture itself (1/2 cup) or cubes of feta, chopped fresh spinach or finely diced capsicum. Sweet ingredients may extend to crystallised ginger, cranberries or sultanas, walnuts or flaked almonds. You’re only limited by what’s in your pantry!

This loaf is best eaten on the day it’s made, as it has no preservatives. If you intend to use it over a few days, it is best sliced and toasted or, gently reheated in the oven.

4 comments… add one
  • sherry October 10, 2019, 10:53 pm

    hi fiona
    now when you see my post in a week or 2 which looks shall i say very much like yours, just remember i just happened to make it on the same day or thereabouts but had no idea of course that we had made something that looks exactly the same!! Even to the paper loaf liner! gotta laugh at great minds….. yours looks fab btw. cheers S

    • Fiona Ryan October 12, 2019, 3:24 pm

      Ha Ha – what a coincidence. It must be in the air. Our posts will see beer sales go through the roof!

  • Mae Sander October 12, 2019, 2:21 am

    Does all beer have live yeast in it? Some beer is very shelf-stable so I suspect it’s been pasteurized or something like that. Your beer comes from a friend so it’s surely full of live yeast and really great for a quick bread.

    Using a “live” beer to rise bread is a neat idea: what’s old is new! Up until a few centuries ago, beer and bread were almost always made in linked facilities and shared the “brewer’s yeast.” The ancient Egyptians invented both of these miracles at the same time, I think.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan October 12, 2019, 3:22 pm

      I hadn’t thought about the ‘live yeast’ factor but your right, the way the beer has been brewed would make a difference. There are quite a few cask and bottle conditioned brands of beer in Australia that would be suitable, in particular Coopers and Cascade. As long as you stayed away from the highly manufactured and mass produced beers, I think they would be a safe bet. Stemming on from your comment re: the Egyptians, the other ingredients that assist with fermentation is of course honey. Also beloved by the Egyptians.

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