Herb Beer Bread

Herb Beer Bread

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread

You know that feeling, when you just think to yourself, “Gee, I really wish I could give beer to my impossibly small, wildly underage children”? Polite society can be so restrictive.

Blah blah blah brain development. Blah blah blah alcoholism rates and early experimentation contributing greatly to an increase. Blah blah blah bladdy blah.

Well, happy day! Problem. Solved.

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread

Which gluten free beer is best for baking?

I have used various gluten-free beers in this recipe. This time, I used Estrella. I have also used Redbridge and Bard’s. So far, Estrella is the one I like best in beer bread.

Baking with beer is like cooking with wine. Don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink (the flavor doesn’t dissipate – it concentrates), and don’t bake with a beer you wouldn’t drink (same reason).

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread

What’s your favorite gluten-free beer?

I’ve had a sampling (Redbridge, Bard’s, Estrella), but far from all of them. Estrella seems to be the most authentic. And it makes a really nice beer bread. And since I’d generally rather eat than drink, that matters to me.

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread

Oh, and I added finely chopped fresh oregano. It really complements the brown sugar and beer.

gluten free beer

A word about measuring 6 fluid ounces of beer (which is all the recipe calls for). To get an accurate volume measurement, use a glass measuring cup if you have one, and pour the beer slowly down the side of the glass while tilting it to avoid most of the foam. It’s impossible to measure the actual volume when there’s a tall head of foam.

The dough is soft and shaggy. Not dense at all.

Add the chopped herbs, and scrape the dough into a greased loaf pan. Smooth the top with very wet fingers and a wet spatula.

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread

Tent the pan loosely with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Then cut a shallow slice in the top, rub some unsalted butter on the top, rotate the pan, and finish baking. Around that 25 minute mark, the bread will begin to smell so rich and buttery, you’ll be in danger of losing your mind. Be sure to let it finish baking, and to cool completely before slicing it.

Gluten Free Herb Beer Bread


Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf bread


2 1/2 cups (350 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

5 tablespoons (40g) powdered milk or buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons (41 g) packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 fluid ounces gluten-free beer of choice

4 to 5 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced

1 extra tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease well a nonstick loaf pan that is no more than 9 inches by 5 inches, and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, salt, whey powder, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the cider vinegar, egg whites, butter and the beer, and mix to combine. The dough will be shaggy and soft. Add the minced oregano, and mix to distribute the oregano evenly throughout the dough.

  • Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan. With very wet fingers or a wet spatula, spread the dough evenly in the pan and smooth the top. Tent the loaf pan with a piece of aluminum foil, making sure you leave room for the bread to rise without touching the foil.

  • Place the tented loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Slide the pan out of the oven, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and remove the foil. With a very sharp knife, make a shallow slice down the center of the bread lengthwise (without reaching either end). Rub the extra tablespoon of butter all over the top of the bread (it should melt completely into the hot bread). Return the uncovered bread to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (about another 20 minutes).

  • Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 15 minutes. Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.


Comments are closed.

  • Maggie
    March 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Just bought some Estrella today…can’t wait to make this. I was nervous when I bought it because it isn’t labled GF but the clerk brought me documentation telling WHY it isn’t labled as such even though it is. My Whole Foods didn’t have Niblack whey powder so I bought Bluebonnet instead…it’s still labled GF. Does this bread work out well without the herbs? My kids aren’t big on “things” in their bread…lol. Thanks.

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Hi, Maggie,
      You can safely omit the herbs. I’ve made it both with and without. Lovely both ways. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Maggie
        March 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        Thanks! I decided to put them in anyway and to my surprise my pickiest of kids LOVED it!!!!!

        • March 29, 2012 at 8:09 AM

          That’s so great, Maggie! It’s a nice bread, no doubt. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • Jenny
    March 28, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Hi Nicole!

    I’m sure the herbs would need tweaking, but do you think that a good hard cider could work in this, rather than beer? I have yet to find a GF beer that comes close to good old Guinness (and yes, I know, acquired taste) but I find cider different enough and a pleasant alternative.

    Thanks much!

    • March 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Hi, Jenny,
      That sounds really interesting, actually. You might want to eliminate the herbs altogether the first time around. Or try adding some cinnamon. Sounds good!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jenny
        March 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        Well, I was thinking more like bread to go with pork-chops. Apple cider, cinnamon, maybe the faintest hint of sage. Oh, so much to ponder on. Do you think the cider, since it is less effervescent usually than beer, would need help with giving the dough lift? (not that all my doughs don’t need help. My biscuits are like hokey pucks. Adorable, flaky, tasty hockey pucks, but still)

        • March 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

          I honestly don’t know, Jenny! You’d have to experiment. Maybe make it first with beer, and then move on to hard cider. But if you start modifying other ingredients, you will really change it into a different recipe entirely…
          xoxo Nicole

  • Rene
    March 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Any way to make it without the whey powder for those of us allergic to whey?

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    This looks incredible! Making!! Thanks for posting.

  • Brian Haber
    March 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Do we like beer bread because it taste great or is less filling? Jus’sayin’…

    • March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Mr. Haber!
      Ah, the eternal beer question. I guess we’ll never know. :)
      I’m so flattered that you are here. If I had known you were coming, I’d have baked a cake!

  • Jen
    March 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Throwing another shout out for New Planet beer; keep an eye out, it’s going national and would make a killer beer bread.
    That said, if I were to make up a mix of the dry ingredients and just add the wet when necessary, how long might that mix last? If I could have quick beer bread I’d be a happy camper. I miss my pre-GF days of nearly instant beer bread.

    • March 27, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Hi, Jen,
      I’m really excited for New Planet beer, then!
      Yes – you could definitely put together the dry ingredients, all the way up through the brown sugar, and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. Good idea!
      xoxo Nicole

  • March 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I am so excited about this!My husband and I are newly (about 3 months now!) gluten free and are really trying to find fun things to bake and yummy replacements for things we miss. I can’t wait to try this! My husband is eager to try more GF beer, so it’s a win-win! I am also loving your cup-for-cup comparison feature! Thanks so much for it all. We love your blog!

    • March 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Hi, Melissa,
      I’m so glad you found me, then. There’s really nothing you can’t have except gluten itself. Promise. And I love that you are in this with your husband! Keep reading. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • March 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM


    We had Estrella on our honeymoon in Asheville, NC where there is a totally gluten free restaurant called Posana. The food was/is incredible.

    However, we can’t find Estrella anywhere – we live in MS, so that probably has a lot to do with it – it’s not a state known for uh, good food. Can you order Estrella online? Where do you get yours? Oh, please do share!

    Love the blog, as well. I made GF pita for dinner the other night, and my 1/4 Greek husband was super impressed.

    • March 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Hi, Ashley,
      A gluten-free restaurant with incredible food sounds heavenly.
      I honestly don’t know if you can order Estrella online. That’s a good question. Maybe someone else knows?
      It’s actually not super easy to get where I live either, in NY. There is one local market that prides itself on its selection of gluten-free beers, and they usually carry it (but not all the time). It is also possible to order it indirectly through a gluten-free restaurant near me. They don’t have a cash and carry license, so they order it and send it over to a local beer distributor, and it can be bought from there. If you find a restaurant that offers it near you, maybe they can do the same?
      Thanks for letting me know about the pita. I’m honored that your 1/4 Greek husband approved!
      xoxo Nicole

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I think I just want to move next to you and help eat the leftovers. This looks amazing.

    • March 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Believe me, Fatcat, I could use the mouths to feed! I think my current neighbors are tired of all my ‘sharing.’ Little do they know, there’s one more Devil’s Food Cake being made. And if it turns out well, it gets shared!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G
    March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Again with the shaggy? I laughed out loud…your editor would cringe….
    cannot wait to make this…used a Red Bridge in my pulled pork the other day, so still have a few (Scott won’t miss ’em…he’s out of town). When the cat’s away…..the mice do make beer bread!

    • March 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      It is shaggy, though, right? ;) Luckily, that was the editor of a magazine for which I will not write again, and not my book editor, who understands the true value of the word ‘shaggy.’
      I think Scott would appreciate a nice beer bread. It’s worth the beer! And you still have nearly 6 whole ounces to drink, from just the one beer. I think he’d approve, Pam. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Pamela G
        March 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Sweet! Shaggy it is!
        I’m going to try the bread…and the rest of the beer, too!

  • Megan Alethea Brown Hull on Facebook
    March 27, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Zoo-ee mama, that looks awesome! I used to make beer bread (with cheddar) in my pre-GF days. As for the alcohol, when my son was a baby, in sheer desperation we once rubbed bourbon on his sore, teething gums. And he liked it and wanted more (which we did not give him)! He’s a big ol’ 12 year old now, tall as me, won’t even try a sip of my wine or anything, has a 3.6 GPA. I don’t know, maybe we killed off those 4 brain cells that might have brought it to a 4, but I think we’re okay. :-) Haha!

  • March 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    My favorite beer is Estrellla Damm (para celiacos), también! El mejor!

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