Question: Can you have too many different beer bread variations in your recipe arsenal? Wait; I actually have an answer for that already: HECK NO. I’ve done classic beer bread (please ignore the old photos that I’m so not proud of), cheese and chives beer bread, and honey and beer cornbread, but I’m definitely not done yet. Today’s recipe is just further proof of my obsession, plus a little nod to St. Patrick’s Day (which I only celebrate as excuse to make fun recipes, but who cares?!)
This year I’ve pretty much decided that St. Patty’s Day should be all about the Irish alcohol – hellloooo Guinness/Jameson’s/Bailey’s triple threat – which in truth lives up to the Irish reputation pretty well. ← And I mean this in good spirits; I have a little Irish blood in me and I’m not afraid to admit that I like boozing things up a bit here and there. ;) Anyhow, on that track, I started with something a little more on the innocent side – just the Guinness, baked into a mighty fine loaf of bread – and got a little more dare-devilish with the recipe I’ll be sharing later this week. Might as well incorporate alcohol into as many meals as possible, right?! KIDDING. ;)
The loaf bakes up like a dream, with a buttery, crisp crust and a tender, hearty crumb that’s so intense in flavor thanks to a combination of dark Guinness Stout, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and a little bit of molasses. Beer bread tends to be on the rich side anyway, but I definitley think the Guinness adds a deeper complexity that takes it from a good loaf to a great loaf. But the thing not to be overlooked here? ➝ MOLASSES BUTTER. This was sort of a spontaneous idea that just happened to turn out mind-blowing, like the very best thing you could possibly add to an already perfect loaf of beer bread. Think honey butter, but with more of an intricate, caramel-like sweetness that brings out all the flavors packed into the bread. Now this is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition I can get on board with.
Dark Guinness Stout and notes of molasses give this beer bread intense flavor with an Irish twist.
- 6 3/8 ounces (1 1/2 cups, spoon and level) bread flour
- 6 3/8 ounces (1 1/2 cups, spoon and level) whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter, melted, divided
- 2 tablespoons molasses*
- 1 (12-oz) bottle Guinness Extra Stout
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter (unsalted or salted), softened
- 2 teaspoons molasses*
- salt, to taste (if using unsalted butter)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9"x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar until evenly combined. Add 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) of melted butter, molasses, and Guinness. Fold in just until evenly incorporated.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading all the way to corners and smoothing out surface lightly with a spatula. Pour remaining 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) melted butter on top and tilt pan around to spread evenly.
- Bake bread in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10-20 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in a zip-top bag at room temperature. Bread is best served warm from the oven or toasted.
- Combine butter and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light and creamy, wiping down bowl and beater as needed. Beat in salt, if using, to taste (I like 2 pinches of salt).
*Preferably not blackstrap molasses, which is much more intense and bitter and will alter the flavors in the recipe.