An overnight Dutch oven beer bread with yeast is a simple no knead bread recipe that’s baked in the morning and enjoyed throughout the day.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Homemade bread is a practice long gone in most households nowadays. Bread maintains its position at the tippy top of most grocery lists, the selection of which is vast but not always a healthy choice. Yeah, preservatives…
This method for a Dutch oven beer bread recipe is some of the best bread for enjoying sliced with butter, the best bread for bread bowls, and the best bread for dipping.
It is, as far as bread recipes go, NOT a quick bread. In fact, it’s a very long rise. But the resulting baked boule is nothing short of tasty and exquisite.
But this works for many families including my own, as prep the evening before and allowing for an overnight dough rise yields one perfect ready-to-go dough the next day. Steaming hot with a golden brown top straight out of your oven…this is one great bread.
In recent months, I have made a point of preparing an artisan beer bread recipe each evening and allowing it a slow rise overnight. Making bread with beer is a VERY old method and one that requires very little effort.
This is a beer bread made with yeast. By adding beer to the bread dough, the yeast does what it does best, and I reap the rewards the following day.
In the morning, I bake the bread fresh for enjoying with our breakfast and also for packing sandwiches with it in lunches.
So put away the thought of pulling out your bread machine for that ball of dough. This Dutch oven beer bread recipe will change your mind about always feeling the need to purchase store-bought bread.
Clean your work surface, grab the parchment paper and your Dutch oven and let’s bake some bread.
What You’ll Need to Make Dutch Oven Beer Bread
- all-purpose flour
- active dry yeast
- distilled white vinegar
- vegetable oil spray
Any Dutch oven between 3.5 quarts and 5.5 quarts is the size you want for making no-knead bread. The Staub Cocotte 5 1/2-quart dutch oven is what I use every time I bake beer bread.
If you already own a Dutch oven, I do not need to reiterate to you the merits of your investment. Chances are it’s paid for itself 10x over already.
If you do not own a Dutch oven, keep in mind that you needn’t spend out for high end to still get a high-quality piece of kitchen equipment.
You do need to do a bit of homework however, and purchase a pot that is seasoned or enameled, and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 550°F.
Dutch ovens range in size (measured by quart size) and shape (anywhere from round to oval to shapes of the veggies cooked inside them).
I think I’m up to 14 Dutch ovens at this point. I began collecting them about a decade ago and always relish adding a new one to my hoard.
So, it’s safe to say that since I own so many, I’ve used them LOTS! Below are my picks for solid and reliable Dutch ovens if you are thinking about purchasing one.
If you own an oval as opposed to a round Dutch oven, worry not. Simply shape your boule into an oblong and use a clean razor blade to cut 3 parallel lines into the dough just before baking versus the ‘X’ I describe in the recipe card.
Not only for bread, but also fabulous dishes that go from stovetop to oven to table like my Dublin Coddle, or a batch of homemade Chicken and Dumplings, the 5 1/2-quart cocotte will service you very well (and whomever gets it after you) for many, many, many years to come.
Don’t have a Dutch Oven? I am using the Staub 5 1/2-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Cocotte in the image below for this artisan Dutch oven beer bread recipe.
I recommend beginning with a mild flavored lager to see how you enjoy the bread. No, it’s NOT going to taste like beer, in fact quite the opposite. You may use non-alcoholic if you like even.
Lagers provide a nice earthy balance in the end result of this bake. Pilsner Urquell (Pilsner Urquell Brewery, Czech Republic) and Eliot Ness (Great Lakes Brewing Co., USA) are both readily available and easy to find here in the States.
For this easy yeast bread, you will need 6 tablespoons from one bottle of beer. If you are worried about wasting the remaining beer, do as I do and make multiple shaggy dough balls for multiple boules of beer bread.
The best part of this idea is that you’d have two loaves to bake for two mornings in a row. Fresh bread for the whole week nearly depending on how many you feed. I myself try to have a dough ball daily to bake each morning.
Beer bread is buttery, chewy without being dense, boasts a beautiful malty flavor, and is overall light-tasting. Most importantly, it does NOT taste of beer. If you didn’t know there was beer in the bread, you wouldn’t be able to tell by the taste alone.
If you find you enjoy the bread, experiment on your second go-round. Baking with porters and stouts are fabulous choices because they’re brewed with dark roasted malt.
What does this mean? Simply put, they offer a flavor profile reminiscent of cocoa and coffee. Porters especially lean more toward chocolate and malted flavors with less bitterness.
If you enjoy this recipe as I know you will, experiment with different types of beer you may have on hand or beer you might like to try specifically for the bread.
Use what you have on hand or purchase unique brews for experimenting with. Essentially, and beer can be used when baking beer bread.
What Is the Best Temperature to Bake Bread?
So, this answer is two-fold because the temperature you start your dough will affect the outcome of your boule. The benefit of baking bread in a Dutch oven is that the steam remains inside the pot allowing it to rise and cook from the inside out.
The key is beginning your dough in your Dutch oven is to place the ensemble into a COLD oven. Next, the temperature is set for 425°F, the lid on, and about 30 minutes of oven time to allow the inside of the dough a head start before the outside has a chance to achieve that nice crust….that crispy crust…that makes a boule or artisan bread so desirable.
After about 30 minutes, remove the lid and allow the bread to go another 30 minutes. After the full hour, I pull the Dutch oven from my oven and allow the bread to sit inside for another 10 minutes before I remove it to a wire cooling rack.
A finished loaf will be crisp and crusty on the outside, and sound hollow when you tap it. It’s what’s happening on the inside that is the real science. A soft crumb, tender to the touch, fragrant, and altogether desirable to every one of our senses.
Is This Yeast Beer Bread No Knead?
More or less, and this is about my favorite part of this project. Some of you will recall our grandmothers spending half a darn day preparing a loaf of bread by pounding on the dough, kneading the dough, then allowing the dough to rise only to repeat the process again in order to get that perfect loaf.
No-knead bread gets its power from a long, slow rise at room temperature. By ‘long, slow rise’ I mean overnight. The beer and the yeast need this time to do their thing, and the result is nothing short of astonishing to me still!
That said, you will notice in the recipe card that I do instruct for the dough to be kneaded 12 times directly in the bowl (assuming your bowl is large enough). This is to wake those glutens and also to form a pretty ball, seams tucked beneath, just before the second rise.
BUT, you’re certainly not kneading like the old days and certainly not kneading to the point of having to incorporate additional flour. No, this is just to call the glutens to action and to pretty up that dough before baking.
What Is the Best Bread Flour to Use When Baking Beer Bread?
Funny enough, I’m not going to specify anything more than all-purpose flour. Not for this one.
You’ll carefully measure out three cups for this recipe. No sifting, no special bread flour. Just a delicious beer bread, yeast risen, and altogether the way bread should be baked and sold in a perfect world.
How To Make This Artisan Dutch Oven Beer Bread Recipe?
Prepping Before You Begin…
For Stage One…
For Stage Two…
So, it’s been a long, long while and you are salivating for a slice of hot buttered bread. Not yet! Trust me…you and I are good friends and I’m telling you the best things take time.
Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average…
The first time I baked this loaf I used a lager. While the bread become just about my new favorite thing, I was keen to experiment with different beer. The second time I made the bread I stuffed it into a loaf pan which did not go so well. Don’t do it.
I knew if I wanted to play with flavor, it’d have to ‘work’ within the confines of the Dutch oven and be added to the dry ingredients or be something unique about the beer itself. I focused on my herb garden and zeroed in on rosemary for a version of beer rosemary bread. FABULOUS.
Next, I moved onto things I had overages of in the garden. Next thing I knew, I was looking at a gorgeous jalapeno cheddar Dutch oven bread.
So, the flexibility is there, just be sure it’s not too much of something, and it must be incorporated with the dry ingredients before adding the wet.
What will you experiment with? Don’t wait to bake this Dutch oven beer bread recipe!
Artisan No Knead Dutch Oven Beer Bread Recipe
- large mixing bowl
- plastic film
- 3.5-to-5.5-quart Dutch oven with lid MUST HAVE LID
- parchment paper
- vegetable oil spray or unflavored baking spray DO NOT USE OLIVE OIL OR OLIVE OIL SPRAY
Ingredients for Artisan No Knead Dutch Oven Beer Bread Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast instant or rapid rise
- 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons water must be room temperature
- 6 tablespoons beer choose from lager, porter, stout, or other – have fun and experiment – read above in this post on the best kind of beer to use for beer bread
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- vegetable oil spray or baking spray; do not use olive oil spray as the burn point is too low for this bake
- Tear off a very large sheet of parchment paper, enough to comfortably line the entire interior of the Dutch oven. Crumple the paper and smooth it out. Crumple it again, and once again smooth it out. Lay the prepared parchment flat right next to the Dutch oven. Spray the parchment lightly with vegetable oil spray or baking spray.
- In a very large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Give everything a whisk to distribute. Sprinkle the distilled vinegar, beer, and water over the dry ingredients. Use a Danish dough whisk or the tines of a fork to mix the ingredients. A shaggy dough ball will form fairly quickly. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic film. Place somewhere free of drafts for at least 10 hours and up to 18 hours. NOTE: I use my oven for a 10-hour rise; heat off, door closed, oven light on. The tiny oven lamp produces enough warmth to aid the yeast during the rise. NOTE: if I am not ready to bake, or feel the dough requires additional time to rise, I have those additional 8 hours.
- At the end of the long rise, the dough will not quite have doubled in size, and this is normal. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle with a light dusting of flour. Using your hands, knead the dough 2 to 4 times to create a folded-over square-ish shape, then round the dough into a boule (ball) by pulling edges into middle. Place dough seam-sides down in the center of the prepared parchment paper. Gather the corners of the parchment and lift and lower into the Dutch oven. Allow any excess parchment to hang over the pot edge. Cover loosely with plastic film and pop back into a cold oven to let rise for another 2 hours. Dough will double in size at this time and will easily spring back to the touch.
- In preparation for the bake, remove the Dutch oven from your oven if that is where you were allowing it to rise. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Remove plastic film from dough. At this point, you may either lightly flour the surface of the boule or not. Notice in my photos I show it both ways. Use a clean razor blade or sharp knife to make an 'X' across the top of the dough about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inches deep. Cover the pot with its lid allowing excess parchment to hang out. Place into a cold oven. Set the oven to 425°F and IMMEDIATELY set the times for 30 minutes. Do not wait for the oven to come to temperature before starting the timer. After 30 minutes, carefully remove the Dutch oven lid and continue baking another 30 minutes longer. If you are unsure the bread is baked through, use an instant read thermometer to look for 210°F in the center of the boule. Use the parchment overhang to carefully remove the bread from the Dutch oven. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Bread slices best when allowed to cool completely, about 2 hours.
How This Recipe Came About…
Fresh bread shouldn’t have to be a once-in-a-while treat. It’s my opinion that finding an easy bread recipe and repeating daily or every other day adds to my quality of nutrition.
My best results for productive days happen when I’ve eaten a healthy breakfast. Scrambled egg whites, broiled broccolini, and a thick slice of this ancient bread recipe keeps me fueled wisely.
So, in keeping with my goals which I set for myself as far as simple, yet quality food goes, this minimal ingredient, minimal process bread evolved out of my playing around with flavor and texture when beer or lager was added to yeast.