easy basil beer bread

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beer bread with basil

beer bread with basil


beer bread with basil

beer bread with basil

I get inspired by food literally all the time, everywhere and in the oddest of places, social media platforms being no exception. So when well known radio personality @IanFSA tweeted this basil beer bread recipe the other day, along with his hand drawn picture  instructions, I knew – once I stopped giggling – that this was something I wanted to try.

Easy bread + beer +  fresh basil = a fabulous idea.

Ian F's basil beer bread

I thought I’d knock this up before the tennis on Sunday, it literally has 5 ingredients and takes 5 minutes to make.

Some of Ian’s instructions weren’t crystal clear – like the amount of sugar and volume of beer – but I went for a tablespoon of the former and 33oml (standard beer volume) for the latter and this worked out just perfectly.

I used quite a bitter beer which gave the bread a slight bitter taste, so my suggestion is to go with a sweeter less bitter option, like Castle or Castle light. Or if there are any beer aficionados reading this, please make your suggestions known in the comments below.

beer bread with basil

Recipe | makes one smallish loaf

  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • bunch of basil, chopped (about 25 – 30g)
  • pinch of salt (free flowing table salt is better)
  • 1T brown sugar
  • 330ml room temperature beer

Pre heat the oven to 180 c / 350 F.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and form a dough.

Put the dough in a greased or lined bread tin (I used a 23 x 12 cm tin), and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. To test if it is done, pierce a skewer or sharp knife in the thickest part and if it comes out clean, its ready.

I find that bread that has been made with cake flour is best consumed straight out the oven, warm with butter melting into it.


* PS ` I must be one of the last people in the world to have hooked into Instagram, but now that I have an iPhone I simply love it. I post pictures of the food I eat, style or shoot, and I love to show off how beautiful my home town of Cape Town is.

beer bread with basil

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest.



  1. Hi Sam, this looks like a very interesting combination, I have a question re self raising flour I hardly ever buy it, so if I only have normal cake flour at home, how much of self raising agent like bicarb or baking powder do I need to add per cup to replicate the shop bought version of self raising flour ?
    Many thanks

  2. Hi Jo, I have done a fair bit of research on how to convert flour to self raising and there seems to be a some discrepancy. Self raising contains more than just baking powder, so I generally always just use self raising when its called for in order to be precise (I also bake a lot). If I have ever converted, I have just added 2 teaspoons BP per cup of flour. Some recipes require baking soda too, or 1 1/2 tsp BP per cup of flour plus a pinch of salt. some use 2 tsp BP, 1 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp of bicarb of soda. I don’t have a definitive answer.

  3. Many thanks Sam, seems complicated to get it perfect and I don’t like wasting ingredients. I guess I will probably just buy a smaller volume of SRF
    Cheers 🙂

  4. Sam this looks so good! I love the rustic look of it. I can’t wait to try it.

  5. Carolie de Koster says:

    Hi Sam

    I just love this – will make it with my home made Mozzarella! The bread, the pics and everything is stunning!


  6. My husband will be oh so happy that I stumbled across this recipe : ) The photos are so beautiful! Thank you for posting!

  7. Hi Carolie, Home made mozzarella – wow!

  8. I have a recipe for beer bread, minus the basil, but I always use Killian’s Red. It adds the flavor and sweetness, but I’m not sure how it would be with the basil. My recipe is flour, beer and a bit of sugar. I substitute Splenda and only use a little. The Killian’s makes it. I also have a recipe for beer boiled shrimp and Killian’s still rules.

  9. Liz Thomas says:

    Oh! Carolie, Please, please, how do you make home made Mozzarella!


  10. I will ask Carolie to teach us 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing your tips Chris 🙂

  12. *Love* those wee hand written instructions! (My French godmother never uses precise measurements either – she clucks at me when I painstakingly scoop and level my flour.) 😀

    This bread is beautiful – and not too difficult! I bet it would be wonderful with a hard apple cider ale!

  13. Hi Valerie, I also love hand written instructions with drawings. I have seen whole websites like this. Its very endearing.

  14. I can’t wait to give this a go. My basil is growing like mad this summer.

  15. Jamie, the perfect way to use up the basil. I’m a little jealous as we are in the throws of winter, so no herb garden for me.

  16. As soon as I get a new place with an oven, I am making this! I love beer bread and got really excited to see basil in the mix. I’m guessing it’s a delicious combo 😉

  17. Pilsner Urquell has about 40 BUs (bitterness units), which is quite bitter. If you want something lighter, then try a malty beer such as Windhoek Tafel, or a weiss such as Brauhaus am Damm weiss which has a bready flavour and is low in BUs (about 10-15)

  18. Thanks Kevin, great advice. Sam

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