Guinness Bread with Molasses

Please welcome Hank Shaw who shares his favorite Guinness bread recipe. ~Elise

This is just about the easiest sweet bread I know; it takes precious little thought to make, tastes wonderful with sweet butter or cinnamon sugar, and, as an added bonus, this bread keeps for several days. Why I have no idea.

A few pointers on making this beer bread: The Guinness must be cold, the self-rising flour must be relatively fresh (like men, its rising power diminishes with age), and the loaf pan needs to be well-greased. If your self-rising flour is more than 6 months old, add a tablespoon of baking powder.

Can you sub in other beers and sweeteners? Sure. For a lighter beer bread, try using Harp and light brown sugar – it’ll still be Irish. I initially learned this recipe using Budweiser and white sugar, so your possibilities are endless. One caveat: Do not use hoppy beers such as a Pale Ale, as the bitterness will taste odd to you, unless, of course, you are into serious bitterness.

Guinness Bread with Molasses Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one loaf

This is fantastic eaten fresh, and nearly as good the next day toasted with some more butter. Do not use stale beer for this recipe, you want the carbonation.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 3 cups self-rising flour*
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • A pinch of salt (roughly 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 12 ounces of Guinness extra stout
  • Butter for greasing the pan and painting the top, about 3 tablespoons

* If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute using a ratio of 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, for every cup of self-rising flour. Have made both ways though and got better results from the self-rising flour.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan well with butter.

2 Pour the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

3 Slowly pour the Guinness into the flour mixture. (The “pub cans” are larger than 12 ounces, but they have better carbonation, so I pour most of it out and leave a swig to drink. This has never failed me, but if you are a stickler, use a 12-ounce bottle of Guinness instead.) Start stirring the beer into the dry ingredients, and when you are about halfway done, add the molasses. Mix well, just to combine. Don’t work the heck out of the batter – because that’s what it’ll look like – but you don’t want lumps, either.

4 Pour into the loaf pan to no more than 2/3 full. Pop into the oven immediately and bake for 50 minutes. Since ovens can vary, check the bread after 40 minutes and see if a toothpick inserted into the deepest part of the loaf comes out clean. If it does, you’re done.

5 Let the loaf cool a bit, maybe 5 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack. Paint it with lots of soft butter, which will melt as you go.

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Showing 4 of 52 Comments

  • Garrett

    The amount I took home only lasted a few short hours, smothered in some fresh butter and a bit of yogurt. Very delicious. A winning recipe, Hank.

  • Carol

    I live in an area where molasses is inaccessible. Any suggestions? (There is honey here, but no corn syrup.) I love baking bread and the combination you describe sounds awesome, but I need help please. Thanks.

    Huh. Never heard of a place without molasses…But yes, you could use treacle or honey or even all sugar. Mind you, you will not get the same flavor as you would with molasses, as it is a major component here, but if you sub in the blackest, darkest honey you can find it will be similar. ~Hank

  • tessa

    This recipe sounds awesome, do you know if i could use another kind of flour? we don’t use white flour.

    You could use that “white wheat” I’ve seen in stores; it’s made from a different kind of whole wheat. You would still need to sub in the baking powder though, as to the best of my knowledge no one makes whole wheat self-rising flour. Your bread will also not rise as high, as whole wheat is heavier. All that said, you could give it a go; lets us know how it works! ~ Hank

  • jeff

    Delicious!! And easy to make. Bravo

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