Beer Is Better: Beer Rye Bread

I was so curious to try this bread I cut off a slice before snapping a photo of the completed loaf. Why was I so eager? Because this bread combined a lot of unique flavors and I really had no idea how it was going to taste.

I’ve searched many different places for beer recipes; I found this one on the website of the Beer Institute. What is the Beer Institute? It’s the brewer’s lobbying group. Probably a weird place to get recipes, but I was curious. Plus, the bread sounded good.

The verdict: Unique and complex is the best way to describe this bread. (I realize I’m veering into wine-tasting territory.) It’s fairly sweet, with light hints of citrus thanks to orange zest. This isn’t a rye bread you’d be serving pastrami on. It’s quite moist, with a fantastic crumb. This bread went incredibly well with blackberry jam, and I’d guess it would also taste good with peanut butter and jelly. The molasses pairs well with the beer, and the orange tastes right at home.


  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Sam Adams)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Step 1. Combine the beer, butter, brown sugar, molasses and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Heat the beer until the butter begins to melt. Turn off the heat and whisk the butter until it is completely melted. Set aside and cool.

Step 2. Combine the flours, salt, yeast and caraway seeds in a mixing bowl and briefly whisk together. Add the liquid ingredients and kneed for 6-8 minutes. Let the dough rise once for 1 hour.


Step 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into an oval loaf. Let the dough rise for another hour. At the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Step 4. Make two deep slashes in the bread with a serrated knife before sliding it into the oven on a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.


Cool for an hour, then slice and enjoy with your favorite jam!




  • Joe

    This bread has a close brother called Wortlimpa- wort for beer and limpa for Scandinavian rye bread.  The only differences in the recipe I found are: no sugar; use instead 1/2 cup molasses; and fennel or anise seed instead of caraway.  This bread has a 100% success rate.  Anyone that has eaten it falls in love with it, usually to the detriment of their waistline.  I have wondered what caraway would taste like.  In fact, I think I’ll try caraway and anise. 


  • Erin

    I just pulled a loaf out of the oven. I used Yards Brewing Company’s Extra Special Ale (a bitter) and it smells darn good! I can’t wait for it to cool a bit. Thanks for the recipe!

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