I’m here to pass along a delightful crowd-pleasing recipe that could become a new autumnal tradition! It’s a mix of herbaceous goodness and a little hint of fall flavors. That’s right, homemade pumpkin beer bread and herb butter.
The smell of freshly baked bread warms the kitchen as it bakes, the top crisping to that perfect golden brown. Little ones impatiently looking through the oven door ask, “Is it ready yet?” There is something special about baking, isn’t there? There is magic in mixing ingredients, taking that first warm bite, and knowing that for years to come, that same recipe will be poured over as tradition is passed down.
Baking the Bread
Sourdough, wheat, and rye, oh my! The many varieties of bread is a list as long as a burdock taproot. For years, bakers and homemakers have kneaded, fermented, and experimented with different ways to make this pantry staple. This year was the first year I tried my hand at making sourdough bread. The steps and science of it all were a little out of my wheelhouse, but practice makes perfect. It wasn’t until I came across this easy, approachable way of breadmaking that my interest was really sparked.
There are many beer bread recipes out there, but thanks to the ever-so-talented Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest for being the inspiration behind this recipe share. She swaps sugar for honey, and I just love how this adjustment really complements the flavors of the recipe (if you are vegan or don’t consume honey, I share a couple potential substitutes). I’m sure glad I whipped this up, because let me tell you, it’s the most delicious slice of bread I’ve had in a LONG TIME. The texture, crispy top, and wonderful pumpkin beer flavor make each bite better than the last.
No kneading, no rising, no fermenting required. This isn’t your average sweet bread— it is a hardy burst of savory flavors. This is the perfect pumpkin beer bread for a crisp fall dinner. Try pairing with a delicious chili or homemade soup. With just five simple ingredients and little prep, you will be a bread baker in no time!
The recipe calls for beer, which is actually used as the yeast additive. Watch the mixture bubble and froth as the beer interacts with the dry ingredients. Adding beer removes so many steps in the breadmaking process. It is a natural rising agent and helps your dough become the necessary consistency. The yeast in the beer consumes the sugar in the recipe and converts it into carbon dioxide, which yields a quick fermentation (Sicard & Legras, 2011). But don’t worry about the alcohol content! Most of the alcohol in the beer bakes off and you’re left with a yummy, yeast-like taste with remnants of the flavor you chose for your beer (in this case, pumpkin).
Making Herb Butter
The bread itself is enough to make you love this recipe, but wait until you try it paired with this herb butter. How exciting, learning to make two delicious, classic recipes AND incorporating herbs? What could be butter, I mean better? Like me, if you haven’t tried making butter yet, you’ll wish you tried doing this sooner. It is literally one ingredient— that’s right! But of course, adding in tasty, aromatic herbs and spices, such as rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) and sage (Salvia officinalis), really elevates and customizes the butter to bring out its rich flavors.
What is butter anyway? Butter is a byproduct of dairy cream. It is created by churning the cream until it separates the butterfat from the buttermilk. It’s actually a really neat and very satisfying process to watch. As you mix and mix and mix, you will start to see changes in the consistency and texture of the cream. At first, it will become very fluffy, however, as you continue to mix, the whipped texture begins to solidify. A butter-like mass starts to form and you will also see a pool of liquid at the base of the bowl. You can even save the liquid, which is, in fact, buttermilk! Add this to creamy pasta sauces, baking recipes, and more.
To keep things simple, we will add two very aromatic and bold herbs to our butter. Rosemary and sage pair together so nicely and really enhance the silky, creamy butter base. Spread this on top of the delicious pumpkin beer bread and get ready for the best bite.
Pumpkin Beer Bread Recipe With Homemade Herb Butter
Mix and mix, bubble and bake, who’s ready for a bread recipe to make? Savory pumpkin beer bread is the perfect fall recipe, especially paired with herbaceous creamy homemade butter. It’ll be a crowd-pleasing delight!
3 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur’s is a favorite)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1½ cups pumpkin beer
¼ cup honey (or alternative sweetener such as maple syrup or brown sugar)
6 tablespoons salted butter or vegan butter, chilled
Create the bread batter by adding the two dry ingredients to a large bowl. Give them a stir to mix together.
Next, pour in the pumpkin beer.
Lastly, add in the honey and mix thoroughly.
Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with butter.
Pour the batter into the pan and add slices of cold butter on top of the dough mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. The bread will get a crispy golden brown top when it’s done.
Homemade Herb Butter
Adding tasty, aromatic herbs and spices, such as rosemary and sage, really elevates and customizes this butter recipe to bring out its rich flavors.
2 cups cream (heavy or whipping)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) aerial parts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage (Salvia officinalis) leaf, finely chopped
Using a stand or handheld mixer, pour 2 cups of cream into the bowl. Turn your mixer on high and start to whip. It will take several minutes of continuous whipping to start to see the solids begin to separate. Once a butter-like consistency is achieved and you notice the liquid at the bottom of the bowl, you’re ready for the next step.
Remove the butter from the bowl and form a small ball. Place the butter ball into an ice bath by simply filling a second small bowl with water and ice. Allow the butter ball to soak in the ice bath for a minute.
Remove the butter ball from the ice bath and using a flat surface and parchment paper, spread the ball thin. A spatula works well here.
Once the butter is evenly spread, add in a sprinkling of the rosemary and sage.
Create a butter log by using your spatula to get the spread butter into the center.
Next, roll the parchment paper to form the butter into a log.
Place butter in the refrigerator to fully form. After a few minutes, it’ll be ready to use.
The first slice of warm bread, fresh out of the oven and covered in herbaceous butter, is the food experience we all need this fall. Creating two classic staples from scratch is such a rewarding feeling and made even sweeter with the ease of these two recipe approaches. This beer bread is a nod to pumpkin season, and a celebration of kitchen herbs like rosemary and sage. A savory way to create new baking traditions of your own, this will surely be a recipe you make year after year.
For more pumpkin recipes, see:
Homemade Pumpkin Soup Recipe
2 Herbal Desserts Featuring Pumpkin: Brownies & Pie
Sicard, D., & Legras, J. L. (2011). Bread, beer and wine: Yeast domestication in the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 334(3), 229-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2010.12.016