The Speckled Palate
March 18, 2013

Whole Wheat Italian Beer Bread

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Italian Beer Bread // The Speckled Palate

The original version of this recipe came to me from a college friend. At the time, both she and I were working as journalists for newspapers in separate small Mississippi towns, and we both had a lot of time on our hands when it came to being done with the workday. (This is what happens when you move to a new town, know no one except your co-workers, live alone, and don’t want to hang out at the college hang-outs, as you are no longer a student and that’s awkward.)

Needless to say, we both quickly filled our time by whipping up delightful foods in our kitchens because we could.

Back in college, Krysten and I were two members of a Sunday Night Dinner Family (and yes, this was what we all called it.) A group of our friends from the student newspaper gathered every Sunday evening at one of our homes for a delicious, home cooked meal. We rotated the cooking and hosting duties between the group, and it worked out fabulously. It was during this time that my love of cooking really developed, and I began trying new dishes, much to my delight… and dismay, in some cases. (I’m still blaming nutmeg for ruining a pasta dish I made nearly seven years ago. It would have been fine without, but I followed the darn recipe, and I was so sad when I realized that the dish wasn’t what I wanted it to be because the nutmeg’s sweetness was too much, even though my friends all tried to convince me it was awesome, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.)

So, Krysten and I went way back, and since we both knew our ways around the kitchen, we were constantly sharing recipes and experiences during our times in our small towns. And she is the one who introduced me to beer bread.

I’m glad she did.

Italian Beer Bread // The Speckled Palate

I was scared to make it the first time, but let me tell y’all that it is super simple to make… and super delicious, too.

Italian Beer Bread // The Speckled Palate

In fact, over time, I’ve adapted this recipe to fit my husband’s and my tastes… and we bake a loaf of this bread probably around twice a month because it’s such a fabulous addition to a home cooked meal.

Whole Wheat Italian Beer Bread
Yield: 1 loaf

Whole Wheat Italian Beer Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Homemade beer bread -- crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside -- is made with whole wheat flour. Whole Wheat Italian Beer Bread is the perfect quickly made baked good to pair with any weeknight meal.


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 medium-sized cloves)
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 18 oz. beer


  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, basil, oregano, and mozzarella in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Slowly stir in the beer and mix just until combined.
  4. Spread the batter in a greased 8-inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the pan, and cool 10 more minutes.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Substitution alert: You can use parmesan instead of mozzarella.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 373 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 554mg Carbohydrates: 65g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 14g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Italian Beer Bread // The Speckled Palate

Do you have a friend who you share recipes with like I do with Krysten?

What are some of the foods a friend has introduced you to?


  1. Gina @ So Lets Hang Out

    This looks so good. I am pretty sure the wheat content would kill me… but I am just going to daydream about putting this in my face anyway. 🙂

    • Erin

      Thanks, Gina… but no dying because of the wheat content, OK? That makes me wonder how you could sub out both flours AND beers to be GF. Hmm. There’s gotta be a way to make it happen, right?

  2. Eileen

    This bread sounds great–who doesn’t love a good, fast beer bread? 🙂 We also had a Sunday dinner club in college! Ours was centered around everyone’s family background, so we got all kinds of interesting ethnic meals–homemade pierogi and Spanish omelet and actual Hungarian goulash. So good.

    • Erin

      Amen to that, Eileen. A good, fast beer bread is one of my faves. And since we always have beer on hand… well, it’s an easy thing to make whenever.

      I absolutely LOVE that you had a Sunday dinner club in college, as well! And how fantastic that it was centered around y’all’s family background! I’d love to try some homemade pierogis, Spanish omelets and Hungarian goulash. My group generally stuck to recipes that were from where we were from — so Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee — and where we’d traveled — Italy. Nowhere near as authentic as yours, though. Do you still see those friends?

  3. Jayne

    ooh! Quick bread! As much as I love yeasted breads, sometimes we want bread and we want it NOW so these kinds of recipes are the best. We never had any special college dinner thing because I lived with my parents at that time. College was about 15 minutes away. Well, we now have a party-of-2 every night. 🙂

    • Erin

      Amen to that, Jayne! There’s something so refreshing and wonderful about a quick bread… even if you’re like me and want to proceed to eat the ENTIRE LOAF within the hour it comes out of the oven.

      Hooray for a party of 2 every night now!

  4. Maria

    I love this bread, and its so easy and quick to make.
    And as for cooking in college – ha – no that never happened. You are too aware of my reluctance to enter into the kitchen, and though I shared an apartment with my brother during our collegiate years, I was very rarely granted permission to enter the kitchen! Seriously, I could burn water!
    Thankfully, over the last couple of years I have become bolder and now cook regularly, even to the point of trying out new recipes, so, thanks 🙂

    • Erin

      Thanks, Maria! I’m glad you love this bread, too, for the same reasons as me.

      Hey, at least you enter the kitchen now and are trying new things. And no joke: One of our friends in the Sunday Night Dinner Club had a cookbook called “How to Boil Water.” Because, apparently, he didn’t know how to do that. So I think you’re ahead on that basis. 🙂

  5. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    Yuuum I love beer and bread — best of both! Bonus for being whole wheat. Beer breads tend to be super dense, but this one looks nice and fluffy.

    • Erin

      You and me both, Kelly. It really is the best of both! And while this bread is probably a little fluffier than other beer bread you’ve tried, it’s still relatively dense. But wonderfully so. 🙂

  6. Krysten

    Yay! So glad you still make this! Actually, I haven’t made it in FOREVER. Think that’s going to change today!

    • Erin

      YES. Of course I do, girl! And I hope you’ve whipped up some for y’all, too, because we love it up here. SO darn much.

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  9. Yvonne (Bread Fun)

    i like the name of your website site thespeckledpalate.com. What a unique name for a website. I love you whole wheat Italian beer bread recipe. I am not a good baker but I am learning. I love simple and easy recipes. I am going to try you recipe wish me luck. “Awesome Site”

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