Lockdown Beer Bread with no Bread Flour

Everybody has been struggling to get at least one supply, whether it’s loo roll, pasta or mince it seems the public have been panic buying good and proper… Ever since lockdown in the UK started my personal elusive ingredient has been bread flour. Being a fairweather baker and having no understanding of the science behind bread (and with a few previous ‘flour bricks’ to my name) I was dubious about subbing in the vast quantities of self raising flour I seemed to have knocking about.

Obviously I turned to twitter to be reassured…

A few helpful replies later, and an understanding that the lack of bread flour shouldn’t have too much of a detrimental effect…

I got a few recipes together, including the above advice, some recipes I’ve used with normal bread flour successfully before and then came up with my own self raising beer bread recipe.

And here it is!


  • 250ml of ale (I used a best bitter)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 420 grams of self raising flour (or plain or bread flour!)
  • 30g sugar
  • 3⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet (~7g) bread yeast


Let the beer come to room temperature and preferably go flat too. Knowing beer is at a premium during lockdown. Don’t let the rest of the bottle or can go to waste, if it’s a 500ml bottle you can always save it for another loaf, or you could enjoy a beer while you bake 😉

Pour everything into your breadmaker pan (in the order your manufacturer recommends)

With my Russel Hobbs machine I set a normal, or basic, bread program, medium size and dark crust to bake over night. This morning as soon as the machine finished I took the bread out and set aside to cool.

It’s a very crusty loaf, not too sweet, and really light and fluffy in the middle. I’ll be baking another later as half of this has already disappeared with butter on for breakfast!

Thanks to Zak Avery, Steve Williams & Geoff Lath for their help.


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