“Who brought the bread?” “I didn’t bring any bread, did you?” “What do you mean, we don’t have any bread for Christmas dinner?!”
I’ve got you covered if your bread guy forgets the bread. These fluffy beer biscuits are almost as easy as pouring a can of beer into some flour. No yeast, no rising time, no fuss. Beer offers a nice yeasty flavor that makes these taste more complicated than they actually are.
If you’ve ever enjoyed beer bread, you’ll love these. I like the biscuit format better because there’s more crusty surface area, plus they finish baking faster. These babies are an improved rendition of one of my oldest recipes, my feta and rosemary beer biscuits (she’s almost six years old now).
I set out to make 100 percent whole wheat beer biscuits that are nice and fluffy, without a “healthy” aftertaste. I’m pleased to report that after about five tries, I finally got them just right.
Regular whole wheat flour yielded more dense biscuits. Dense isn’t always a bad thing, but I wasn’t in love with the resulting biscuits. Then I tried using all whole wheat pastry flour, which is a more finely ground flour made from soft white wheat berries with a lower protein content. Those biscuits weren’t as crusty or fluffy as I wanted them to be, so then I tried a combination of both. Bingo.
Whole wheat flour offers structure, and whole wheat pastry flour makes the muffins tender and fluffy. It’s the same combination that I use to make flaky whole wheat pie crusts. While I wouldn’t suggest using two different flours just because, it’s definitely worth doing here. My partner Bob’s Red Mill makes the best of each! If you don’t have both flours at home right now, check my recipe notes for alternatives. Happy holidays, all.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, lightly grease the cups of your muffin tin or line them with paper liners (my pan is non-stick, so I didn't grease mine).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, the baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Stir in the cheese, if using.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the honey and melted butter. Whisk to combine, to loosen up the honey. Set aside.
- Gently pour the beer and the honey-butter mixture into the flour mixture. Using a big spoon, stir just until combined. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.
- Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 25 to 28 minutes. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling (or serve immediately).
Flour notes: I used a combination of regular whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour to achieve fluffy, 100% whole wheat biscuits. For even less of a "wheaty" flavor, use white or "ivory" whole wheat flour. You can substitute all-purpose flour for either or both of the flours if you prefer.
Beer notes: I like to use lighter beers in beer bread, so that beer is more of an undertone than the most dominant flavor. A wheat beer/hefeweizen seems to have the lightest flavor. Light lagers work well, too. If you want a strong beer flavor, try a stout or your favorite beer!
Make it dairy free: Omit the cheese. You can omit the butter as well. I tried substituting olive oil for the butter, but didn't love the resulting flavor.
Make it vegan: Omit the cheese and butter. Use maple syrup or sugar instead of the honey.
Make it gluten free: I haven't tried this, but I just glanced at some gluten-free beer bread recipes and it looks like they generally use a gluten-free all-purpose blend plus three eggs. Might be worth a shot, but remember that you'll need to use gluten-free beer if you're sensitive to beer.
Change it up: For basic honey-butter biscuits, omit the cheese. Or, play with the flavors—feta cheese is nice in these, and so are fresh or dried herbs. For an extra savory note, stir a few twists of freshly ground black pepper into the batter, and/or sprinkle it on top of the baked biscuits.
Serving suggestions: These biscuits would be awesome with my homemade vegetarian chili or butternut chili.
This post was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!