Monday, 7 October 2013

Cheesy herb bread - no need for kneading

I spent some time at the weekend looking for new recipes to try.  It's one of my favourite things to do and this time I got so excited about a bread recipe I found that not only did I have to make some straightaway but I was also back in the kitchen at 6:30am this morning to try another variation.  The result, a cheesy herb bread, will go perfectly with soup and is also great for sharing with family and friends.  The secret ingredient in this is beer!  Yes - I couldn't believe it either but it does work very well and doesn't taste the slightest bit beer-y (although I must say I found it a bit difficult to smell beer that early in the morning...brrrr).

How to make cheesy herb bread
The original recipe was for a cheesy garlic version of the bread which I baked in a loaf tin - even quicker to make and slightly less messy (given that the dough is rather sticky).  It made for a delicious toasted sandwich for my lunch today - filled with pesto, slices of chicken breast, lettuce and tomato.  Yum!  I guess that's my lunches sorted for this week, although I will be putting some of both breads into the freezer.

Cheesy herb bread (makes 10 rolls or 1 loaf)

360g plain flour (white or a mixture of white & wholemeal)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp dried herbs (I used rosemary in this one)*
60g grated cheese (cheddar works well - if you use a saltier cheese like parmesan you may want to reduce the salt you add to the bread)
1 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup
1 bottle of beer = roughly 300ml (I used Becks Vier)

1 egg, beaten, to glaze the bread before baking

*for the garlic bread version, simply replace the herbs with 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and lightly fried

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, dried herbs, cheese and honey/maple syrup.
  3. Add the beer little by little, stirring as you go along.  You may not need all the beer - the dough should be sticky but not liquid (see pic 1).
  4. Lightly grease a round spring form (8 or 9 inch).**
  5. With a large spoon, take some of the mixture and with the help of some additional flour shape into a ball - this may be quite sticky but just use a little more flour to make it a bit easier. 
  6. Place the dough ball into the spring form and continue until you have used up all the dough and filled the spring form.
  7. Brush the bread with beaten egg and sprinkle some more dried herbs on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, then leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.
**for the loaf version, use a loaf tin and skip step 5 & 6 - simply put the dough into the tin, level the top, brush with egg and bake as per step 8.

(recipe adapted from


  1. Kirsten can you notice the taste of the beer in the bread once it's cooked?

    1. Hello! There was no taste of beer - just lovely herbs/garlic and cheese :-)

  2. I assume you wouldn't use a heavy dark beer - something light. I really must give this a go - it would be so nice with soup.

    1. Yes, I used a lighter beer - not sure what it would be like with a darker one. It's a great bread to have with soup! Kirsten x

  3. Sounds fab, will be giving this a go x