Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Beer Bread


Photo of pumpernickel beer bread by Jeff Rasmussen

This recipe turns everything about gluten-free bread on its head—in the best possible way. The ingredients are crazy. The dough is wet. The loaf is huge and can be sliced thin. The bread is soft and pliable and stays that way for days. The eggs can be replaced in this recipe; see instructions below.

2 large eggs + 2 egg whites
3 tablespoons molasses, dark agave nectar or pure
maple syrup
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups Gluten Free & More high-protein flour blend
1 cup gluten-free buckwheat flour
cup milk powder of choice
3 tablespoons granulated sugar or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (not “Dutch”)
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
1 teaspoon orange zest, optional
2 teaspoons (1 packet) rapid rise yeast
1 cups dark gluten-free beer

1. Generously grease one 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bring all wet ingredients, including eggs, to room temperature.

2. Mix eggs, molasses, oil and cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl.

3. Combine flour blend, buckwheat flour, milk powder, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, caraway seeds (if using), orange zest (if using) and yeast in a separate bowl and whisk well.

4. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, adding gluten-free beer last while mixing. Continue to mix on medium speed until batter is smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Batter will be very wet, not like typical bread dough.

5.Pour batter into prepared pan. (Do not fill more than ⅔ full.) Cover with oiled parchment paper and let rise 45 minutes in a warm place. Watch to be sure loaf does not rise above the top of the pan.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.

7. Place loaf in preheated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when the internal temperature is 205F and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Let loaf cool 5 to 10 minutes in the pan before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack. Slice when cooled. Store fully cooled loaf in a zip-top bag at room temperature.

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 188 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 32mg cholesterol, 326mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 4g protein, 18 Est GL.

*For Egg-Free Pumpernickel Beer Bread, combine 2 tablespoons flax meal with 6 tablespoons hot unsweetened applesauce. Mix well and let cool. Combine 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer ( with 4 tablespoons warm water to make a paste. Combine with flax mixture and add to wet ingredients in Step 2 to replace the eggs.

Recipe by cooking instructor Jules E. Dowler Shepard (, author of Free for All Cooking (Da Capo Press).

Bread machine photo by joseelias/123rf

Bread Machine Method for Pumpernickel Beer Bread

1. Bring all wet ingredients to room temperature.

2. Whisk wet ingredients together and pour into the bread pan.

3. Whisk together dry ingredients (except yeast) in a separate bowl and pour on top of the wet ingredients in the pan.

4. Make a well in the center with your finger and pour in the yeast.

5. Set bread machine to gluten-free bread setting. If your machine doesn’t have a gluten-free setting, use “Dough” setting or a setting for mixing and rising only. Do not set for second rise or let the machine “punch down” the dough.

6. After rising, set machine to “Bake” for 60 minutes.

7. Remove the loaf only when the bread has reached an internal temperature of 205F. If necessary, add bake time to the bread machine. Alternatively, finish baking the loaf in a 350F preheated oven until done.

8. Leave bread in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting gently to remove. Finish cooling on a wire rack and slice when cooled.

9. Keep fully cooled loaf in a zip-top bag at room temperature.

This recipe for Pumpernickel Beer Bread makes a very large loaf. Set your bread machine to the 3-pound loaf setting. If your machine doesn’t have this setting, use the 2-pound loaf setting—but check to make sure the bread is fully cooked before removing it from the machine. At the 2-pound setting, the loaf may sink a bit in the middle due to its volume but when fully cooked, its crumb and texture are still excellent.

Comments (11)

I just made this bread. It is soft and delicious. I used Harvester Brewing St. Denny. Didn't have caraway seeds or orange peel, so left them out. I cut the salt in half. Almond flour for my "powdered milk of choice". The recipe does not call for any kind of gum or gelatin, but I added a tablespoon of xanthan gum, just to be sure.

Posted by: DjMcL | July 10, 2014 7:37 PM    Report this comment

GeorgeW There are 2 companies that I know of that make GF dark ale's.

Green's, I have found in Whole Foods & Bev Mo. There's also a website of the importer on the bottle

New Planet, I have found at my local health food store. They also have a website

Posted by: craftylady | June 17, 2014 9:49 PM    Report this comment

This bread sounds really yummy but it has way too much sodium--if you made a sandwich with 2 slices you would have well over 700 mg just in the bread! Any way to get that amount lower in this recipe?

Posted by: BJW | June 14, 2014 1:39 AM    Report this comment

First of all, other than Harvester Brewing Company's dark ale which is not available where I live, is there another dark gluten free beer out there that I'm not aware of? I've searched the net and can't find any.

Secondly, audchild, you have been misinformed. Rye flour is definitely NOT GF. I double checked thinking that maybe I've been wrong all this time but here is a quote from regarding celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Question: Is rye gluten-free, or does rye contain gluten?

Answer: Rye is one of the three gluten grains -- it contains a protein called secalins, which is a form of gluten. Therefore, any food containing rye as an ingredient is most definitely not safe on the gluten-free diet.

Posted by: GeorgeW | June 12, 2014 9:36 PM    Report this comment

I just don't understand how you can make pumpernickel without rye flour...which is GF, by the way. I would substitute some of the GF blend with a good, dark rye flour. I will try this recipe with the substitution. I make a dark pumpernickel loaf from time to time, but have never considered making it with beer. It sounds intriguing.

Posted by: audchild | June 12, 2014 6:25 PM    Report this comment

In this recipe you can definitely use a non alcoholic beer or A Sparkling Pumpkin Cider. Anything dark with a rich flavor! I am not a fan of beer. It was always an acquired tast! Have a great day!

Posted by: Theo | June 12, 2014 12:51 PM    Report this comment

Is it possible to use one of the other blends from the Living Without website instead of the high protein blend? The bean flour-based blends are not something we really prefer. Or, I have several commercially-made blends, (Better Batter and Cup4Cup, plus the America's Test Kitchen blend, with and without Xanthan gum), and these are mostly white and brown rice flour, tapioca starch and powdered milk for the most part. Would one of those work as an acceptable substitute? The bread looks great but the bean flour is very off-putting!

Posted by: wendyintexas | June 12, 2014 11:41 AM    Report this comment

We can't have beer in our home, but looking at the ingredients, this bread will have plenty of flavor without it. The substitution for the beer would be either seltzer water, or club soda. Look for these beverages that have a farther out expiration date for lots of carbonation to mimic the lightness the beer would add to bread. It will still be good bread, just a different flavor twist.

I know there is non-alcoholic beer, but we don't have it available in our area, and still should not have it in our home.

Posted by: JoanneP | June 12, 2014 11:23 AM    Report this comment

Lexan, wish there was a "love" button!! Seriously, without beer it wouldn't be beer bread! This looks fantastic, love all the ingredients and can't wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe!

Posted by: Freckles | June 12, 2014 10:24 AM    Report this comment

Why must you be so angry, BealcA? There are plenty of us that use "such crap" and love the idea of a GF beer bread. Just use another recipe and remember that this is a place filled with acceptance and love, not judgement.

Now that that's out of the way, is there a beer in particular that you would recommend?

Posted by: Lexan | June 12, 2014 9:55 AM    Report this comment

why must I add beer? I do not have it my home, wouldn't buy it to add to anything. I do not drink such crap or use it, period.

Posted by: BealcA's Pad | June 12, 2014 9:30 AM    Report this comment

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