Sometimes it’s nice to revisit old recipes and with the last of the keg of beer disappearing and becoming quite bitter I thought I’d give beer bread another go. This time I’ve used different types of flour and the addition of herbs and cheese give this bread a real rustic flavour.
Normally I bake my bread in a square loaf tin but recently I’ve been unhappy with the results from the tin, somehow the shape just doesn’t seem to work with homemade bread. Instead I made this one as a boule just by shaping it with my hands and cutting a cross shape into the top.
I’ve had a few ‘tasters’ for this one, some people like it and others don’t – it produces a very dense nutty loaf due to the amount of wholemeal flour in it. The beer used is St Peter’s ruby red ale made from a home brew kit, it’s developing a distinct bitter flavour in it’s old age and it comes through this bread quite strongly.
The St. Peters beer kit has probably been the best so far out of the three I’ve tried, it has such a lovely well rounded flavour without being too strong. I’m already thinking about what my next brew will be!
1 packet of dried yeast (or 2 1/2 teaspoons)
12 oz of beer
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
10 oz granary bread flour
7 oz wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 oz strong cheddar
1-2 tablespoons of chives or other herb
1. Mix the yeast, beer, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Mix in the white and brown flour to the mixture along with the salt. It should start to come away from the sides of the bowl as the mixture becomes drier. I prefer my dough to be slightly on the sticky side when I start to knead it but you can add more flour if it’s too wet for you.
3. Spread flour on a work surface and knead the dough for 15 minutes if you’re doing it by hand.
4. Once your dough is well kneaded put it back into the bowl and put it somewhere warm to rise for about two hours or doubled in size. Cover over either with a damp tea towel or cling film.
5. While you’re waiting for your dough to rise prepare a baking tray with some parchment brushed lightly with a little oil.
6. Once risen knead your dough a little more for about 5 minutes or so mixing in the herbs and cheese before putting it into the tin and allowing it to rise for a further hour before baking. Pre heat your oven to about 200 degrees ready for baking.
7. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and you hear that hollow knocking sound when tapping the loaf.