Monday, June 27, 2011

Beer Bread

After the disaster that was A's original birthday cake, I had almost an entire bottle of beer leftover. My first instinct? Beer bread. But not the quick bread kind. I wanted an honest to goodness loaf of yeasted bread made with beer. A quick scan through my shelf of bread books yielded a perfect and perfectly simple recipe for Beer Bread in the Bread Bible. I made this dough in the mixer, using sugar instead of malt powder or syrup. The dough after kneading was so silky and a pleasure to work with. I let it rise at room temperature and then shaped and allowed it to proof overnight in the fridge, although Rose says this is not necessary because of the deep flavor the beer gives. Anyway, the next day, I took the well risen loaf out of the fridge, scored and baked. Later that night, I ripped into it and the first bite was sweet, with an unidentifiable flavor contributed by the beer. It was, frankly, delicious with a soft and moist crumb. My roommate, a friend and I finished the whole loaf within minutes. Should it last longer than that, it would actually make great sandwiches. Even if you don't happen to have leftover beer on hand, I would strongly recommend you buy a bottle strictly for this purpose. This Beer Bread is headed for this week's Yeastspotting!

Beer Bread
from the Bread Bible

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups minus 1 tbsp bread or all purpose flour
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp whole wheat flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp dark beer
1 1/4 tsp salt

Place the yeast, sugar, all but 2 tbsp of the flour and the whole wheat flour in the bowl of your mixer. With the dough hook, mix on low to combine.
Add the beer,
and mix on low for about 1 minute until the dough is moistened. Scrape down the bowl and cover with a tea towel for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the salt on the dough and knead on medium for seven minutes.  The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but if it doesnt, add the remaining two tbsp of bread flour.
This is what my dough looked like at the end of mixing.
Spray the top of the dough with PAM and allow to rise, covered, until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, shape into a round and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
This is how my dough looked. Preheat your oven to 450 with a stone in it. 
Slash the dough with the patter of your choice.
Bake for fifteen minutes before lowering the oven to 400. Continue baking about a half hour longer or until a thermometer registers at least 190. Cool completely on a wire rack before gobbling. 

1 comment:

Winnie said...

I don't believe it!
I was going to comment on this loaf - I've just seen the photo on YeastSpotting and it caught my attention(!), and now I understand that this is your blog chavi!
What a coincidence!
Any way - I realy like that way you shaped the loaf.
To be honest - I never eaten beer-bread....