Beer Bread

Beer Bread

January 1, 2015

I’d been looking forward to this recipe since the beginning of the Bread Bible Alpha Bakers. It looked intriguing and I wasn’t sure how the beer would affect the bread. – ; I noted a different kind of sweetness and an unusual edge that might have come from the alcohol. In retrospect, I think malt powder, instead of sugar, would have helped the Beer Bread realize its truest character. Still, I really liked it and would make it again, if not just to see if I could do better next time.

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Instructions

HAND METHOD FOR THE BREAD DOUGH

  • I whisked together the dry ingredients (and held back ½ cup)
  • I noted a different kind of sweetness and an unusual edge that might have come from the alcohol. In retrospect, I think malt powder, instead of sugar, would have helped the Beer Bread realize its truest character. Still, I really liked it and would make it again, if not just to see if I could do better next time.
The dry ingredients with a half cup of the flour set aside
The dry ingredients with a half cup of the flour set aside
  • Then added the beer to create the dough.
Adding the beer to the dry ingredients.
Adding the beer to the dry ingredients.
  • The dough was indeed sticky, and unpleasant,
Beer creates a sticky dough.
Beer creates a sticky dough.
  • But, after resting 20 minutes, it smoothed out.
After 20 minutes of rest.
After 20 minutes of rest.
  • And, after 5 minutes of kneading, it became softer and smoother still.
After 5 minutes of kneading.
After 5 minutes of kneading.

LET THE BREAD DOUGH RISE

  • It rose to double easily and without hesitation.
Dough set to double in its container.
Dough set to double in its container.

SHAPE THE BREAD DOUGH

The dough ready for shaping.
The dough ready for shaping.
The final pinch underneath.
The final pinch underneath.
  • The more I stretched it, the tighter the skin became and much to my surprise, it never broke.
  • Once the dough was shaped, I set it on a piece of parchment so that I could easily slide it onto the stone with the peel.

SECOND RISE

  • It looked beautiful, all-round and puffy like it was.
Allow the beer bread to rise.
Allow the beer bread to rise.

CUT AND SLASH THE BREAD DOUGH

  • This is where I had trouble. I’ve always admired the spiral slash and attempted it. I don’t know if my blade isn’t sharp enough or I just don’t know how to do it, but it seemed that I had to go over it a couple of time to get a deep slash. And the more I fussed with it, the bread deflated more and more. I hoped that it would regain its loft with the steam from the ice cubes, but it didn’t.
It really flattened out.
It really flattened out.

BAKE THE BREAD

  • The timing on this bread was way off the book’s suggestion. It baked for about 30 minutes and it had reached temperature, the loaf was very brown, but not crusty. I wasn’t sure what to do. I decided to ere on the side of caution and remove the bread. If the internal temp was correct and the top was nicely browned, then I should go with it.
Beer bread just out of the oven.
Beer bread just out of the oven.
  • Once I cut into the bread, the crumb was nice and even and it was definitely baked through. It toasted up beautifully (I really like toast) and it seemed like a job well done, except it wasn’t the prettiest loaf of bread I had ever made, but it cut nicely.
Beer Bread for breakfast, The Finer Cookie.
Beer Bread for breakfast, The Finer Cookie.
  • WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here’s how it works: once a month, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. Each month we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our likes and dislikes. The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone is baking the same recipe at the same time. No recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers Bread Bible posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but if you love to bake bread, this is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Bread Bible Alpha Bakers at http://breadbiblealphabakers.blogspot.ca/

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