I have a casual obsession with baking bread, and recently, bread made with beer. The beer contributes wonderfully– each slice evolves to have distinct snippets of flavor while the entire loaf is cohesive because of caramely-hops undertones. I have been popping in the Half Acre brewery to take some spent grains (grains from the beer-making process) off their hands to use in the bread. This is a work in progress, and the recipe is flexible:
Recipe for (my roommate’s dad) Brian’s Beer Bread
- 1 c. H2O
- 7-8 g fresh yeast (or 2 tsp of active dry yeast)
- 7 g sugar (about a tablespoon)
- 450 g Bread Flour (3 cups)
- 155 g Whole Wheat Flour (1 cup)
- 180 g Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain cereal (or another dry cereal, 1 cup)
- 25 g salt (1 tablespoon)
- 150 g spent grains (or granola or nuts and/or dry fruit, or exclude, 1 cup)
- 12 oz beer (usually one bottle or can. I have been using Two Brothers)
In a 1 cup liquid measuring container, mix water, yeast, and sugar and let stand while you mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, and cereals. Mix together. Add the yeast mixture and the beer. Stir until fully combined. When cohesive, cover with a wet cloth or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. At any point, it is nice to give it a few kneads/folds in the bowl. After the hour, knead the dough a few times by folding it, then shape the dough into the desired loaf and coat with extra cereal and flour. Let sit while the oven heats to 500 degrees. (If you want to use a Dutch Oven at this point, put it in the oven as it preheats. When the oven is ready, put the loaf in the dutch oven and cover with the lid and bake at 475 for 30 with the lid on, and 10 minutes with the lid off). Bake on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or cereal or just parchment paper. Lower the temperature to 475 and bake for 38-45 minutes. It is done when deeply carmel-brown and a rap on the loaf yields a hallow sound.
I am indebted to Brian for geeking out about bread with me and teaching me his way and suggesting the spent grains. If you are near a brewery and can ask for them, they are worth it!