stout bread recipe

STOUT FERMENTED BREAD

stoutbread

It only seems natural that stout and bread should go together, both rely on a strong fermentation process and both benefit from slowing time down a little. This loaf uses a stout ferment, giving the bread a complex beery taste that pairs nicely with a good chunk of cheese, a fruity chutney and of course a cheeky glass of stout!

INGREDIENTS
(makes 2 large loaves)

FOR THE FERMENT

125ml of good dark stout (lukewarm)
125g strong white bread flour
6g fresh yeast

FOR THE BREAD

All of the ferment
600g strong white bread flour
200g dark rye flour
6g fresh yeast
500ml water (at room temperature)
15g salt
Extra flour for dusting.

METHOD

FOR THE FERMENT

To make the  stout ferment, dissolve the yeast into the stout and mix well with the flour in a large bowl. Cover with a bag/damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 3-4 hours till well risen and bubbling.

FOR THE BREAD

Add all the ingredients for the bread to the ferment except the salt. Bring the mixture together and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and then add the salt. Continue to knead until the dough is silky, smooth and springs back when pressed. (If using a mixer you can add salt after 5 minutes)

Form the dough into a round, lightly flour and place in a clean bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for an hour, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size. Turn the dough out, lightly fold (pressing out the air gently) form into a round and place back into the bowl, cover and leave for another hour.

Place a baking stone or heavy baking tray into the middle of your oven and pre heat to 220c. To help achieve the ‘crust’  you can place an oven proof dish filled with water on a lower shelf to create steam, this works really well.

After an hour the dough should be doubled in size and ready to shape. Gently scoop out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two equal pieces. Shape the dough into desired shape and place upside down into a banneton (or use a bowl lined with a floured tea towel). Cover and give a final prove for another hour, or until well risen.

Gently turn the dough onto a floured board/tray, slash the tops with a sharp knife and quickly slide into the oven. Bake at 220c for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180c and continue to bake for 20 minutes.

Leave on a wire rack to cool.

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