Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rye Beer Bread

Emboldened by my success with the Julia Child French Bread, I decided to give another yeast bread a try. I wanted to try one from the beautiful King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook that my wonderful mother-in-law gave me, but first I have to find some instant yeast. So I played around on the Internet and found this recipe for Beer Rye Bread from Sunset.

It's really good. The taste of the beer is subtle, but it's there. I used Bass Ale because it was the closest thing to a Belgium style ale as we've got. I think if I had a good Belgian ale, this bread would be just that more delicious. As always quality ingredients make quality products. But please, it's not like I used the Michelob Ultra in the beer fridge. That would make an interesting beer bread for sure.

The texture of this bread is dramatically different than the Julia Child French Bread. Where Julia's bread was sticky as dough and air bubbles consistently popped up on the surface. This dough was stiff. I had a hard time telling for sure when it was rising even. Julia's bread has such lovely holes and a light and chewy texture. This bread is dense and has a thick and hearty texture. Please don't misunderstand me though. This bread would be ideal slathered with butter accompanying these beans, or with no butter and a hearty soup. It would also be excellent with a slab of onion and some liverwurst.

Call me nutty, but I think I just got hit over the head with my German heritage. I don't mind, I'm munching away on my bread.

Beer Rye Bread
from Sunset

1 package active dry yeast
1 (12oz) bottle Belgian style ale
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds
1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 Tbsp coarse Kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water)

In a mixing bowl, combine yeast with 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in beer, brown sugar,butter, caraway seeds, molasses, 2 tsp salt, and 1 cup of each flour. Beat well, then gradually add remaining flours until dough is stiff and no longer sticky.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to grease the top and bottom. Cover, put in a warm draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape halves into balls. Put balls on a large baking sheet, cover, and let rise until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp salt. Cut a cross in the top of each loaf with a very sharp knife.

Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes, spraying occasionally with a water mister, until crusts are well browned and loaves make a hollow sound when tapped. Transfer loaves to rack and let cool.

Makes 2 loaves, 12 slices per loaf.

Per slice: Calories 144 (17% from fat); Fat 2.7g (sat 1.3g); Protein 4.1g; Cholesterol 14mg; Sodium 271mg; Fiber 3.2g; Carbohydrate 27g


glamah16 said...

That would be fantastic with Liverwurst(I love the stuff)! A good sturdy bread. Very German like.

Cakelaw said...

What great looking bread - I think this would be delicious with soup.

LisaRene said...

Do you have an excess of beer your trying to use up? Three beer recipes in a row, are we going to see four :) It's amazing the wonderful flavor that beer adds to baked goods.

Bread, I just love bread. I'll take a quick bread any day but a real gluten rich yeast bread is undoubtedly the best.

breadchick said...


You can use active yeast for instant yeast. Just remember, you need to proof it first. You can proof in is a little as 3 Tbsp of water and that little amount of water won't add significantly to the liquid amount in the recipe.

Your rise times will also be longer than the recipe calls for by about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. BUT with those longer rise times will come a more developed flavour!

As a drinker of Bass Ale, part of me went "WHAT!" when I read you used it then I thought about the beer bread I made a few months ago when all I had was Bass in the fridge. I thought the flavour was more intense than my normal beer of choice for beer breads, Killian's Red.

breadchick said...

OH, I meant to add liverwurst on rye is one of my favourite combos and I'm printing this recipe to give it a whirl in the upcoming bread cycle!

Mrs. White said...

I love this beer bender you've been on. Makes me thirsty :)

Pixie said...

This is great Mary and I love the above salad too! I have just bought a few beetroots so shall defo be making that dish very soon.

(I also want to make this bread!)