|beer bread from the oven with a slice cut off|
Did I mention it before? Beer and homemade bread, some of my favorite, go so well together. I had to make another beer bread. Especially I wanted to bake this organic bread as a present for Camilla and Achim, two of my friends from Switzerland and Germany. Normally I would tell them to go and get your own bread in the bakery, but the problem is that both them are living in a small city in China with no decent bakery that makes German style self made bread. Both of them did not really buy an oven and while Achim is making bread with his bread baking machine (if you want to know how that goes, please compare my first entries in the bread section) and Camilla started her countdown when she is leaving China for good back home, so she never really bothered buying an oven. Funny at this place to remark that she did bring a Nespresso machine from Switzerland, so we clearly see the bread / coffee priority of Camilla. Anyhow, back to the topic. I found this awesome artisan bread recipe for a beer bread and before my Chinese New Year holiday’s proceeded to bake this bread for the three smaller size loafs, enough for the three of us. Have fun baking it.
188 g rye flour
188 g lukewarm beer (dark beer or wheat beer should be good)
18 g rye sourdough starter
Mix everything well and keep it 12 – 14 hours are room temperature – being around 25 degrees Celsius)
375 g rye flour
275 g wheat flour
100 g whole wheat flour (I only had wheat flour cause I did not find out yet where I am going to buy whole wheat flour in China)
18 g fresh yeast or 2.5 g dried yeast
18 g salt
a spoon of honey
450 g lukewarm beer (dark beer or wheat beer should be good)
ATTENTION: my dough was much too soft and runny and the bread therefore run apart and was a bit flat after baking. In my discussion with the creator of the recipe we found that maybe my flours are not ideal and I should experiment with the addition of the liquids (take a bit less beer etc.). I will take this as an important feedback for all my future recipes and for those of you that are using my recipes to bake your own bread using standard Chinese flour (back in Germany I can even buy so many different wheat flours in every typical supermarkets, here in China i get only the all purpose flour and that's it). In the end you have to try and bake with what you have and slowly adapt and get the feeling when dough is a bit runny or just right. But all in all the bread was still awesome so this should not scare you away from trying to bake your own bread. Back to the recipe:
Mix everything well together, knead the dough for ten minutes. Now let the dough rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes we now form the bread. If you are not sure how to form / shape bread, please follow my link on "bread baking basics + know how". This is another one of my free formed bread and so, it has to rest in a form in order to not run flat on you. So normally you would put in a bread fermentation basket it you have one. This is a basket that bakers will let their breads ferment in for a while to get in form while fermenting. As I don't have a special basket for this, I am just taking a normal high bowl (I am still using the same on that I used when I made this bread) with a round bottom that gives my bread more or less the form that I desire for the bread. I sprinkle now a good amount of flour over the top side of the each bread so it won’t stick to the bowl and later the bread will have a nice white floury looking kind of surface. Now I add the formed dough bottom upside down into the bowl. Once the dough is added, I also wet the top of the dough (which means the bottom of the bread) one more time so it won't get a hard crust on top. Let the bread ferment another 60 – 90 minutes until it reached double of its original volume.
Once the breads have been fermented, I drop them upside down from their bread baskets on my permanent teflon bakingfoil on which I already sprinkled a bed of flour. I wet the top of the bread one more time and sprinkle some sesame grains over the bread before it goes in the oven. The oven should be pre heated on 250°C. Now I pop the bread on the foil in the oven and bake the bread for 2 minutes in this dry oven so this way the bread will quickly get a hard outside and will not run apart any more. After those 2 minutes, I now pour a cup of hot water in the oven (if you do not have this inbuilt steaming program in your oven at home) and also place a cup of water on the floor of the oven to give some additional steam later on then I quickly close the door so the hot steam will be caught within the oven. Having all that steam in the oven is, like mentioned many times before, extremely important for a scrumptious crust and a great consistency of the bread.
Bake the breads for 15 minutes like this, then open up the door, let the steam out, lower the heat on 180°C and continue to bake the bread for another 40 - 45 minutes. Now switch off the heat, keep the door open and let the bread cool down slowly.
Consumption tips: This is a rye based bread. Rye based breads are best consumed one day after they are baked. I know it is hard to wait with all those fantastic smells around you when the bread is fresh from the oven, but be patient, wait for one day and you will be rewarded with an awesome tasting bread indeed.
BTW, I will try to post this bread to the yeast spotting webpage, let’s see if I get posted over there with this artisan fresh artisanal bread recipe…
PS: I got posted on the yeast spotting page - YEAH Check it out over here...