Beer bread recipe

You could follow the same beer bread recipe using all-purpose flour, but I only bake with 100% wholemeal; if you are going to go to the effort to bake your own loaf then my philosophy is to use only the best ingredients.

Bread machine loaf using beer.

There's a big fat lie in the milling world; they are allowed to remove up to 40% of the goodies and still call it wholemeal. It is in effect a refined carbohydrate.

There is masses of strong scientific research confirming that whole grains are particularly beneficial but once refined it has in reality become a junk food that raises our blood glucose and makes us obese. There's nothing good about commercial bread.

Or as Jamie Oliver likes to say if it is junk then it can't also be food.

There is no such thing as junk food. I like that and can see his reasoning. So we advocate using only 100% wholemeal; more about it below.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of 100% wholemeal flour
  • 1 TBSP hummus
  • 1 tsp salt dissolved in a cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of beer
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1.5 tsp dried yeast
  1. Fit the paddle to the baking tin.
  2. Add  hummus.
  3. Grind and add the flour.
  4. Add the water and beer.
  5. Lemon juice and honey.
  6. Tweak the paddle to mix the ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle the dried yeast over the dough.
  8. Put on 5 hour cycle in bread machine.

If you love bread, and equally enjoy a good pint of beer then this recipe is for you. Keep to about 1 1/4 cups of liquid; play with the ratio of lager to water until it's just right for you.

I used to bake in the regular oven but gave it up many years ago; everything is so much simpler in a bread machine. And it's uses a lot less electricity, reducing your carbon footprint ever so slightly.

Bakers like to add a little protein powder to the dough; it improves the shelf-life and the crumb. Personally I find soya flour very indigestible so I prefer to use hummus. You could grind chickpeas if you have a mill.

Go for it

However if you have plenty of time on your hands and enjoy getting them sticky then this is how I used to do it.

  1. Mix together your flour, salt and only 1 tsp of dried yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the beer, water and lemon juice.
  3. Using your fingers lightly knead the flour into the liquid until you have a rough-shaped lump. Cover it with a clean, used plastic bag that you've cut open.
  4. Let it sit on the counter overnight; 12 hours is best.
  5. Lightly flour a marble or stone countertop and knead your dough into a ball, pulling the edges towards the centre in the usual way. 
  6. Thoroughly grease the bottom of a Dutch oven with butter.
  7. Or better still I save the butter wrappers in the fridge for this purpose; lay them on the bottom of the oven dish.
  8. Invert your lump of dough onto the butter wrappers and cover it with the plastic wrapper you used in step 3.
  9. Let it rise for about two hours until it has doubled in size; at room temperature.
  10. Remove the plastic from your risen dough, cut a slit along the top about 1cm deep.
  11. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and put it in the oven. Turn the oven up to 220*C.
  12. Bake for half an hour with the lid on, remove the top for another half an hour.
  13. Remove the pot from the oven, and once it has cooled a little, invert it carefully onto a wire rack.

We love hot bread, but serious bakers believe that the full flavour can only be really appreciated after the loaf has cooled for an hour or two.

Allowing it to cool, and even enjoying the next day will certainly reduce the glycemic index of your beer bread recipe; the starches retrograde so they are absorbed more slowly in the small intestine resulting in a much smaller blood-glucose surge. That means it's less fattening too and more of the carbohydrate will reach the colon where it is fermented by the bacteria and yeasts forming important short chain fatty acids instead of sugars.

If you are interested grasping the meaning of starch is enormously helpful, particularly for those who are struggling with their weight.

This long-winded process is a lot less certain with many mishaps. Given me an electric bread-oven any day. Having said that, kneading the dough is wonderful exercise for the neck and shoulders and a part of that slower, contemplative way of life that we have lost, so don't let me discourage you if it is your passion.

Synergy

There is a synergy about preparing your own food. In an attempt to reduce our reliance on animal protein we have slowly increased the amount of legumes we eat, much of it through this authentic hummus recipe.

Hummus doesn't keep which is why food manufacturers have to add so many preservatives that make it taste awful. So around the fourth day when it is beginning to ferment I use it as the vegetable protein that bakers like to add to their dough; it improves the shelf-life and the crumb.

In effect you are turning your bread recipe into a sourdough; this is even more true if you can find a small brewery. It won't work this way once the beer is pasteurised.

Is use this honey brown beer for my bread recipe.

Real bread

There is a strong movement throughout the Western World either giving up bread altogether, encouraged by the various keto ways of eating, or turning to baking your own loaf using 100% wholemeal with none of the added chemicals that are used by commercial bakers. They are the source of the collywobbles that so many erroneously attribute to gluten.

Grasping the meaning of gluten is also enormously important if you have bloating and discomfort after eating the commercial loaf; those who give up their daily bread inevitably turn to highly refined starches to their great detriment.

Just read the labels on your gluten-free food and you'll see what I mean.

This completely unrefined, free of chemicals, loaf is being called real bread. As the best beer is slow-brewed so dough that is proved in the long-winded way is so much tastier and more nutritious.

For this reason I often just include a little beer in our regular sourdough bread when looking for something a little different; then I allow it to ferment overnight. 

The fermentation that occurs in the sourdough process is what reduces the influence of the antinutrients mentioned above. Those who enjoy a beer bread recipe made in this way need have no fear of lectins and phytates, despite what the scaremongers have to say.

Beer bread recipe

This beer bread recipe is very easy to make using a dedicated electric oven but very long-winded using the traditional method.


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