Sourdough Saturday – Beer Bread

As mentioned last week, to some people sourdough bread means rye bread. I am never content to make loaf after loaf of basic bread though, even if it a good rye bread. So I figured this week I would add that other yeasty food item we all know and love. That’s right – beer. I made this particular loaf using the dark, rich Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.

Stouts are the darkest, heaviest beers out there – even darker than porters. The are made with a heavily roasted malt – lending the beer a nutty, chocolate like flavor. This recipe can be made with any beer you choose though. It would be just as good made with a porter or a dark amber. Just be sure to use a good-quality micro-brew that has a lot of it’s own flavor. The flavor of a light beer or any of that massed produced stuff will get lost in the rye sourdough flavor. At that point you might as well save the beer and use water in the recipe instead.

If you have been following this series, you know that I generally use the same mixing procedure each week. Start by adding the following to a large bowl or the stand mixer bowl:

  • 2 cups sourdough starter (any kind will work but I made this a rye starter by adding 2 cups of rye flour on day 7. See starter directions here.)
  • 12 ounces of room temperature beer (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Mix until well combined. Add:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Continue mixing until all the ingredients are incorporated and then knead for approx. 5 minutes with a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Notice how the stout colors the dough. It is a beautiful brown already.

Gather the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 3-4 hours.

Divide dough if making 2 smaller loaves. Form each into a loaf and place in greased pans. Or, keep as one large loaf and place in a large greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make a quick slash with a sharp knife down the center of each loaf. Bake of 50 minutes(if baking one loaf it may take longer) or until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Remove bread from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The stout gave this bread an excellent full-bodied flavor. Almost like eating chocolate covered espresso beans. But it was rich! Definitely not the kind of bread where you finish off the whole loaf in one sitting. My official taste tester (my husband) loved it though and used it all week for sandwiches.

Does anyone out there have a sourdough recipe you would like me to try? Maybe an old family recipe that hasn’t been made in a long time, or one that just includes a listing of ingredients (this is how most of the recipes come from my great-grandmother!)? Or maybe something you have always wanted to re-create but never had the time? Send them my way and I’ll give them a try!

There seems to be quite a few of us sourdough enthusiasts out there these days. A few that caught my attention are:

First Sourdough Bread at The Little Loaf

Vermont Sourdough over at My Kitchen is My Shrink an found at Yeastspotting

Sourdough Rye at While Chasing Kids

And for those of you who use a bread machine, Hassle-Free Sourdough from Imported Kiwi

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

Comments (3)

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  1. Your loaf looks lovely! I’ve not experimented with rye flour in my sourdough baking yet but it’s next on the list… 🙂

    • Thanks! I bet you’ll love the extra sour boost that rye flour gives. Rye breads aren’t as light as wheat sourdoughs, but they have more flavor (and just seem to hit the spot on dreary spring days!). Let us all know when you do experiment with rye. We’d love to see the results!

  2. Thanks for the mention 🙂 Your bread looks great! I love the aroma of beer in bread 🙂

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