Bread is one of the main players in the food game I call Controlled Fermentation. By that I mean that there certain classes of foods that we all enjoy, everywhere in the world, that are the result of manipulating the conditions of fermenting the basic ingredients. Beer is another. So is cheese. So when you combine beer (made with brewer's yeast) and bread (made with baker's yeast) you know it's got to be great!
Across Europe, especially Northern and Eastern Europe, where beer is king, there are many variations of this bread. The beer adds a wonderful earthy flavor (but no alcohol since it evaporates in the oven), and combined with the whole wheat flour makes for a bread that is both healthy and delicious. This recipe is an English variety, but, there are many, many more from Ireland east all the way to Russia. Enjoy!
Here's What You'll Need:
9 oz/250 g whole wheat flour
9 oz/250 g AP or bread flour
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. dry yeast
2 Tbs. butter
10 oz/300 ml good beer
Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl and combine by hand until all the flour is absorbed.
2. Remove the still rough dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead vigorously for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and only very slightly tacky. Place the dough back into the bowl, covered, and let it rest for about and hour.
3. Form the dough into a ball, then flatten slightly by hand. After placing the dough on a lined baking tray, slash the dough diagonally. Cover it loosely with plastic and let it rise for about 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes until it is a deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.
5. Serve this bread with a good sharp cheddar or other sharp cheese, fresh veggies, and, of course, cold beer.