Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. -John Muir

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Honey and Beer Rye Sourdough Bread

Alright I admit it, I took a vacation from posting anything when I was on winter break from school and now that I have a lot of work to do again, I will continue to avoid it by updating the blog with some things I made and devoured over my vacation. 

Let me preface this recipe by saying sorry to Eric that I did not post my sourdough bread recipe sooner!  But I assure you, this recipe was worth your waiting!

For the Starter:
3/4 cup milk
1 cup rye flour
3/4 tsp easy-blend yeast

Mix these ingredients in a large bowl and them cover with a damp dish towel.  Let the starter rest in a warm place for 3 days.  Stir once or twice a day.  Also open up a bottle of your choice of beer to let it sit and get flat.

You only need 3/4 cup of flat beer for the recipe, so if you so choose pour out the 3/4 cup to get flat and don't let what remains in the bottle to go to waste.  Also note that I used Magic Hat #9 for this particular bread, but was unimpressed by the flavor it added.  In the past I have used Yuengling Traditional Lager and have been much happier with the result.  Although the next time I make this I plan to use a darker beer and see what type of flavor  I get.

For the Dough:
3/4 cup flat beer
2 3/4 cup white bread flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1 tbsp honey (I use wildflower)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast

Add the starter to the bread machine.  Next add the ingredients listed above for the dough, in that order.  Set the bread machine to the basic dough setting and press start.  Lightly grease a 8x8 in square pan.

When the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the machine and place on a floured surface.  Roll the dough into a rectangle about the same width of the baking dish and 3 times as long.  Fold the bottom third of the dough up and the top third down (see below) and then seal the edges.

Place the folded dough in the prepared baking dish and leave in a warm place to rise for 45-60 min.  Preheat the oven to 425. 

Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.

Turn the dough out onto a wire rack (I use a bamboo cutting board) and let cool.  Or, if you are like me, and you can't resist trying the bread hot out of the oven... cut off a slice and enjoy!

Mmmmm look at how beautiful it is!  So wonderful, so tasty... Just one more glamor shot.

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