Friday, June 22, 2012

Brew Pub Bread

I was tired of looking at all the bits and pieces in my kitchen. Staring at me from the shelves--Guinness, molasses, a little bit of to rid myself of these ingredients without wasting them? Then, like a ray of sun straight from Heaven, I stumbled upon this book. My boss and fellow foodie lent me his copy.
Under the bread section there it was: Brew Pub Bread. I read through the recipe, my pulse quickening with every ingredient listed. Finally here it was: a chance to clean out my pantry/fridge and bake something delicious!
The recipe yields two loaves--one of which I baked in a loaf pan and the other I shaped into a round using my brotform.
This bread is amazing! Thanks to the beer, it comes out of the oven a beautiful dark brown, but the crust is thin and soft. It is very dense and a little crumbly, almost like a quick bread texture. But it cuts really well and makes wonderful toast. The flavor is great--the mixture of the deep molasses and dark beer balance each other out while the oats give the bread a nice chew. Definitely a keeper!

Brew Pub Bread (2 loaves)

2 c dark beer
1 c oatmeal
2 tsp salt
½ c molasses
½ stick (1/4 c) softened butter, unsalted
1 ¼-oz package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
1/3 c warm water
5-6 c unbleached all-purpose flour

In small saucepan, bring beer to a boil. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine oatmeal, salt, molasses, butter, and hot beer. You can do this by hand—mix in a large bowl. Set aside and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water. Add to oatmeal mixture and stir to blend. Stir in flour, 2 cups at a time, stirring well after each addition. Using dough hook attachment, knead 5-8 minutes. Alternatively, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in oiled bowl, turning to coat entire surface. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, and gently divide in half. Shape each piece into a loaf and place in ungreased 9x5 loaf pans. Cover as before and let rise until doubled in bulk—about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until sides pull away from pans. Test for doneness by (carefully!) turning loaves out and thumping the side, near the bottom. It should sound hollow. If the loaves haven’t browned on the sides near the bottom, cover the top with foil to keep from burning and bake another 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on rack.
Until next time!

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