Friday, 16 October 2009
Porter and hops bread (World Bread Day)
A recurring theme of this blog is the relationship between bread and beer. Both are among the oldest known cultivated foods and exist in our culture in a kind of symbiosis. We rely on fermentation to give us both products, and for most of history the brewery was close to the bakery ... and often the same enterprise. So my World Bread Day post has to also involve beer.
This is the beeriest bread I've made yet. It doesn't just contain beer as the liquid, it is also raised with beer yeast and has added malt and hops.
I hope it's not too bitter. When I've used beer yeast in the past I could detect residual hop bitterness in the finished bread. That didn't bother me but some people might dislike it. This one actually has dried hops added to the dough too and I wonder if it'll retain any of the wonderful hop aroma, or just their bitterness.
The malt should give munchy bits, dietary fibre and possibly unwanted enzymatic activity that will devour the entire dough during the night, leaving only a puddle of sugar syrup.
If you brew, this is an easy bread to make, because you have the malt and hops, leftover yeast and spoiled beer handy. If you don't, it's probably more trouble than it's worth.
450g white flour
50g spelt flour
20g yeasty gunk from the bottom of the fermenting bucket
20g crushed pale malt
2g crushed hops (I used Boadicea)
320g of some unsuccessful home-brewed porter beer
Straight dough, no faffing about. Bake it as you like it.
The hops give the bread a distinctive, though not very pronounced, hoppy aroma, and also, as I thought it might, a bitter finish, which is quite nice once you get used to it. You probably need to like hops a lot though. The crumb is relatively heavy for a white-flour loaf, but soft and moist; the crust is soft and chewy.