1 February 2009

spelt & ale loaf

I followed the spelt & ale variation, using guinness that wasn't doing anything useful, click on image for detailed slideshow

300ml warm water
2 tsp easy-blend yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar, any kind
½ a 500mg vitamin C tablet, crushed to a powder between two spoons
450g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
50g unsalted butter, melted
Oil and flour for kneading

  • Scald a mixing bowl with boiling water, wipe it dry, then add the warm water, yeast and sugar.
  • Stir well, then add the vitamin C, flour and salt, and stir well again. Pour in the melted butter and squidge the lot together to work the fat through the dough. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Give the dough three light kneads over 30 minutes (see Basic techniques), then cover and leave for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly flour the work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, roll up tightly and place seam-side down in a buttered and floured 2lb loaf tin. Cover the tin with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in height (about 1½ hours).
  • Heat the oven to at least 220C (200C fan-assisted), though if you can get it to 240C (220C fan-assisted), even better. Steam the oven if you like (see Basic techniques).
  • Dust flour over the dough with a tea strainer, cut the loaf down the middle with a serrated knife, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 200C (180C fan-assisted) and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until dark golden brown, remove from the oven and tin, and cool on a wire rack.


spelt & ale loaf here

"Bring 300ml dark ale or porter to the boil in a saucepan (don't let it boil over) and simmer for a minute or so to drive off the alcohol, which could slow down or even stop the yeast. Pour the ale into a jug, leave until warm, then top up to 300ml with warm water. Make the dough as above, replacing the water with the ale, and the wholemeal with spelt flour. The malt in the ale makes the dough work very quickly, so bake it as soon as it's barely doubled in height, even after an hour, as the spelt dough will collapse if left too long."


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