20 July 2009

Benedictine Big Bread - brewed from beer

click here for slideshow

You can make bread from the dregs of organic conditioned ale - the dregs are called "trub"

No need for yeasts, just bring the trub to life using strong white flour and water. And with this beer, you can produce a one off, unique Benedictine loaf of bread, just like they did in the Days of Yore

Mick, a baker in Bethesda, Wales from Dan Lepard's own forum told me exactly how to do it.
So, in concert with Dan's ale bread with wheat grains recipe, from the Handmade Loaf, I set off to see how

To be true to Mick's method, it is important to keep this loaf HUGE, mine weighed in at 2.6 kilos after baking!

The trub starter - ingredients for 600g

1 X 500mil bottle conditioned organic brew - Scottish wheat beer here or any ale that has some sign of flotsam in the bottom
at least 1 teasp of said trub
strong white flour & water

  • shake your bottle to remove the sticky dregs in the bottle base
  • settle for 10mins & open, then pour into a jug to rest overnight
  • pour off the beer & reserve it for later
    mix the wet trub remaining, with a little strong white flour to form a paste, like so
  • cover and leave for 24hrs

  • then double the amount of your paste by adding equal parts strong white flour & water
  • cover and leave for 24hrs

  • now it's showing good signs of life, so we need to treat it as a starter by feeding it so - measure 50g of the bubbling paste, add 100g flour and 100g room temperature water
  • throw the remainder away
  • repeat that evening, 50g of starter: 100g strong white flour: 100g water
  • repeat morning and evening for 2 days

you have now just made some bubbling, sour, beer starter

onwards to the loaf ................... it's a big old boy!

The Benedictine bread - ingredients
600g strong white flour
300g rye flour
100g wholemeal flour
2 teasp sea salt
500mil bottle conditioned Scottish wheat beer, or other ale
600g trub starter
100g water
400g barley grain, or wheat or rye, as you wish in accordance with your beer choice

  • mix your chosen grain with the beer bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 40 - 45 mins till softly cook to al dente in the centre, topping up with water if it's dry - mine was

    store overnight

09:00 - 10:30
  • in one bowl mix flours and salt together
  • in another bowl mix the water, trub starter & grains - and leave for 10 mins
  • combine both bowls, bring together well kneading to a dough with your hands for exactly 10 mins, rest for 10 mins
  • knead briefly on an oiled surface X 3 times at 10 minute intervals, covering and resting in between
  • rest for 30mins

10:30 - 12:00
  • turn the dough and repeat at 30mins and 1hr X 3 times, by flattening to a rectangle, fold over left side, fold over right side, fold over top, fold over bottom, like so

12:00 - 14:30

  • shape your dough to a ball shape, and rest seam-side up, on a heavily floured tea towel in a very large bowl, till almost double - for 2 hours to 2hrs30

14:30 - 16:00

  • heat your oven to 210deg, carefully and skilfully place your risen, round ball of dough onto a baking sheet, seam-side down now
  • slash your chosen design
  • & bake for 1hr15mins, turning at intervals for even colouring and crisping
  • rest in the cooling oven for a further 15mins to ensure the centre is baked well
  • cool on a wire rack


Anne said...

Looks great - was it worth the effort?

Gill the Painter said...

Very much so Anne.
& you don't need to make complicated starters to get wonderful sour breads.

You can halve to loaf amounts to make a less daunting loaf!

goodshoeday said...

Oh wow. I've been contemplating the beer bread from Dan's book for a couple of weeks now - but only just tracked down some proper real ale to use so I'm going to try it this weekend.

How's the bread going overall? I'm getting much better and I love Dan's kneading method. I'm hoping to do a bread experiments post very soon.


Gill the Painter said...

Hi goodshoeday. It's great to hear from you.
The bread is going extremely well & I've leavens coming out of my ears, one made from the conditioned beer here, a sour apple leaven, rye & whites, leaven in the freezer.


I'm intrigued by your experimental ideas. I'll watch out for them.

Matt said...

Awesome post, I just got done racking a Hefeweizen to a secondary today and have started a starter using the trub left over from said beer. I made two starter attempts both using 125g of Trub, 15g sugar, 180ml Water and 225g of White Flour in one and 225g of Whole Wheat Flour in the other.

Am anxious to see how this turns out, will check back in.

Gill the Painter said...

Hefeweizen. I'm not sure I've seen that in our shops, Matt. I'd happily use wheatbeer again - it worked exceptionally well.

By the way, my husband drank the Summer Lightning, so I'll be trying it next time with the bottle of Hog's Back T.E.A. only about 5g of trubs in the bottom at a guess though.

Good luck with the venture your end.

Naomi Knill said...

I've just clocked this one Gill and will be coming back for more. As you know I'm ready to start experimenting with breads so I'll be back for this one...

Gill the Painter said...

great stuff, Naomi.
You'll get hooked!

Post a Comment