Bread project – Alsatian beer bread

As already mentioned, I like making pizza regularly and tried to improve my dough recipes over time. Besides a few attempts as a kid, I haven’t tried making bread very often. Maybe this has to do with this being quite technical. Two rather successful attempts have been burger buns (still have a recipe on hand, but lost the source) and ciabatta bread. I’ve made this last one recently and it renewed my interest for bread making.

One week ago, I’ve made a poolish again (following this recipe) and attempted to make sourdough bread (although the starter was still pretty young). This recipe gave an ok result, but the taste was too yeasty and the bread not crunchy enough. It might also be my fault: I don’t have a proper dutch oven, so I’ve managed by using gratin dishes and in that case it was a bit small and didn’t allow the bread to fully extend.

Next try this weekend, with a recipe for Alsatian beer bread. Although I’m Alsatian, I had never tasted anything like this but the photos looked appetizing enough. The result was the best bread I’ve ever made myself. Very crunchy outside and chewy inside, with a lot of flavour. This recipe comes in 3 different steps. Ingredients make 3 smallish loaves. I did everything by hand but feel free to use an electronic kneader.

Pâte Fermentée (which means fermented dough)

Ingredients

  • 95g 405 flour
  • 95g 550 flour (I’ve used half 405 flour and half whole wheat, which also works fine)
  • 3g salt
  • 1g instant yeast or 3g fresh one
  • 119g water

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Instructions

  • Mix it all together
  • Let it rest 3 hours at room temperature
  • Leave it overnight in the fridge or proceed to next step (what I did here)

Final dough

Ingredients

  • 28g potato flakes
  • 98g water (for the potato flakes)
  • the pâte fermentée
  • 250g 550 flour
  • 125g whole rye flour
  • 6g salt
  • 4g instant yeast or 12g fresh one (I’ve used fresh yeast)
  • 220g water (I’ve made it 150g dark beer and 70g water)

Instructions

  • If the pâte fermentée was in the fridge, take it out at least 2 hours in advance
  • Mix the potato flakes and the water in a separate bowl

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  • Add all the dry ingredients to the pâte fermentée
  • Add the water/beer mix step by step while kneading and stop as soon as it feels like a smooth ball
  • Add the potato
  • Knead for 5 to 10 minutes

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  • Let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature
  • Divide into 3 pieces, shape them into rounds and let them rest for 15 minutes
  • Shape into triangle by lifting three sides of the round

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  • Place on a baking paper, on top of a baking sheet

Beer crust

Ingredients

  • 50g whole rye flour
  • 90g dark beer
  • 1g salt
  • 1g instant yeast or 3g fresh one

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Instructions

  • Mix up all ingredients
  • Spread on the loaves and dust with rye flour

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  • Let the bread rise for at least an hour (I’ve waited about 2 hours)
  • Heat-up your oven to 245° C

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  • Dust rye flour on top as it’s likely that it got absorbed
  • Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the loaves and bake for an extra 20 minutes

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