{Guest Post} Beer Battered Rye Bread

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Hello all

This is Diana’s husband! I’m here to share another bread recipe with you as I have been on bread making duty again this week and have been experimenting with what little we had left in the pantry in the way of bread making materials. This led to the hotch potch loaf you see before you. I found the dregs of bags of Rye and Strong Wholemeal flour so got to work!

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I remembered seeing a Paul Holywood Rye loaf recipe a while ago I wanted to have a go at that. It used Ale in the loaf instead of water and also a batter to go on top to give a crunchy crust. I completely forgot about the ale aspect at first so never got to use it in the loaf itself and it wasn’t until I was just about to let the dough do its second rise that I thought about it. Also I had the added problem of not having any ale to do it with! This is all going very well I hear you thinking. That’s right I can hear your thoughts! But only if it’s related to bread! Well despite it all, it turned out surprisingly well! With an incredibly crusty crust and tasty rye goodness.
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We had a couple of friends around a while ago one of whom brought a few beers with him. I’m not a massive beer drinker so there were a couple of cans left over sat in the larder waiting for a special occasion such as this. So I was able to make a beer batter to go over the top of the loaf even if there was none used in the loaf itself.
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To make the loaf this is what you’ll need –

For the loaf – 

250g – Rye flour

250g – Strong Wholemeal flour

1tbsp – salt

14g – fast action yeast (it needs quite a bit to rise)

1tsp – brown sugar

1tbsp – Maple Syrup (I tried adding this instead of just the sugar but it didn’t come through much. More may be needed if you like the idea of it)

360ml – water

For the batter –

100g – Plain Flour

150ml – Beer

Pinch of caster sugar

50g – Jumbo Rolled Oats

Now for the making of the loaf –

1. Mix the two flours together in a bowl and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Keep them separated at this stage as if they are mixed the salt can kill the yeast. Also add the sugar and start to mix the dry ingredients

2. Slowly add the water to the ingredients until they have been brought together. Once they are fully integrated and the sides of the bowl become clean you can tip out the mixture onto a surface to knead it for around 10 minutes.

3. Once kneaded make the dough into a ball and place for 2 hours in a lightly oiled bowl to rise.

4. After 2 hours knock the dough back and make it into a slightly squashed dome. Mix the ingredients for the batter in a bowl and smear it all over the dough dome. This is a pretty sexy stage of the bread making process so enjoy!

5. Once covered allow it to rise again for another 1 hour.

6. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and once heated place the loaf on the middle shelf for 25 minutes. You can place a tray of water in the oven as well to add to the crustiness of the loaf. After 25 minutes turn the oven down to gas mark 6 and cook for a further 15. Around 40 minutes should be enough but if you need slightly more for it to sound hollow from a good old tap on the bottom then so be it!

And that’s that! Loaf ready. Boom town. It’s delicious with some strong cheddar! 20140218-211930.jpg

9 thoughts on “{Guest Post} Beer Battered Rye Bread

  1. How much beer was supposed to go in the batter? In case I want to try the Real Thing instead? And any particular sort of beer?

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    • I would go for a dark ale if I were you. I used a larger such as Grolsh, which worked really well though. You can just substitute the water used in this recipe for the ale/lager when you do it so 360ml. Hope that helps!

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    • Rye bread is really good, especially with cheese. I hope he likes it. Let me know how it goes!

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