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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beer Bread with Roasted Barley

One of the breads for June in the Mellow Bakers Challenge is Beer Bread with Roasted Barley. Hamelman says that husked malted barley is easy to find in beer-brewing stores. My beer-brewing stores referred to it as dehusked barley. Apparently, there are many varieties of barley. My local store had a dehusked, already roasted dried barley called carafa II malt. There is another store on the other side of town that has more varieties of barley, I may have to visit it. The roasted barley is very dark. I tasted it and it was not bitter.

The bread starts off with a polish made with equal parts of bread flour and water and only 1/8 of a teaspoon of yeast. I am always impressed at what such a small amount of yeast can do. The final dough includes the poolish, bread flour, whole-wheat flour, beer, water, salt, yeast, malted barley.

This is a bread full of choices. What kind of barley, what kind of beer. I decided to try a lager for the beer.

All of the ingredients were weighed out. Again, Mr. Hamelman please use metrics. Those .6 oz are a little challenging and the fractions make me feel old, my eyes are failing.

The ingredients were put in a mixing bowl. I blended the flours, salt, yeast and barley and then added the poolish, beer water mix and turned it on and slopped beer all over my pajamas. Note to self, mix with spoon in the future.

The bread was mixed for six minutes and then left to ferment for two hours with a fold after one hour. I needed to add a little more flour and questioned if I should have added more.

At this point, I am a little worried about the dough. It is still pretty wet. The question is is it modernly loose hydration? I shape it and divide into two. At some point, I will buy another bannetone. I shaped one into a boule and one went into the bannetone and they were left to rise for an hour.

After about 70 mins, the boules were baked. The loaves only took 30 mins until they were done. They had a delightful crust and a complex flavor. I have never baked with barley or beer. I can't wait to see what my fellow mellow bakers think of this, I think that there will be a lot of variables, what kind of barley, what kind of beer. I wonder what the verdict will be.


  1. This bread sounds so intriguing . . . I'll have to let the beer-drinking hubby decide what kind of beer to use. Love your detailed post! =)

  2. What a lovely post Anne-Marie, I wonder how mnay of us bake in our pjs? I suspect quite a few! Your bread looks like it would be really good with some salami or some strong cheese. Does it have a strong flavour do you think?

    You could always put a linen teatowel in a bowl with steep sides, rub it with rye flour and use that as a make shift banneton. Choose a bowl with steepish sides. Joanna :)

  3. Jo,
    This is the first day of summer vacation, as I am a school nurse, I so enjoyed staying in my pajamas.

    It is not a mellow bread, my son was impressed that you can smell the beer coming from the bread.

    Sometimes I use my colander but I really would like one of the oblong bannetones. I am trying to limit what I bring into the house, the cookbooks have taken over.

    Anne Marie

  4. How was at the end? did it rise enough? I agree with Abby, this bread is really intriguing. Very nice and detailed post.


  5. We like it, it has a strong flavor, but I used a dark roasted barley. Hopefully without husks...It had enough rise.

    Anne Marie

  6. It looks wonderful. I love the deep tones. With the robust flavor, that had to be good stuff to eat!

    And since you asked me not to keep you hanging too long, I finally finished the 2 sourdoughs over at:

    (shameless plug inserted above)



  7. I've baked with beer before but never made bread with beer. I'm intrigued and happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

  8. Lovely post and lovelier bread! I love the deep caramel almost chocolate color of your loaves.

    I ate some of the barley I sprouted and roasted and I was amazed that they are sweetish, although I didn't roast them as dark as yours.

  9. Silly girl, the cook books have taken over hey? Then it's bannetons. Then it's pans. Then ...
    Then the fridge will be filled with yeasts and beers.
    The all those flours in the freez.
    Who's running this kitchen ... oh that would be me and you.
    Maybe it's a good thing. Then there's no room left for ice cream, or sodas or chips ... all out because of flour, beer and bannetons.

    The bread is beautiful. Barley, I must seek out variety;0)