Sometimes days go in another direction then my bread baking plan was scheduled. Like last weekend when my mum called to invite me for a spontaneous lunch. So I placed my dough in the fridge after kneading. When we came home it was already late afternoon and when I calculate how long it would take to proof and bake the bread I realize it would be already past my bed time. So I decided to form the loaves and proof them over night in the fridge. With a mild sourdough, this works very well without getting a to sour bread.
And indeed, the bread has only a very faint sour hint underlining the malty notes of the dark beer and a very complex flavour due to the long, cold rise. The crumb is fluffy and soft, the crust crisp, a perfect every day bread. And if you wonder why it is called “Bergisch” Beer Bread: The Bread is named after the region I live in, the Bergische Land.
There are three different ways to soak seeds or flour: You can either cook them, or soak them in hot water or in cold water. For this bread I decided to soak the seeds in cold water. They do not absorb not as much water as when hot water is used, and this results in seeds which have still some bite. As the seeds have to soak overnight some salt is added to prevent them from fermenting.
Seeds in a dough can inhibit gluten development and so the soaker is added after ten minutes of kneading. The dough is firm at the beginning and will get softer when the soaker, which contains some free water as well, is added.
For a hearty flavour I bake this bread with some beer. It is a mild organic weiss beer, but you can start to experiment with different kinds of beers. A dark brew, for example, would bring the beer flavour forward and would yield in a very hearty bread.
I’m not a huge beer fan. Seldomly, maybe one or twice a year, I like to have a little bit beer. That happens normally when we are in Belgium and then I prefer some beer from a small (family-) brewery like Brugse Zot. I don’t like Kölsch, a beer that is typical for the region I’m living, and the same is true for Pils, too.
That is not the best starting point to bake a Bread with Beer for the 5. Birthday of Bread Baking Day. I tried it anyway, but was not convinced of the taste of the bread I baked. And so I decided to cheat a little bit and bake some rolls made with malt beer. I used a local brand “Golden Malz” which is produced in a brewery only 9 km from where I live. It is a real piece of home.
The malt beer knots turned out great. Their taste has deep, malty nuance which fits nicely to the nutty taste of the fresh milled wheat in the rolls and the complex aromas which are created during the slow fermentation. The crumb is soft and fluffy and gets a nice light brown hue due to the malt and the crust is crunchy. A good tasting bread for sweet honey or jam but great with cheese, too
This bread has a “black spirit”. Black beer, dark molasse and “black wheat” (aka Buckwheat) create a nearly black crust and a deep brown crumb. The crumb looks much darker then you would guess from the amount of about 50% whole grain.
The recipe is a kind of using up leftovers. Breadcrumbs made of dried stale bread slices, some dark beer leftover from weekeend cooking and some leftover buckwheat flour which I broughed home from the summer holidays in the Lüneburge Heath (where buckwheat is still grown).
Buckwheat is an old crop, that grows well on low-fertility soil, thats why its often found to be grown in regions like heath. From the botanical view it is no grain but the fruit of a plant from the “knotweed family” (Polygonaceae). The flour contains no gluten so it should added in a low amount to bread doughs. Continue reading
I belived that I would have to skip this BBD #33. There was so much work in the lab and I have to use most of my creativ potential to solve all the problems with my troublesome experiments.
But then I saw Köstritzer Schwarzbier during my weekend shopping and my brain started to work immediately. Some seconds later I had a recipe for a Schwarzbier bread in mind. And that was perfect because the theme of this month BBD is “Bread with Booze”. So I placed a bottle of Schwarzbier in my shopping basket and changed all of my plans for Baking.
The bread that resulted of this flash of inspiration has a dark colour and a crispy crust because of the beer. I can taste a subtle taste of Schwarzbier but its not to strong to overpower the other flavours. The sweetness of honey complete the taste of the bread.