The Fresh Loaf

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Stout Is Good For You - Katie's Stout & Flaxseed Bread

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

Stout Is Good For You - Katie's Stout & Flaxseed Bread

A while ago, Andy (ananda) - always good for some pretty amazing loaves - posted about the entries of two of his baking students for the "Young Baker of the Year Contest" in Newcastle, England. Much as I love the goodness of a simple crusty white bread, my heart belongs to the complexity of mixed grains and nutty add-ins, therefore I copied those two right away into my recipe program.

Finalist Faye's entry, the Nettle Bread, I already baked - it is as unusual as tasty, and made it straight into my team of "Most Valuable Breads":

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21966/faye039s-award-winning-nettle-bread

Katie's, the other student's, bread, with it's content of stout beer and flaxseeds, appeared equally tempting, and was in the top ten of my to-do bread list. As a good German, I love beer (the real stuff, not the dish wash water labelled Bud Light), and flaxseed add a nice extra bit of crunch. And, who wouldn't agree - it's healthy, to0.

I always found truth in the old adage: "Guinness is good for you", and apply that piece of sage advice to it's American brethren, like our local Cadillac Mountain Stout, or one of the other great New England stout beers.

First I made the Stout and Linseed Bread, almost exactly following Katie's formula, and Andy's description of the procedure:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20318/young-baker-competition-half-term-home-baking

I only made some minor changes: fresh yeast is not easily available here, so I used instant yeast instead, and regular flaxseed instead of prettier looking (but the same tasting) golden flaxseed. And, of course, I couldn't lay hands on Allendale Stout, but I had Cadillac Mountain Stout as a worthy stand-in. I also scaled the recipe amounts down to a sixth: for one loaf.

At this first trial, my dough appeared to be very wet, therefore I decided to bake the bread in a Dutch oven, like RonRay's Apple Yeast Bread, not as a free standing loaf (at 450 F, reducing the temperature after 20 minutes to 425 F). Though it had a good oven spring, it didn't rise as high, but spread quite a bit. The crust was very nice, though, and the taste as good as expected.

Stout Flaxseed Bread - 1. Bake

I was wondering whether the somewhat complicated procedure couldn't be a bit streamlined, instead of 15 minutes long, slow kneading, using Peter Reinhart's shorter knead and S & F technique. I also wanted to adapt the process to my preferred overnight cold bulk fermentation, in order to bake the bread earlier in the morning.

So I mixed soaker and stout barm in the morning, placing the barm in the refrigerator to ferment - I don't really see the necessity of keeping the flaxseed soaker, too, in a cool place - I always leave my soakers at room temperature on the countertop for one day: without any ill effect. In the evening I prepared the final dough: 2 minutes slow mixing, until all came together - 5 minutes rest - 6 minutes kneading at medium-low speed, then 4 times S & F, with 10 minute intervals, on the counter.

This time, without changing the hydration, the dough felt more manageable, very nice and supple. It rose well overnight in the refrigerator, shaping was no problem, and I baked it as free standing hearth bread.

Stout Flaxseed 2. Bake

This time no sideways escape, the bread behaved, and rose upward. The taste was the same - simply great! Another winner for my "Bread Hall of Fame".

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24936/katie039s-stout-amp-flaxseed-bread

 

Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great looking breads Hanseata. That looks like a perfect Fall loaf.

And please Hanseata, we here in the US know our beer is weak and flavorless. We know the mass market swill is only good for quenching thirst on a hot dry day when dirty river water looks good also. Please, rubbing our noses in it by showing your most excellent brew just makes it hard to live day by day. Fortunately we are experiencing a resurgence of craft brewing here in the US. Every day more and more good beer is being made and consumed. There may be hope for us yet.

Eric

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Eric, we have so many nice micro breweries here in Maine, that even a German beer snob like me is perfectly happy with them.

But "Bud" is my pet object for jokes, especially since I had the "real" Budweiser from Budvar.

And you are right, this is the perfect Fall Loaf!

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

A beer note -

I dare not comment on American vs European brews due to the fact that I live in the shadow of Coors brewery....in fact, if the weather conditions are right, the aroma of malting barley can be caught on a quiet Sunday morning here abouts....

Another reason being - I don't drink beer :-)  I am one who strongly believes that the ignorant should refrain from sharing anything on a topic with which they have no experience :^)

Now for the loaf and the modified technique.  You know I do PR's method too and, like you, I always bake a new formula as recommended the first time.  The second it goes to his method and I usually get better results also.  The man knows his whole grains! 

Your loaf is beautiful and now for me to try it but find something other than beer to use that will have similar results....spiked apple cider prehaps....who knows, but I just can't resist a loaf that uses flax seeds.  They are a seed my kids will now eat in a loaf!  (After over a year of baking....)

Thanks for taking the time to share your results here.

Take Care,

Janet

Floydm's picture
Floydm

That is lovely and indeed quite autumnal.  

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I appreciate your friendly comment.

Karin



ehanner's picture
ehanner

Karin,

My son is in Brussels on vacation at the moment. Every morning he taunts me with the list of wonderful brews he had last night. Apparently there is a Beer Festival going on at the moment. Go figure:>)

Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Very nice, Karin!  I've never acquired a taste for beer...but I'm sure I could enjoy it baked : )  Thanks for another keeper!

Sylvia

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Janet and Sylvia, you don't really taste the beer, so you can enjoy it baked. Just see it as another interesting baking ingredient, and not as alcohol. Since I baked the bread with one sweeter and one more bitter stout beer, and both had a great taste (I was a bit worried about a possible bitterness first, but couldn't discern any in the baked bread), you can just get a stout beer that your supermarket offers.

An apple cider variation seems an interesting option, too.

Karin

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Having never baked with beer, I'm curious. If you "don't really taste the beer," I wonder what you think it contributes to the bread.

David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

David, what I meant is that the bread doesn't have a "raw" beer flavor, but a well rounded taste. I like cooking with alcohol, and I like flavoring pastry with liquor. My pantry is full of all kinds of bottles I mainly use for cooking (they don't mysteriously "evaporate" anymore with my children out of the house). The liquor adds a certain pleasant spicyness, a hint of the kind of alcohol you use, but you don't want a really "boozy" taste.

Beer might well do something good to enhance the performance of the dough, too, both containing yeast, but I don't really know. Anyway, taste rules, and this bread has a lot of it.

Karin

wally's picture
wally

I hadn't seen your blog post and just commented on the one you put on the Forum.  My question was what flavor the stout added to the bread, and I see my answer in your response to David's comment.

I will gladly sacrifice a can of Guinness to attempt this bread.  Looking at the formula I'm thinking that substituting some rye might be interesting.

Thanks for sharing,

Larry

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Karin,

Thank you so much for posting on this; I am sure Katie will be "over the moon" when she reads this!

Actually, everything I posted is Katie's own work.   The recipe and formula and the Method.   I just pasted the whole document into my blog entry.   Same with Faye's entry.   This was a requirement of the Competition; however, I like to think these students went well beyond what was actually required of them.   Both being excellent students!

Katie's method did revolve around her own home schedule, as she set up her own soaker and barm.   I worked with her to plan the schedule.   We used Hamelman, J. (2004; pp. 176 -177) method of soaking flaxseed for his Sourdough Seed Bread.

The reasonig behind the mixing schedule was that Katie made a large batch of dough, as shown in the recipe [over 5kg]   She used the 10 quart spiral mixer, which is single speed and single direction for the bowl.   The mixing action is very gentle; that is where her description comes from.   If you compare the photos, her bread came out with a very similar crumb to your second, and improved version.

Beer in bread is great; thank you for all your very kind words about the work of the 2 students, of many, that I was privileged to teach over the 4 years I worked at the College.

It is a bit like cheese in bread in some respects.   If you don't use strongly flavoured beer, it ends up getting lost.   So Dry Stout, or, Strong Pale Ales or Pilsener type beers work well.   Light beers fade into the background and disappear.   The flavours, David?   I think the maltiness definitely comes through and the bread has more body to it somehow.   There is of course, so much historical overlap between the 2, and what of the ingredients used?   Very similar, of course!

Top stuff, thanks!

Very best wishes

Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

of course Katie had to adjust the procedure to her environment. Please, give her my regards, if you see or hear from her, I do appreciate her creativity.

And you must have been a good teacher, too!

Karin

 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Hanseata

Very good looking bread there and one of my favourites too!

i actually started brewing my own stout so that i could use it in my bread making, especially when i was requiring over 2 litres of the stuff in a couple of the batches and although there were some really nice stouts available the price  of a bottle of stout was getting to be expensive @ over  $4.00 a 750ml bottle. I have made a few brews now and the results have been really good, equally as good as any that you can buy,but the cost is now around 65 cents a litre. I also add malt powder to the stout at the bottling stage which gives a really nice creamy finish to the stout for drinking and baking as well 

For me the stout also brings a rich colour to the dough and when allowed to soak with wholemeal flour overnight really soaks into the bran and sets up a slow ferment and conditioning of the gluten in that flour ready for the later  mix.

I am making a 50%wholemeal with my home brew stout bread for a dinner that is being held here at the college soon,  Chaine Des Rotisseurs where there will be 18 chefs from various establisments  cooking for 60 guests all from the hospitality industry, im sure that they will find the bread to their liking and nothing like anything that is available commercially.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That's is real dedication, and very impressive, Yozzause!

This could really tempt me to try my hand at brewing, too (I can already see the face of my long suffering husband at even more equipment, gadgets and stored goods!). Did you also try bread made with spent grain? I always wanted to try Peter Reinhart's recipe, but was never able to get some.

Would you be willing to share the formula for your 50% whole wheat/stout bread? If I consider the bland, crustless breads I had at even really good restaurants, your bread will certainly be a winner.

Good luck with your college dinner - and, please, let us know how it went.

Karin

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Karin

i will endeavour to take som pics on the dayof the event.

There were a couple of posts that i have done on the stout bread here are 2 i found 

 www.thefreshloaf.com/.../50-stoneground-wholemeal-sunflower-seeds-and-home-brew-dark-irish-stout-raised

 www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16684/dark-ale-white-flour

i will take special note of everything i do  on the day and  write it up.

I must say that doing the brewing is very complimentry to the baking and quite good fun too, i have quite a few taste testers here too for the stout

I was given a second brew kit recently and was able to pass it on to a niece that liked the stout i was making, i even gave her the first can to get her started.

I have an irish stout that should be nearing completeion, i have had to give it a hot water bottle in the morning and as i go to bed as we have had some cool weather here just lately

We have quite a few brew shops here where you can by the grain and everything like that instead of the cans with all the good stuff in, i guess the spent grain from there would be good or just buying some and sprouting it and then incorporating into the dough would be good too.  

The mind boggles with all the possibilities

 kind regards Derek 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

(the first one didn't work anymore), but the Dark Ale Breads looks very tasty.

Is the addition of bread improver really necessary or had it to do with the limited time you had to make it for the restaurant?

Karin

 

 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Karin

you can disregard the bread improver i only used it beacuse it was there and time constraints for the students classes and restaurant service, the longer the time doughs have time to condition the gluten  rather than relying on chemical help!

if the link i posted din't work just do a search on my blog and you should find it there.

regards Derek

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hanseata, I was so inspired by your take on Katie's Stout-Flax Seed loaf I have a batch in the cooler waiting to be baked tomorrow. I didn't actually have any Stout but I do happen to have some home brew Nut Brown Ale. It has a nice deep flavor but isn't as dark so I expect my crumb will be lighter than yours. I followed Katie's plan with the exception of adding a small amount of wheat germ. I'm looking forward to tasting this tomorrow.

PS: For the whole wheat I used the fine grind fresh WW from Flourgirl51 I have found to be so good.

Eric

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm sure, it will taste very good with Nut brown Ale, too.

It is so nice how interesting recipes like this can inspire people, and everybody can contribute his own slightly different take on it.

Karin

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin,

Breads looks delicious! Most worthy use of some stout there...

Best wishes, Daisy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Karin,
I'm guessing the beer barm must have had quite an aroma!
Your bread looks 'rich' and very-good-tasting.
:^) from breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The beer barm smelled, indeed, nice.

I don't only like drinking stout, I also like to cook and bake with it. Two weeks ago I made a stout buttercream for cupcakes, reducing the beer to syrup consistency that added a wonderful flavor to the frosting.

Karin

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Karin,
I see the potential for "Birthday Beer Buttercream" for my friend Bill...I'd be willing to try it, to see if he would like it!
Hope I don't forget about this idea before Bill's next birthday rolls around!
With thanks from breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Karin,
I made this bread using your timetable/mixing instructions...what a delicious, nutty-tasting bread, very moist crumb and a lovely crust. A definite favorite, and what a pleasure to discover!
Thanks!!! :^) from breadsong