The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


isand66's picture

I stopped off at Whole Foods over the weekend and couldn't resist picking up a bottle of Cherry Ale to try in a bread recipe.  I also picked up some coconut flour which I will have to try at some later point when I figure out the best use for it.

I have yet to include any nuts in any of my breads since my wife doesn't really like them, but I figured it was time to try a recipe with my favorite pecans.  Cherry Ale, pecans.....what goes together with these 2 ingredients, but some roasted garlic and rye.

I included some first clear flour to give the dough some structure and added some barley flour to make it even more interesting.  The final result was a bread with an excellent crunch, moist crumb and sour/cherry ale flavor.  This bread goes perfect with a nice bowl of soup or stew or some good cheese.


15.5 ounces 65% Hydration Starter Refreshed (I used my existing starter which is uses AP flour)

16 oz. Cherry Ale (room temperature)

9 ounces First Clear Flour (or strong bread flour)

4 ounces White Rye Flour

4 ounces Medium Rye Flour

2 ounces Barley Flour

6 ounces  Roasted Garlic (chopped)

2 ounces Chopped Pecans

2 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Pistachio Oil


Using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the cherry ale with the starter to break up the starter.

Add the flours, and oil, and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes

Add the salt Mix for 4 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.  Now add the garlic and nuts and mix until incorporated.

Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form a ball.

Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and put into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

Leave the covered dough in your bowl at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours and then put it in your refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread, take the bowl out of your refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it.  Place it in your bowl,banneton or shape into baguettes.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

wassisname's picture

I have been working through an abundance of whole rye flour and strong bread flour lately so I’ve dropped anchor in the sourdough rye section of Hamelman’s Bread.  I couldn’t quite make up my mind this week so I picked two.  First was the Whole-Rye and Whole-Wheat Bread, baked pretty much by the book.  Next was the Sourdough Rye with Walnuts.  I turned that one into something a little different.

This is my second try at the whole-rye and whole-wheat bread.  The first one was terrible.  I didn’t take enough care with the fermentation at any stage and paid the price.  At least I learned my lesson.  This time it turned out much, much better.  I made two changes to the book version – I left out the yeast (and so increased the ferment times) and I changed the bake temps, starting hotter at 500ºF and ending cooler at 425ºF.

I was happy with the result, but I don’t think this will be one of my favorites.  The flour proportions (25% rye, 25% ww, 50% bread flour) kind of leave it in no-man’s-land to my taste.  I think I would prefer it if one of the elements would stand out more.  Maybe it’s just that I’ve been baking more rye lately and my taste is leaning in that direction. 


Then came the Sourdough Rye with Walnuts… without walnuts… but with other stuff.  This turned into a big pile of pecans and cranberries (sweetened and dried from the store) wrapped in rye bread.  Oh, yum.  The dough is 50% whole rye as in the book, though I left the yeast out of this one as well.  The pecans are a bit over 20% the weight of the flour and the cranberries about 10%.  Beyond that it pretty much speaks for itself.

Though fairly dense from all the rye and nuts and berries,  there is enough bread flour to keep it soft.  Just add butter and breakfast is served!


loydb's picture

My last chocolate experiment was a bit (allright, a large bit) too sweet. This time, I eliminated the extra butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and went with 2 oz of bittersweet choc chips and 2 oz of milk choc chips. I added 5 oz of dried cherries and 4 oz of pecans. I also used 100% home-milled flour (mix of hard red and white wheat) and the Russian starter. After an initial 4 hour proof, I shaped and put in a pullman pan. Because my kitchen feels like a meat locker these days, I put the pullman pan in the microwave oven and put two cups boiling water in a sealed plastic container, then stuck it inside as well. It rose for 2 more hours, then I put the pullman pan into a cold oven, set it on 375 degrees F, and baked for 2 hours 15 minutes.

The sweetness is just about perfect for a breakfast/dessert bread. I think I'll add more cherries next time, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it.


hanseata's picture

Karin's Pecan Mini Breads

June 16, 2011 - 1:47pm -- hanseata

Pecan Breads


340 g water (95 F)
6 g instant yeast
100 g rye flour
50 g spelt flour
350 g Italian 00 flour*)
10 g salt
5 g sugar
150 g pecans or hazelnuts, toasted
1 egg , for egg wash
10 g water, for egg wash
pecan halves or whole hazelnuts, for decoration

*) can be substituted with pastry flour, but NOT with all-purpose flour!


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