The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Guinness Cheddar Loaves with Wild Yeast Starter

SulaBlue's picture

Guinness Cheddar Loaves with Wild Yeast Starter

Modified from Toxo Bread's Ale and Cheddar Bread which I found via Wild Yeast. As made they have a very faint beer flavor and a mild tang of sourdough. The cheese offers up surprise bites of salty goodness. I think if I were to make this again I'd replace some of the water in the final dough with beer for a stronger beer flavor, and possibly add more cheese, possibly sprinkled over the top half-way through baking as well. I've got all sorts of variations I'd like to try with this, including upping the whole grain content if I can do so without sacrificing the crumb. That might involve incorporating an overnight soaker as well.



280g 100% Hydration starter

125g Guinness 

50g Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour

75g Bread Flour


Final Dough

- All of Pre-Dough

-660g Bread Flour

-360g Water, Lukewarm

-12g salt

-About 80g Sharp Cheddar



1. Mix starter and luke warm Guinness, add in flours. Allow to sit at room temperature until the starter becomes very bubbly and foamy - about 3-4 hours.

2. Add water to Pre-Dough, then flours. Knead for about 10 minutes, adding as little flour as possible, until dough becomes silky. Let rest 5 mins then knead in salt and cheese.

3. Allow dough to nearly double in size. Divide dough in half and shape into desired shape. Allow dough to proof until it has almost doubled again.

4. Preheat oven to 475F and when oven is hot, bake for 5 minutes at 475, then lower temperature to 450F and bake until internal temperature reaches 200-205F, about 20 minutes.




The crumb isn't quite as dense as it looks here. My cheese was very finely grated so didn't leave very many big holes due to that. It's hard to describe - it's very close, but not heavy or dense. Instead it has a plethora of tiny little air bubbles that have left it with a light mouth-feel to it.


jleung's picture

Glad to see you decided to give this recipe a go. I'm admittedly not much of a beer drinker and preferred a more subtler beer flavour; also, the amount of cheese was how much I got before I gave up grating the brick of cheddar but agree more would have been better. The idea of topping the loaves with cheese sounds lovely!

I left a comment earlier on your initial post about proportions of whole grain - I've gone up to 1/2 bread flour, 1/4 whole wheat and 1/4 rye (by weight) with decent results. Haven't tried using an overnight soaker but it would definitely help.

- Jackie (Toxo Bread)

SulaBlue's picture

I'm definitely going to play with this some more. I love beer, especially good strong beers. In fact, I can't even stomach things like Budweiser or Coors. Ugh, nasty nasty things! I really wish I could get my hands on some Amstel Bier - but you can only get a very, very limited number of Amstel products in the U.S.

I had wondered about the small amount of cheese! I think Reinhart said you could add dried fruits, nuts, cheeses, etc. up to 40% of the initial flour weight of the bread? That would have been closer to 300g of cheese - which would have made for an incredibly cheesy bread indeed. It's times like that when one truly appreciates the grater attachment on the food processor!

susanfnp's picture

Looks great and I will look forward to seeing some of your future versions with even more ale and cheese!

Susan (Wild Yeast)