The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dan Lepard's Barm Bread (100% sourdough)

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Dan Lepard's Barm Bread (100% sourdough)

My husband text me from China and said his boss told him over pre-dinner drinks that he is a sucker of sourdough!   Immediately I was thinking what would I bake if he ever makes a trip to Australia, not that I've been forewarned of any near-term possibility, but I was just entertaining hypothetical visits.  Somehow, I know it's not MacGuire's that I've been making lately even with all those lovely big holey crumbs that I've been getting.  The flavors of all those MacGuire breads/sourdoughs are not the best of all breads/sourdoughs that I've made.   Indulge me with this explanation: the flavors of all those super-hydrated (and the resulting super-holey) crumbs are not deeply alluring for me to want to come back and have another slice once chewing is done.


I was out doing a bit of gardening and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine of Australian winter.   It hit me that my husband left a bottle of Irish ale in our bar fridge.  There is a Dan Lepard's recipe that uses ale (as one would expect) in his "The Handmade Loaf" that I've been wanting to try.  It's called "Barm bread."  For most of you out there there will be no difficulty guessing what a barm bread might be, but I've never heard of this word, barm.  My Wiktionary says it is an old English term referring to the foam rising upon beer or other malt liquors, when fermenting, and used as leaven in making bread (and in brewing).  So, that's it - a barm bread is like a sourdough bread.


 


To make a quick barm


250 g ale (or bottle-conditioned beer)


50 g white bread flour


4 tsp white leaven (Dan's starter is 80% hydration; as the amount used is so little, it would not matter if your is not 80%.)  


Heat up the ale or beer in a saucepan to 70C (158F), then remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the flour.  Transfer to a bowl, leave to cool down to 20C (68F), then stir in the leaven.  Cover with a plastic wrap and leave overnight to ferment.  (My barm took 36 hours to be bubbly.)  Use as you would a leaven (but adjust your recipe water as the barm is quite liquid).    


                               


          the ale and the barm freshly made up                              the barm is ready


Dan Lepard says this is a perfect replica of the complex barm of olden times for the home bakers.


Now, the above formula is really curious to me.  Recently a TFL user Bruce (Frrogg1son) asked me about a Chinese "65C soupy dough" and when I Googled it a whole string of Hongkonese and Taiwanese bread recipes ran up; many of these breads are on the sweet side with milk powder, butter and sugar, almost like French brioche breads.  I see these type of sweet white breads in Japan a lot too.  


The curious thing is that the ratio of water to flour in this "65C soupy dough" is the same as Dan's ale to flour ratio; ie, 5 to 1, and it is heated up to 65 C, closed to Dan's 70 C.  Bruce told me that the science behind this soupy dough is that "when the flour particles reach about 65C, they burst, releasing starch molecules, which have the capacity to absorb very large amounts of water.  It is like gelatinization."  What this does to a dough is that it improves the moistness of the crumb and keeping quality of the bread.   He first discovered it on the internet as a natural way to extend the moistness of some doughs.   How interesting.  I imagined what this does is similar to what potato does for some sourdoughs - very most crumbs and good keeping quality.


That said, I felt a sense of auspicious foreboding coming for this barm bread.  Dan's book (page 41) says the Barm bread is the traditional wheaten bread of England.  Wow.


 


The formula


150 g barm from above (the rest can keep in the fridge for a week)


250 g water (adjust your water temp to achieve a dough temp of around 21C / 70F)


500 g strong white flour (or a flour mix of rye and wholewheat, or even soaked grains, but I used white flour only)


10 g salt (or 1& 1/2 tsp)


*  Note: This is a 68% hydration dough; but I added 20 g extra water to bring it to 72%. 


Schedule in hours and minutes 


0 :00    In a large bowl, whisk the barm with the water.  Add the flour and salt, and stir until you have a sticky mass.  Cover.  Autolyse. The dough temp should be about 21C (70F).


0 :10    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 - 15 seconds.  Return the dough to the bowl.  Cover.  (I gave the dough 7 - 8 folds inside the bowl, which  lasted 15 seconds, much the same way as dough is folded in James MacGuire's pain de tradition here that I recently posted.) 


0 :20    Knead again as above.  (I folded the dough again in the bowl.)  The room temp should be about 20C (68F), if not, you may need to place your dough in the fridge for part of the time to keep the dough temp down.


0 :30    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.) 


1 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)


2 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)


3 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)


5 :00    Turn the dough out and divide it into two pieces of 450 g each (I left mine as whole).  Pre-shape each into a ball.  Cover.


5 :15    Shape dough into boule and place into floured linen-lined baskets or bowls.  Cover.   Leave at room temp of around 20C (68F) for a bit longer than 4 hours or until dough almost doubled.


8 :30    Turn on your oven to 220C/425F (if it takes one hour to pre-heat).


9 :30    Bake with steam for 50 - 70 minutes.


 


Phew!  This schedule may look like a bread making marathon to you but in truth my dough was not ready until after 12 hours!  I started mixing my dough at 7am yesterday, and it was only ready to bake at 8 pm!  Possible reasons are that my room temp was only around 18C (64F) and/or my barm was very slow.   And this is it:


 


  


   Dan Lepard's Barm Bread 


                  


 


What a beautiful barm bread; the taste is most amazing, richly flavored from the ale-based barm, which has a slight bitterness and sweetness from the ale.  I am most impressed by Dan's formula.  The crumb is sweetly fragrant.  It has a very deep aroma, and allure.  Now, this is something that I would come back to have more.   


 


                 


 


                          


 


It's been years since I ate past 8pm but last night I literally had 1/3 of the loaf on my own!  Any of you ladies out there, don't do what I do. 


I have not recommended any breads to people up until now because most of my breads are frivolous experiments and for my eyes only, but I do commend this one.   Whether your guests are experienced connoisseurs or no foodies at all, there would be no qualms about this superb sourdough.  (I am blowing my own trumpet.)


Thank you, Dan. 


It's time Polly our dog go out for a rumple-trot in our yard; I sang out her name and she stirred from behind my couch.  Out she went through the hallway door to enjoy the green and the afternoon sun.   And me?  I am having my afternoon tea with this bread!


                                                                                                    


             


 


Shiao-Ping 


 

Comments

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I'm sold!


Beautiful write up, as we've become accustomed to, Shiao-Ping!


I am only allotted so much time per week (or even month, for that matter!) to experiment with new recipes, or work with ones that have layers of steps, but you got me.. I absolutely must try this one = )


I vote front page! = )


- Keith

Ty's picture
Ty

Shiao-Ping


 


Frivolous experiments or not, you are a great treasure.  This is a must try.


 


Ty


 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Having home brewed beer in the past, I'm curious enough to ask if some of the dried beer yeasts must be used in baking bread. Obviously, they are cultivated for different characteristics from bread yeasts, are more expensive and are usually just sold in home brew beer shops. However, I can't see any reason why they wouldn't work for bread. Proofing times might be difficult to judge without experience. I've seen a single package of British ale yeast turn a five gallon carboy of wort into a foaming yeast beast that that took about four days to ferment out.


If someone has actually tried this, I'd be interested in the results and what you thought of bread's flavor.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you for this very nice formula for a wonderful.  ' Barm Bread'.  Not to be nick picky..most understand steaming instructions -but you never know- 9:30- someone might steam for the whole bake time!


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Looks interesting Shiao-Ping,


Was there any hint of the flavor of the Ale in the bread? I'm guessing it was a mild sour as well.


Eric

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

The sourness is very, very mild.  The flavor is really pleasant.


Shiao-Ping

Nomadcruiser53's picture
Nomadcruiser53

I love an ale taste in my breads. I must say, your breads always look perfect. Dave

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I have just realised that I committed yet another "naughtiness" in calling this loaf "Dan Lepard's Barm bread."  Sorry, Dan. 


James MacGuire, after seeing my post at TFL, was very kind writing to me and told me that:  



The recipe calls for bottle conditioned beer because bottle conditioned beers still contain live yeast which settles on the bottom of the bottle and can be stirred and cultured to make barm. Conventionally bottled beers and beer in tins like the Kilkenny in [your] photograph do not contain live yeast and therefore cannot be used in the recipe.  



No wonder my "barm" took so long to ferment!  Now I know why.  Sometimes when I read English, I don't get the exact meaning -- like bottle-conditioned beer is not bottled beer.  Now I know.   


Thank you, James.  


Shiao-Ping

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I researched the phrase last night, and found out the same info... I did not have true bottle conditioned beer on hand, so I am currently fermenting your recommended 'barm' with a bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I'm at about the 12 hr mark, and there's lots of fizzing... so we'll see!


- Keith

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi Keith


Glad to hear that you are experimenting.  Last night I found an excellent write-up by Dan Lepard in his website HERE.  I wish I read it before I did my barm bread (sigh...).


Shiao-Ping

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Hi again -


Well, what can I say... a very nice full flavored boule is sitting on the counter! The yeast content was not what I'm used to in my sourdoughs, so therefore things happened faster than expected. I was unable to stay awake long enough to final proof and bake, so I retarded the shape in the fridge, inside a banneton. When I was ready to bake, I removed the banneton and realized that it was already at least 100% proofed. With no time to bring to room temp, and no time to properly pre-heat the oven, I slashed and put it into the oven.


The amount of final proofing left it good structure, but no great spring. Far from a brick, but far from what I'm capable of producing with other recipes that I'm familiar with. Unfortunately, a search for the camera led to a phone call to the wife at work, who says she took it in to work to have it ready for baby shower pictures tomorrow.


Without much spring or bloom, the crumb is fairly open, but nothing wildly so. Who cares, right? This was an experiment, and my main goal, before making it look as pretty as possible, is to get the flavor dialed in.


The Sam Adams Lager defintely gave it a rich carmel color within the crumb itself. The bread is super soft, the crust is French Bread quality crispy, which will of course soften significantly over the next few hours.


The taste? There is something just slightly beery there, but if I was blind tasting and asked what I thought it was, I might not guess beer. That 'something' is not distracting at all. It's mild, it's pleasant if not complimentary. There is very little sour, and that is where I will need to work on it, because I want a fairly robust tang to see how it works with the 'something' that's already there.


Shiao-Ping, I thank you for inspiring a journey for me. I get stuck baking the same things out of necessity of schedule. I ventured wildly from the recipe, realistically only using the barm instructions verbatim. You are a true improviser, and while I was busy improvising away the hours, I understand why you enjoy what you do. It is indeed a completely different approach and reward system.


For the record, here's my ingredients:


Faux Barm (hehe):


250 g Samuel Adams Boston Lager


50 g King Arthur Bread Flour


24 g 75% hydration King Arthur All-purpose fed starter (at peak activity)


 


Final Recipe:


The entire Faux Barm from above


100 g King Arthur Bread Flour


180 g King Arthur All-purpose Flour


31 g King Arthur Organice Whole Wheat Flour


6.2 g Kosher Salt


Additional water


 


I did a rookie and forgot to subtract the bread flour in the faux barm from my final formula, so I needed to add some water. I spritzed from a bottle while I was doing the frisage. Turned out to be a very well-behaved dough! As you can see, quite a departure from your recipe, which I did solely because I wasn't sure what this faux barm was all about or how it would work. I was both pleased and surprised at the amount of yeast activity available. It worked more like a slow commercial yeast rather than a sourdough.


I will do this again, and I expect it to be as fun. This time I will better manage my time, and concentrate on getting some sour into the dough. Thank you again for the inspiration!


- Keith

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

that's an excellent try.  I hadn't thought of using the entire "faux" (how befitting) barm, but that's great.  I still have the leftover in my firdge, am just wondering what I would do with it.  How you've done is smarter.  (And now I have even more leftover after the weird Celtic Sourdough I made - not the bread, the idea).


Shiao-Ping

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

As with pursuits in most fine things in life, one may learn about sourdoughs or breads and obtain most information about the subject in a very short space of time; however, only after years of experience in the field can one grasp the nuances and subtleties.


James MacGuire was very kind and wrote to me that:                      



With regard to the Art Of Eating miche and flavor, I don't feel that the no knead or the 80% hydration are at play in terms of flavor. Calvel was fond of straight doughs---panification en direct---because the subtle fermentation flavors allowed the delicate flavors of the flour come shining through.  



To discern the delicate flavors of the flour, the flour we use has to be "right" in the first place.  How many tongues can differentiate the various delicate flavors in flour, given the "right" flour?   Why can't everybody be a good sommelier?   It may not be just a matter of training.   


I made a hasty call when I said at the beginning of the post that the flavors of all those super-hydrated crumbs are not deeply alluring for me; after all, I have only made them three times, each time with different flours and variations, making subtleties with each harder for me to accumulate and compare.   


Thank you, James, once again.    


Shiao-Ping    

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I suppose purists would object to your post. It was very nice that your brought to light that your "barm" wasn't true to the definition.


I know I, as well as the majority of your fellow TFLers, have enjoyed this and all your posts. New flavors will be awakened with the choices of different flours, brews and baking techniques. Your pleasure in the flavor of this bread has already enticed others. That's why we are here, that's why we share.


Thanks again,


Betty

jleung's picture
jleung

Both the bread and the writeup!


I've yet to try it, but recall the "65C soupy dough" is sometimes referred to as a water roux (湯種) starter, which can help improve the texture of the bread.


Now in terms of bottle-conditioned beer, is that the same thing or very similar to an unfiltered wheat beer, such as a Hefeweizen?


- Jackie

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Bottle conditioned beer is usually an ale where the brewery adds a bit of live yeast to the batch of beer before bottling. This helps to ferment any residual sugars to add a bit of carbonation and enhance the flavor. The practice seems to have started in England but has traveled well in the US. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from California and Kansas City's Boulevard Pale Ale are two examples of the practice. An unfiltered hefeweizen is similar but the yeast strain won't be as pure as the SNPA.


Ale yeasts are used for fermentation at temperatures (about 64-69F) that are similar to bread yeasts. Lager yeasts are more commonly used at temperatures around 40F but have been used for California Common beer such as Anchor Steam at ale fermentation temperatures. Wyeast is a very popular and reliable manufacturer for all types of beer yeasts.


I've never heard of Sam Adams lager being a bottle conditioned beer nor have I ever seen any evidence of that in the bottles I've researched. What I do know is that if it's working, don't fix it.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... and brand names.


Shiao-Ping

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi Jacqueline


The point of the matter is the bottle-conditioned beer finishes fermenting in the bottle, and as such, there is still yeast remaining in the bottle.  But bottled beer as well as beer in tins are bottled/tinned after the beer has already done fermenting (and therefore, no yeast in bottles/tins).


That is the reason why my barm took so long to be ready (because the vast quantity of flour/water relies on the very small quantity of levain that I put in).  Had I not put in the levain (as in Dan Lepard's method), I don't know if my barm would ever be ready.   Dan's recipe specifically asks for bottle-conditioned beer.  As I understand from his website forum discussion, he had the levain there more for flavor, not for leavening. 


Hope your parents and brother had a good visit.


shiao-ping

jleung's picture
jleung

Now we all understand what bottle-conditioned beer is and why it's important for this recipe!

ein's picture
ein

 


Thank you for introducing 'the Art of Eating' James MacGuire article and Breads Shiao-Ping. It's been a revelation to me to put the mixer aside and get into the dough so directly again. Revisiting time and temperature through the methods James uses has already brought about more experimentation and creativity with the simple loaves I had been making on my own.


But, I'm a bit confused about the quote from earlier today:


 


James MacGuire was very kind and wrote to me that:                      


"With regard to the Art Of Eating miche and flavor, I don't feel that the no knead or the 80% hydration are at play in terms of flavor. Calvel was fond of straight doughs---panification en direct---because the subtle fermentation flavors allowed the delicate flavors of the flour come shining through. "




I was just seeing more clearly the connection between the fermentation time and this style of handling of the dough and how directly the Bread quality seemed to be affected by the no-knead, hydration, temperature, yeast% etc.


If the no-knead and the hydration are not at play in terms of flavor where does James recommend we put our focus?


 


Above all, many thanks again for introducing these methods of Mr. MacGuire's. His work is hard to come by and of great help and fun to play with.


Dave


 



 


Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I believe, in terms of flavors, the focus is "flour."  That's how I read it.  The article  stresses that the flour has to be "right" (ie, KAF's all-purpose flour) for the artisan bread we are making here.  The no-knead and 80% hydration assit flour in allowing it developing the flavors.  Conversely, the excessive kneading destroys the flavors that the flour otherwise is capable of developing. 


This is my understanding and I am not even sure if it is absolutely correct.  I welcome any comments.


Shiao-Ping

alees's picture
alees

i am going to try this tomorrow with "Coopers Sparkling Ale" all Coopers beers are bottle conditioned. Having a sample one now.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... how you go with the Coopers barm.  I've checked with my local bottle supplier; they don't have anything that is bottole-conditioned beer.


Thanks.


Shiao-Ping

hsieni.h's picture
hsieni.h

小蘋:


麵包,做的越來越美.....也許8月底老師朋友去拜訪妳時,可以託她們帶一個給我吃?


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

You bet!


Shiao-Ping

einarfa's picture
einarfa

There have been lot of writing about what is bottle-conditioned beer, but the nail hasn't been hit exactly on the head yet. Bottle-conditioned beer is unpasturized beer that has undergone a second fermentation in the bottle by tapping the "finished" beer on the bottle with a little bit of sugar. The purpose is partly to produce CO2, instead of adding this artificially.


I guess the ale gave some flavor to the bread anyway an thus wasn't in wain. I will try this recipe when my homebrew is finished.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

information. shiao-ping

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I am in awe, Shiao-ping


 


Loved everything about this thred: the photo of the bread, your writing, and you join two things I am fascinated about: China and Dan Lepard  :-)


 


I am going on with the Baker's Apprentice Challenge, and that has been limiting a little bit the kinds of bread I can try, as I only have the weekends to indulge in yeasty activities  :-)


 


but I MUST make time to bake this barm bread. I've had the book for a few years, but never tried that one.


 


谢谢,
牛莎丽

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

It's lovely to hear from you.  Dan Lepard's beguilingly light weight book "The Handmade Loaf" is a gem in an unpretentious way.  I would like to do more from his book myself.   Thank you for your comment. 


Shiao-Ping

Ty's picture
Ty

I looked around and found the following list of a few bottle conditioned beers:



  • Brasserie d’Achouffe (Belgium) N’Ice Chouffe (up to 5 years)

  • Chimay (Belgium) Grand Reserve Blue (up to 5 years)

  • Sinebrychoff (Finland) Porter 1996 Bottling (up to 5 years)

  • King & Barnes (England) Millennium Ale (up to 10 years)

  • J.W. Lees (England) Harvest Ale 1998 (up to 10 Years)

  • Unibroue (Canada) Quelquechose (up to 10 years)

  • Young’s (England) Old Nick Barley Wine (up to 10 years)

  • Lindemans (Belgium) Gueuze Cuvée René (up to 15 years)

  • Frank Boon (Belgium) Gueuze Mariage Parfait (up to 20 years)

  • Cantillon (Belgium) Gueuze (up to 20 years)

  • Eldridge Pope (England) Thomas Hardy’s Ale (up to 20 years)


And from AMerica:


Alesmith beers
Arcadia London Porter, Lake Superior ESB
Bell's Two-Hearted
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Stoudt's IPA, Fat Dog Stout, Abbey Triple
Yards Love Stout, IPA

No doubt there are many others.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a great tasting beer for drinking, too.

Ty
Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thank you very much for compiling the list; I don't drink beer and did not realise that beer can be aged for so long (20 years!); the taste must be very special.  I haven't been able to find Australian bottle-conditioned beer, so I guess there is some research to be done on my part.  Thanks again.

rockfish42's picture
rockfish42

Cooper's are a good example of Australian bottle conditioned ales.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I had given up on trying to find an Australian bottle conditioned beers until I read about Yozza making his own beer from a kit which is Cooper's.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I made this bread over the weekend with wonderful results, but I made some changes to the recipe. 


To begin, I retarded the mix overnight in the refrigerator, because it better suited my work schedule.  The next afternoon, I formed the cold dough into a single boule, then let it proof for 4 hours at room temperature in a banneton.  I baked it on a stone at 450 for the first ten minutes, then 425 for the remainder of the bake.  For steam, I used a cup of boiling water over lava rocks in an iron skillet.  I got very good oven spring, a nice crust, and a moist, airy crumb with an intensely wheaty taste.  I decided to refresh the leftover barm with equal weights of flour and water and try for another batch.


While the first barm took 24 hours to double, this second mixture took only about 5 hours. The yeast was apparently still active.  I did as before, mixed up the dough and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  This time I pre-heated  the oven to 500 degrees and immediately lowered it to 450 for the first 15 minutes of baking.  Then I completed the bake at 425.  My loaves were smaller this time (two boules) so they only took about 50 minutes to complete. 


One loaf I baked on an open stone with steam as before, and the other I baked in an Emile Henri clay pot with a cover.  The boule that was baked on the stone appeared flatter with not as much oven spring as the first batch, but the interior of the loaf still had large, irregular holes and a creamy, moist crumb. The boule baked in the Emile Henri had more height, but I think I got a much better crust on the first boule, probably because I forgot to take the cover off the baker.


All in all, the second batch was very successful, producing loaves that were somewhat milder than the first but still very flavorful.  The bloom was not quite so dramatic as the loaves produced with the original barm, but I suspect the reason is that I didn't allow for quite enough proofing time.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Your experiments sounded so good.  They made my mouth watering and bring back the memory of my barm - the flavor was very much to my taste (unlike the recent sour Miches that I've been making).   Thank you for your comment and next time I will do what you did and retard in bulk (or even another one and retard in shaped loaf).   Thank you for taking time to write.


Shiao-Ping

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Hi Shiao-Ping,


I've learned so much from your posts and have so much admiration for your breads; it's my pleasure to be able to add something to the discussion.


Cheers,


Barbara


 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Great report!  I've been trying to set a schedule to bake this bread, since I first saw Shaoping's post  -  I think retarding the dough as you did will make it a lot easier.


 


Not sure I can make it this weekend, but maybe I can pull it during the week, using your method


 


 

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Hi Sally,


Doing it this way makes it a three-day process (barm on day 1, mixing, folding and retarding on day 2, baking on day 3.) But at least it's an easy three days.


Barbara

Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

 


It should be noted that these beers listed by Ty are SOUR beers.


·         Lindemans (Belgium) Gueuze Cuvée René (up to 15 years)


·         Frank Boon (Belgium) Gueuze Mariage Parfait (up to 20 years)


·         Cantillon (Belgium) Gueuze (up to 20 years)


That is, they are fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria. Sort of like the beer equivalent to a sourdough. So expect a different, more sour, flavor if using any of these.


 


-Bob


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

your info.  So, are the other bottle-conditioned beers listed in Ty's comment fermented by chemical fermenting agents?


Thanks, Shiao-Ping

Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

 


 


  other beers, like the vast majority of beers, are fermented with brewer's yeast only. The sour beers I mentioned have wild yeasts and bacteria in addition to brewer's yeast. Therefore, you may get some sourness from the bacteria if you use those. 


By the way, there is no such thing fermentation chemicals. All fermentation can only be accomplished with living yeast or bacteria. 


-Bob 


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I'll definitely hunt for one of these to make my next barm.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I am soooo happy I finally managed to make this bread!


It is absolutely delicious!  The taste is quite differente from your regular levain bread, like Shiao-Ping I used only white flour.  I had no idea if my barm was at its peak, as it was the first time making - I do think it was slightly past its prime time, but it worked very well


I don't think I would have tried this bread if it wasn't for this thread, so a huge thank you is in order.  


I used Chimay beer, allowed it to ferment for about 30 hours - followed the recipe exactly as described in Lepard's book. Baked in a clay pot, 30 minutes covered, 15 more uncovered, at 430F



 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

That's a beauty!! Wow, spring, crumb, crust and slashing! The only thing I can't vouch for is taste, but I'll trust your judgement  ;  )


Very nice, Betty

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

really yummy!  Thanks for showing us the photos.  Shiao-Ping

2brownbraids's picture
2brownbraids

Hello Shiao-Ping, 


I am much inspired by your pictures and your version of Dan Lepord's Barm bread. They look exquisite, I must make it too.  I have Dan's book and will bake soon. I heard that barm breads are rather challenging at times.  I will give it a try. 


Cheers, 2brownbraids

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

In fact, you may find that barm breads are NOT so challenging if you do try to make it yourself. 

themaltesebippy's picture
themaltesebippy

I made this bread today and it is amazing!  I added a small peeled, steamed yukon potato to the dough mix and it came out with a crisp crust and a tender crumb.  My crumb was more dense then the one in the photo, but it was soft and flavorful.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

it sounds beautiful to me to add that into the barm bread! 


Your picture (or painting) looks beautiful to me too. 

Pinpastry's picture
Pinpastry

Hi folks


i came across your site and this discussion and felt enthused to join the site and forum.


I live in the South West of England and bake once a week for a Saturday morning market. I use Ale Barm for most of my breads and have just over a years experience with it.


Let me say that I have not tried Dan Lepards recipe, but started from the Robert May loaf given in Elizabeth Davids "English Bread and Yeast Cookery".


I am fortunate that there has been a rennaissance in the brewing trade in Britain and many small breweries are thriving locally. I call on one of them each week and collect a bucketful of wonderfully rich Ale-barm. I believe this differs from barm created using bottled beers in the following ways.


The Ale-barm is a combination of yeast and partly fermented wort. It has a very pronounced bitterness from the hops, a rich maltiness and also a sweetness from the unfermented sugars. As a frequent drinker of "Real Ale" I would say that the taste of ale-barm is like a "raw" beer or perhaps half cooked. It also has an alcohol content of around 2% ABV.


The yeast content is variable and can present a challenge in producing consistent results.


My standard starter consists of 400g Ale barm, 1200g Flour, 2000g water. mixed lightly and left in covered bucket overnight. The flours I use are Dark Rye, White and Malthouse (Granary)


I use these starters to make a whole variety of breads and find that the starter method brings out the richness of the barm without imparting bitterness. The 100% rye bread that I make, using a sourdough type recipe, produces a beautiful flavoured malty loaf with a hint of sweetness.


I also use the barm with french T55 flour to make sticks and batons, and a couple of times when I have run out of compressed yeast have made croissants with barm.


The Robert May loaf works a treat every time, and I have now started making it with a White Spelt flour as I felt that this would be more similar to the coarser flour of the 17th century.


Getting late here and I still haven't found the ciabatta recipe I was looking for so will end for now.


I would be interested to hear if anyone else out there is using "real" ale-barm, and I am always happy to field questions and share what I have learnt so far.


 


 


 

Pages