The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French Broad Rye Hopper Bread

asfolks's picture

French Broad Rye Hopper Bread

Beer and bread has always seemed like a logical combination to me and I have made several variations on beer bread. This version is based on an American Rye Ale and uses only beer for hydration.

The French Broad Brewery is just down the road and I am lucky enough to have a friend who works there. Not a bad deal, trading beer for bread.



100% hydration fed with KA Bread flour – 300g


French  Broad Rye Hopper Ale – 487g

KA Organic AP – 307g

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Rye flour – 180g

Final Dough:

KA Organic AP flour – 288g

Sea Salt – 18g

Paste Topping:

Bay State Med. Rye – 75g

French  Broad Rye Hopper Ale – 95g

Instant Yeast – 1g

Sea Salt – 2.5g



Fed active starter 8 hours prior to mix and fermented at 70°F

Flour soaker established 3 hours to mix and held at 70°F

Mixed Levain, Soaker and Final 288g of AP flour by hand and rest for 30 minutes.

Add salt.

Stretch and Fold at 00:15, 01:00, 01:30, 02:30, for a total bulk ferment of 4 hours.

Shaped 3 boules @ 525g and rested on couche seam side up, after 15 min. rest brush paste mix on seam side of boules and proof for 1 hour.

Bake @450F 15 min. with steam and then @ 400F 30 more min.



Syd's picture

That's lovely looking bread and I am sure it tastes excellent, too.  How would you describe its taste?  I would love a slice with some cured meats, pickles and cheese.  And an ale to wash it down, of course! 



asfolks's picture

Thanks for your comments. It strongly tastse like the ale it was based on and really feels like an enriched bread.

My advice would be to use your favorite beer and eat with meat and cheese, as you suggest!


wassisname's picture

Great looking beer bread!  I've never tried a rye ale... actually, I don't think I've ever even seen a rye ale, is the flavor very distinct from a regular barley ale?  Sounds like a great fit in a light rye bread.


asfolks's picture


The rye ale does have a distinct rye flavor and you're right, it does compliment the light rye bread.

I'm sure there are probably some other small breweries around that are making  rye ale, maybe one near you!


Franko's picture

Hi Alan,

I'd meant to comment on your bread when you first posted it, but things got a little busy around here yesterday. This is a wonderful looking bread rye bread you've made, with a very moist looking, open crumb. The idea of adding a type of Dutch Crunch rye topping to it is inspired and not something I've seen before. We have a good number of micro brewies here in B.C. but I've never seen any rye ale produced from them. I'll check it out more thoroughly and see if I can find one that does make it, as this is a super formula you've come up with.


asfolks's picture

I appreciate your comments. I know how you feel, it is hard to keep up with all of the great things on display here.

 We are blessed with micro breweries here in western North Carolina, as well. There are 13 breweries within a one hour drive from my house.

Have a great bake,