I found one lonely six-pack of Oktoberfest at a local market and gave it a home and a higher purpose. To make it extra festive I threw in a shot of Jaegermeister, too. I've made bread with beer and I've made bread with liquor, but this is the first time I've used both. It began as something of a novelty idea, but it actually works. The aroma during baking was incredible. That alone was almost worth it. And it's loaded with flavor! A little sweetness from the malty beer and sugary liquor, and a little anise/spice from the liquor, on top of the whole wheat / rye / sourdough combo - there's a lot going on. Not a subtle loaf.
Snapshot: About a 70/30 mix of whole wheat/whole rye. Sourdough. Beer and liquor for all the liquid.
The Formula (This is for 2 loaves):
Soaker: 454g WW bread flour, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 shots of Jaegermeister and enough beer to total 340g liquid. Mix 2-3 min., place in covered container at room temp. 12 hrs.
Starter: 140g WW starter @ 75% hydration, 300g whole rye flour, 120g WW bread flour, 325g beer. Combine and knead 3-4 min. Place in covered container at room temp. 12 hrs.
115g WW bread flour, 1 ¼ tsp sea salt, all of the soaker and starter. Combine and knead gently with wet hands 7-8 min. Ferment at room temp about 3 hrs. Shape. Proof at room temp about 2 hrs. Preheat stone to 500F.
Top with caraway seeds if desired. Bake @ 475F for 10 min. with steam (I covered them with a stainless steel pan). Bake @ 415F for about another 40 min. They had an internal temp of 190F. Turn oven off, open the door and leave loaves in for another 15 min.
Critique: Beautiful, thick, crunchy crust, if you're into that sort of thing (and I am). The crumb, however, is denser than I was hoping for. This is going to be sturdy bread under any circumstances, but I think it could have been more open than this.
The rise was very sluggish compared to when I make this bread with water. I may have been asking too much of my sourdough to overcome all the booze in the dough. I don't ever feel like working hard after a shot and a beer either! Instant yeast in the final dough would, I think, be a big help, and I'll definitely add some next time.