The Fresh Loaf

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Pecan-Cherry Beer Bread With Coffee Porter

cmatecun's picture

Pecan-Cherry Beer Bread With Coffee Porter


This loaf was a complete toss-up when I put it together, but the combination of tart cherries, crunchy pecans, and tangy sourdough with a hint of coffee-infused ale in the background makes for a delicious loaf. The flavors are complex, but not too complicated to stop you from being able to still taste each ingredient-- just the way I like it. 

This bake had a crisp crust and an incredibly moist crumb, but I would have liked to see a bit more oven spring. Any suggestions? I'm thinking I may have been a bit too forceful with the dough during the bulk fermentation. Thoughts? 

 Here's the method I used (yields 2 loaves)   The Night Before You Make Your Dough Prepare 250 leaven by adding...
  • 125g warm water (my thermometer is broken... so you're just gonna have to go by feel on this one)
  • 125g whole wheat flour
  • 20g starter
 The next morning 
  • Dissolve the 250g of leaven in 210g water along with 500g of a strongly flavored beer and let it autolyse for a full hour. Be sure to keep an eye on the dough temperature here--you may want to warm your beer up (at least to room temperature) unless you want a slower bulk fermentation later.  
  • At the end of the autolyse, pinch in 20g of salt along with your remaining 50g of water. Here's the schedule I followed for the bulk fermentation.
  • *I added in the pecans and cherries during the second turn so they would become incorporated during the next couple of folds. 
 Bulk Fermentation 
  • 30 mins: turn 1
  • 60 mins: turn 2 (add in chopped pecans and cherries). 
  • 90 mins: turn 3
  • 120 mins: turn 4 --> move to the fridge for the next 2 hours
  • 240 mins: remove from fridge
 Pre-Shape, Shape, and Proof 
  • After pulling it out of the fridge I pre-shaped, covered it with a towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. 
  • Finally I did a quick final shaping, nestled it in my fake banneton, and tossed it in the fridge to proof overnight. In the end it proofed for 14.5 hours. 
  • Preheat a cast iron pot inside your oven at 500 degrees (let it sit for at least 60 mins)
  • Gently place your dough inside and bake, covered, for 20 mins at 500. 
  • Reduce the heat to 450 and continue to bake, covered, for 10 mins. 
  • Pull off the lid and continue baking until the crust is golden brown--around 18 minutes for me. 
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for an least a hour... by far the hardest part! 
 Here's the full ingredient list 
  • 250g leaven (100% whole wheat
  • 800g bread flour
  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 210g water + 50g water
  • 500g of beer (I used a bottle of Joe Coffee Porter from Philadelphia Brewing)
  • 20g salt
  • 100 g dried cherries
  • 200 g roughly chopped pecans (toasted)
 Happy baking!  Chase


nmygarden's picture

This one sounds similar to one I made a week ago with chocolate stout, hazelnuts, dried cherries and golden raisins (because I didn't have as many cherries as I wanted). The stout immediately turned a primarily white dough to a deep brown and the bold flavors persisted to the finished bread. I will definitely make more like it in the future. Enjoy and thank you for sharing!


cmatecun's picture

Same results here, Cathy! My crumb had a serious tint to it as well. Glad to hear I'm not alone! 


dabrownman's picture

are a classic but the beer puts it over the top.  What a great looking loaf of bread.  Well done and

Happy Baking 

pmccool's picture

That looks good enough to trigger requests for seconds.


mikes's picture

Autolysing as I type... Trying walnuts instead of pecans. Wonderful coffee beer from Bent Paddle Brewing. Making 1/2 recipe so there was even some beer left for the baker. Bonus! :-)

mikes's picture