The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Guiness Country Sourdough

JonJ's picture

Guiness Country Sourdough

Maurizio Leo has quite a nice "Stout country recipe" on his web site, although he has promised an improved version for some years (as he did note that the bread could be better with more beer in the recipe).

I've tried making a few beer breads, with say an IPA or a weiss, did make one too with a local stout but I've always found that beer brings a tightness to the crumb and the flavour has been underwhelming although the stout one wasn't too bad. There was a standing joke with a friend that you'd have to prise my Guiness from my dead hands before I used it in a bread, and yet - here I am, still breathing, writing about using Guiness in a bread.

For these breads I used an entire large (440ml) can of Guiness, and since the can included the famous widget, perhaps the extra froth from nitrogen made a difference, or who knows fermentation is just better with nitrogen. The formula listed is based on using more beer, just as Maurizio suggested, and it worked out nicely.

The boule got 40 more minutes final proof at room temp (stopped the bâtard earlier because the banneton was already at the top, not the best reason for stopping earlier I guess).

These are larger than my normal loaves since it had - 1kg flour plus 250g levain for the two loaves. And baked the bâtard a little darker than I would have liked (was engrossed in a work meeting at the time).

Method wise it was a bit of a mixture of methods. I stuck to the quantities from The Perfect Loaf, more or less, with adjustments for the extra beer of the full can. However, the method used was a little different, mostly because the recipes from The Perfect Loaf have a LOT of stretch and folds, and I usually don't manage them all, but did manage 5 here over the first 3 hours. Also, it had an all in one initial mix with both the starter and salt being added up front. Both loaves were pre-shaped. The bâtard only had linseeds for the topping, but for the boule I was more generous with linseeds, sun flower seeds and black sesame.

Overall these were lovelier breads than I expected. The flavours were lovely, the loaves were larger than my usual and a pleasure to eat.


Benito's picture

Wow those are big voluptuous loaves of bread Jon.  Wonderful crumb, crust and oven spring.  You’ve improved upon Maurizio’s recipe, really well done.  I’m sure they taste amazing as well.


gavinc's picture

I love these. The use of Guiness would be very nice; I hadn't thought of using it in bread before. I was surprised to see just 11% pre-fermented flour used in the levain, however, the results are what comes out of the oven. Really well done.




HeiHei29er's picture

Those are beautiful loaves Jon.  The crumb looks perfect!

Isand66's picture

These look great and I’m sure we’re very tasty.  I love using Guinness and have around different formulas I’ve created I’ve the years using it.  
Happy baking!

yozzause's picture

A reminder for me to get a home brew stout going, i started home brewing because i was using quite a bit of it. and last year when our local bake group had a great day at  a commercial bakery and we made  a stout bread for 13 participants it required  9 litres  of the stuff!

June and Monty decanting the 12 bottles of home brew required for the dough. 

Being bottle fermented is an advantage i think as its alive. If buying  beers for baking bottle  fermented is better  Coopers in Australia  is a good choice, in fact its usually their brew kits that i use and there are several other good ones on the market too. i also look on the bargain table for close to code specials as i usually going to be using straight away. There are always some interesting grains there too and now i have a mill should really grab a few to try. i did even go to a local craft brewery spoke to the head brewer and obtained spent grain from their Stout brewing  and it made some very nice bread, another thing i need to do again Soon.

Kind regards Derek


JonJ's picture

Home brew stout... perhaps made with sourdough starter instead of pure yeast? I see that there are some funky brewers making beer using sourdough, like this crowd -

In any case, your picture of 12 bottle bread is inspiring!


yozzause's picture

here are a few more shots with the stout dough and the  great day we had just a year ago

stout dough in the mixer

into prooving tubs

Scaling for the 13 bread baking enthusiasts

about to go into the oven

and out  of the oven.

It was such a fun day and i was sp pleased to  share my stout dough  with friends

naturaleigh's picture

I think Benny hit the nail on the head with 'voluptuous'!  These are lovely looking loaves with gorgeous crumb, even with the higher percentage of WW.  I love the addition of the seeds on top of the loaves, which I'm sure added some delicious crunch.  The 'guys' here might be very happy to have a beer bread ;-).  You've inspired me to give it a try.  Did you find any perceptible notes of beer in the final bread, or at least better than your previous attempts with beer?  Curious about the final flavor profile.

JonJ's picture

Malty flavours mostly.... tastes a little different to Guiness and some of the strong flavours are a little muted.