Ale Crusty Bread

I have been experimenting with breads for a few months now and am really enjoying it, especially when it works!

This recipe is based on a recipe from Paul Hollywood’s Book “How to bake” but I have changed everything apart from the basic ingredients. I also use a bread maker for the kneading to make it easier, but if you haven’t got one just do it manually.WP_000166

Ingredients for 1 loaf:

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 100g strong wholemeal flour
  • 10g yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml ale
  • a splash of olive oil
  • Optionally- seeds and oats

Cooking Method:

  1. If you have a bread-maker put all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bread pan, followed by the dry ingredients  apart from the seeds and oats if you are using any, and set on the dough setting.
  2. Once the cycle is done and the dough has risen at least twice the size take it out the pan onto a floured surface and knock it back. At this point I added some seeds and incorporated them into the dough. Shape the dough into a loaf, put it in a baking tin and optionally sprinkle with oats on top for an extra crunch.
  3. Cover the bread with a cloth/ carrier bag/ bowl ( anything that has room to expand, and set aside to rise for the second time. It needs to at least double in size again, this will take 1-2 hours depending on the air temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230C.
  5. Once the bread has risen again slash it across with a sharp knife, Brush it with cold water and it’s ready to bake.
  6. Now, to set the steamy oven for the crust- sprinkle/spray the oven walls and bottom  with water and quickly shut the door, do this again until you create steam.
  7. Put the bread in the preheated steamy oven and bake for 40 minutes or until ready. Try not to open the oven whilst baking, but keep an eye through the glass and if you think the bread is burning reduce the heat.
  8. Take the bread out and leave it to completely cool before serving.
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