When you think of beer bread, if the image of a quick bread made with soda is what comes to mind, then I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and try this bread. This Stout, Rye and Pumpkin Sourdough is not your average loaf made with beer, and this is a good thing, in my opinion.
I’m not a huge fan of beer bread although I’ve made a few that I enjoyed, particularly ones that included rye flour. For the most part, the beer breads I tried before were too sweet and sort of empty of flavor. The taste and texture contradicted what my taste buds were expecting; however, not so with this bread.
This artisan loaf, made with stout and sourdough, is not sweet at all. It’s a very appealing and tasty crusty loaf.
And to think, I almost didn’t make it. This was the bread of the month for December for the Artisan Bread Bakers FB group and my first thought was, “I think I’ll skip this one.” Then I started seeing photos popping up on FB of the beautiful breads the other bakers in the group had made and it looked like a bread worth trying. I’m so glad I decided to make it.
This bread reminds me of Ireland because it’s made with Stout. It was the last bread I made in December, but I waited until the first of the year to post it because it’s such an exceptional loaf.
To really develop the flavor of this loaf, it takes about three days from start-to-finish. Don’t let that discourage you from trying it. Most of the time, the dough is fermenting. Good bread takes a while to develop the flavor. It is worth the wait so just plan according.
For instance, if you want to serve the bread for Sunday Dinner, start the levain Friday evening and let it rest overnight at room temperature. Make the final dough on Saturday, place it in the proofing basket and let it cold ferment in the refrigerator overnight. Then take it out of the fridge on Sunday when you are ready to bake it.
Stout, Rye and Pumpkin Sourdough
(Makes 1 loaf)
The oven spring on this loaf is phenomenal. It just pops during the bake cycle. The crust and crumb are exceptional as well. I baked it in a Dutch Oven Combo Baker, but you can use any type of Dutch oven to bake this loaf.
Day 1 (Morning): Feed sourdough starter
The morning of the day before you plan to make this loaf, feed your sourdough starter so that it is active and ready to go.
Day 1 (Evening): Prepare the levain
Prepare your levain the evening before you plan to make the dough.
- 45g starter (100% hydration)
- 150g Stout beer – room temperature
- 150g Rye flour
Place the sourdough starter in a medium bowl and pour the stout over it. Stir to break up the starter. Add in the rye flour and mix the ingredients together until the flour is completely hydrated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it ferment at room temperature overnight (8-12 hours, depending on your starter). The mixture will not double, but become fluffy and airy. I let mine rest for the full 12 hours.
Day 2: Prepare the Final Dough
- All of the levain
- 165g Stout
- 165g warm water
- 50g pumpkin puree
- 500g Bread flour
- 10g sea salt
Combine the levain with the stout, water and pumpkin. Add the flour and mix until it is incorporated into a shaggy mass.
Cover the dough and let it autolyse (rest) for 30 – 60 min. Allowing the dough to rest before adding the salt, helps the gluten begin to develop and keeps the dough from getting tough.
After the autolyse, add the salt, and mix until fully incorporated. Add a few drops of water to helps dissolve the salt, if necessary. Mix the dough for a few minutes on low/med speed on the mixer, or use the fold-and-turn method in the bowl if you are doing this by hand.
Turn the dough out into greased bowl. Perform a series of stretch/folds, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Repeat stretch/folds every 30 min for the first two hours. After the first two hours, bulk ferment on the counter for an additional 1 -2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto the counter or wooden board, cover and bench rest for 10 min. Prepare a round banneton or linen-lined basket or bowl by dusting with brown or white rice flour. Shape dough into boule, and place in your banneton.
If you place the dough seam side down, when it is turned out into the Dutch oven, the seam should open up naturally in the oven without having to slash the dough. If you prefer to score the dough before baking, place the boule seam side up in the basket.
Place dough in a plastic bag and cold ferment in the fridge (12 – 24 hours).
Day 3: Bake the Loaf
Preheat the oven to 500F (260C) for at least 40 minutes with a cast iron Dutch Oven on the middle rack. You’ll bake the dough directly from the fridge so don’t remove the proofing basket until you are ready to flip the loaf into the pot.
Carefully turn the dough out into a combo cooker or Dutch oven, slash (if your seam is down), cover and put in the oven.
I decided to try it with the seamside down in the basket; however, when I turned it over into the combo baker, the seam was mostly gone so I ended up scoring it anyway.
Reduce temperature to 475F (245C) and bake covered for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, carefully remove lid, reduce oven temp to 450F (232C), and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes, or until crust turns a dark chestnut brown. Don’t be afraid to bake strong for a dark flavorful crust.
Cool on wire rack 90 minutes before slicing.
I’m sending this Stout, Rye & Pumpkin Sourdough to be yeastspotted.
I had fun with this one. I decided to make a collage of the ingredients and post it on FB to see if anyone could figure out what I was making. Fortunately, someone was watching and guessed it. Thank you.
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