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Belgian-Beer Bread

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

Like many brilliant recipes, this came into my kitchen repertoire by accident. When I worked in a beer museum in Belgium, I was once invited for dinner to a picturesque town restaurant, where dinner came with freshly homemade bread whose recipe was the owner's best-kept secret - waiters were in fact forbidden to tell clients about the secret ingredient. After a couple of bites, however, I was able to deduce the recipe on my own, and after some research about how to simplify the process, I still make it. It is incredibly easy to make. Not least, because the BEER does all the work. And although you do need to wait quite some time for the dough to rise, it hardly requires minutes of my own time.

Like many brilliant recipes, this came into my kitchen repertoire by accident. When I worked in a beer museum in Belgium, I was once invited for dinner to a picturesque town restaurant, where dinner came with freshly homemade bread whose recipe was the owner's best-kept secret - waiters were in fact forbidden to tell clients about the secret ingredient. After a couple of bites, however, I was able to deduce the recipe on my own, and after some research about how to simplify the process, I still make it. It is incredibly easy to make. Not least, because the BEER does all the work. And although you do need to wait quite some time for the dough to rise, it hardly requires minutes of my own time.

Ingredients

Serves: around 10 slices

Metric Cups

For the Initial Mixture

  • 3 mugs wholewheat bread flour (or plain flour if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 bottle dark belgian beer (330 cl)
  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil (garlic-infused oil if you use plain flour)

Before Baking

  • 1 short cup wholewheat bread flour

For the Initial Mixture

  • 3 mugs wholewheat bread flour (or plain flour if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 bottle dark belgian beer (330 cl)
  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil (garlic-infused oil if you use plain flour)

Before Baking

  • 1 short cup wholewheat bread flour

Please note that nigella.com is not able to accept responsibility for any substitutions that Ocado may need to make as a result of stock availability or otherwise. For any queries, head to ocado.com/customercare.

Feel free to use the “swap” feature and adjust brands and quantities as needed.

Method

Belgian-Beer Bread is a community recipe submitted by riayala and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, the yeast, the sugar and the salt.
  2. Then add the oil (I sometimes use garlic-infused oil for white bread).
  3. Without hesitation, pour in the entire bottle of beer, which will eventually activate both the yeast we added and the yeast of the beer itself.
  4. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let the mixture rise for 6-8 hours in a warm room, covered with cling film.
  5. Putting everything together takes hardly 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. After 6 to 8 hours rising, by which time the mixture will be double in size, look rather wet, and smell welcomingly beery, cover the work surface with flour. Bring the mixture onto the surface and fold in the flour gently, so that the dough begins to form without loosing its volume.
  7. Let it rest for an hour or so in a floured bowl.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C with the empty loaf tin (or a Dutch oven) inside. Once reached the temperature, give it some 10-15 more minutes to heat up the loaf tin really well.
  9. Now, transfer the ball of dough into the hot, hot recipient, making sure that you flour the bottom first. Make some cuts on the surface with the scissors or a sharp knife, so that it further rises while it bakes. Clamp the lid on (or cover with a frying pan).
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes (optionally, you can bake it for additional 5 minutes with the lid off as to form a desirably crispy crust).
  11. What comes out of the oven really is the most delicious bread you’ll ever eat, one whose recipe really is worth keeping the secret.
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, the yeast, the sugar and the salt.
  2. Then add the oil (I sometimes use garlic-infused oil for white bread).
  3. Without hesitation, pour in the entire bottle of beer, which will eventually activate both the yeast we added and the yeast of the beer itself.
  4. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let the mixture rise for 6-8 hours in a warm room, covered with cling film.
  5. Putting everything together takes hardly 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. After 6 to 8 hours rising, by which time the mixture will be double in size, look rather wet, and smell welcomingly beery, cover the work surface with flour. Bring the mixture onto the surface and fold in the flour gently, so that the dough begins to form without loosing its volume.
  7. Let it rest for an hour or so in a floured bowl.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C with the empty loaf tin (or a Dutch oven) inside. Once reached the temperature, give it some 10-15 more minutes to heat up the loaf tin really well.
  9. Now, transfer the ball of dough into the hot, hot recipient, making sure that you flour the bottom first. Make some cuts on the surface with the scissors or a sharp knife, so that it further rises while it bakes. Clamp the lid on (or cover with a frying pan).
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes (optionally, you can bake it for additional 5 minutes with the lid off as to form a desirably crispy crust).
  11. What comes out of the oven really is the most delicious bread you’ll ever eat, one whose recipe really is worth keeping the secret.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • For newbies, I'd suggest to try first with regular lager beer or a Belgian blonde. Then, try different varieties of beer until you develop your own taste.

    Posted by riayala on 19th December 2014
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