Ale bread

Ale bread
  • Serves icon Makes 1 x 800g loaf (12 slices)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 40 min, plus rising and proving

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. Brewer Emily Scott, of St Tudy Inn, uses a copper ale in her recipe for a strong hoppy flavour. We recommend serving the bread with cheddar.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
171kcals
Fat
1.6g (0.2g saturated)
Protein
6.1g
Carbohydrates
30.3g (1.6g sugars)
Fibre
2.8g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
171kcals
Fat
1.6g (0.2g saturated)
Protein
6.1g
Carbohydrates
30.3g (1.6g sugars)
Fibre
2.8g
Salt
0.8g

Per slice

Ingredients

  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 250g wholemeal bread flour
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 7g dried fast-action yeast)
  • 10g golden caster sugar
  • 280ml St Tudy Copper Ale, warmed to blood temperature (the ale is only available direct from the pub but you can use any reputable best bitter)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the white and wholemeal flours, salt, thyme and ground fennel, then make a well in the middle.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warmed ale, then whisk in the oil. Quickly pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes on a medium speed until the dough springs back to the touch and the texture is smooth. (Otherwise knead the bread on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until it springs back to the touch.) Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for at least 1 hour until doubled in size.
  3. When the dough has risen, lightly flour your hands, then knock back and knead the dough for about 1 minute. Shape into a lozenge/rectangle, transfer to a lightly floured non-stick baking sheet and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave to prove for 30 minutes until risen a little and a small indentation remains when touched with your finger. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  4. Dust the proved loaf generously with flour, then gently score slashes into the top using a very sharp knife (the slashes will allow the loaf to expand without breaking the crust). Pour a glass of water into a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven, then bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and check it’s cooked through by tapping on the base of the loaf – when it’s cooked, it will sound hollow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and spread with unsalted butter sprinkled with sea salt, or eat with cheddar and an apple.

delicious. tips

  1. Pouring water into a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven (step 4) creates steam, which helps the bread to rise and form a thick, chewy crust.

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