Friday, October 24, 2014
DUTCH OVEN BEER BREAD
The weather has turned to cool fall temperatures. It is time to turn on the oven and fill the house with the wonderful warming, comforting aromas of bread baking. We are going to try out a recipe using a light lager beer, sometimes referred to as the “King of Beers’ as an ingredient. It will be baked in a covered enamel coated cast iron pot. Cooking our bread in this vessel will form steam to promote a crisp exterior crust. This bread will have a long rise time to develop sour dough like yeasty flavors. Grab your own ‘King of Beers’ and come make some bread with us.
The ingredients are few and simple. It will take some patience on your part to achieve maximum flavors. I want to share some things not to do first. Hopefully you can learn from my trials and errors. Use warm water to jump start the yeast. I used cold water and it worked but added several hours to the process. Also let the bread rise is a warm place. This bread is a slow rising dough but a warm environment will help.
3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup of warm water
1/3 cup of beer (King of Beer’s is preferred and I had to wrestle it out of Ms. Goofy’s paw)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon yeast.
Notice the small amount of yeast. Combine dry ingredients and then add water, vinegar and beer. Mix for several minutes. It will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and put in warm place. Your rise time will vary. You will need at least 8 hours to develop flavor.. With my conditions I let the dough work for 26 hours. It did not rise very much. When I thought it was ready I kneaded for 10 minutes on a plastic surface so dough would not stick. Take two tablespoons of olive oil and pour into an enameled Dutch oven. Roll dough in oil till covered and lest rise for two more hours. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and place in a cold oven. Yes cold oven. Turn on oven to 425 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until bread is brown and internal temperature is 200 degrees.
This bread had sour dough like flavors that was spectacular. The long rise time developed huge flavor. The King of Beers added a maltiness to make this a Royal treat. It took some patience but was well worth the effort.