Chocolate Stout Sourdough Rye Loaf

Chocolate Stout Sourdough Rye Loaf

That’s a really long name for a bread recipe, but really what was delightful about this bread was all those flavors magically coming together: the sweet bitter of the chocolate stout, the sourdough flavor and chew, and then that lovely nutty rye note.

I’ve been experimenting with sourdough again– isn’t everyone? This isn’t a true wild starter, rather I saved some dough from a loaf of bread I made at Easter and the I added more flour and water and have been feeding it ever since. If you have yeast it’s a quick and easy, well-nigh foolproof way to make a starter. I mostly keep mine in the fridge and only feed it when I want to make bread. It doesn’t yet have that strong sourdough flavor, but it’s still a starter.

And then there was the chocolate stout that neither Dom nor I really liked much that has been sitting in the fridge forever. I can’t even remember what was wrong with it. I think it was too sweet? Anyway, I thought, I bet it would make an interesting beer bread. I’ve made a beer batter bread before, one leavened with baking soda, but I thought it would be fun to make a beer bread with my sourdough, so I googled and found a recipe. Beer Rye Sourdough sounded just the trick, and it was.

I took my starter out of the fridge, fed it around lunch time on Monday, then after the kids were in bed, I mixed up my dough and then put it in a cooler with an ice pack for a slow overnight rise. In the morning I took it out and put it on the stovetop where it could rise. I used my colander lined with a towel for my proofing basket– gotta get a real one one of these days– and it worked pretty well, though I think my dough was a mite too wet. Next time I think I’ll add a bit more flour.

The bread was perfect. Nutty, rich, complex. With a lovely crunchy-chewy crust, a lovely crumb with plenty of big air bubbles. The kids even loved it. I’m definitely making this one again. I’d like to try it with different beers to see how various flavors play out. But I expect the chocolate stout one might be the very best.

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