What Worked: This was a very simple recipe that resulted in a soft bread that would be a great whole wheat replacement for people who aren't fond of denser loaves.
What Didn't: Whoa. Six ounces of beer! What a dilemma trying to figure out what to do with the other half of the beer.
Suggested Tweaks: Most of the breads I make are free-form loaves—I prefer that crust to the crust that's formed inside a bread pan. Next time around, I think I might make this without a pan and maybe add sesame seeds to the top.
Adapted from Whole Grain Baking by King Arthur Flour. Copyright © 2006. Published by The Countryman Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved
- Yield:Makes 1 loaf
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:5-7 hours
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) amber ale or mild-flavored beer
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice
- 3 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) honey
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all the ingredients, and mix and knead them – by hand, mixer or bread machine – until you have a soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly grease an 8 1/4 x 4 1/4-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover it gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise till it’s crowned about 1 1/2 inches over the rim f the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Near the end of the bread’s rising time, preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Uncover and bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 minutes. The bread is done with it’s golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190˚F. Remove it from the oven, and after a minute or so turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter if desired; this will keep the crust soft. Cool the bread for 30 minutes before slicing.