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
- 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.