Ale improved bread

Ok, perhaps people can think a better use for ale than using it to make bread but I think it's a worthwhile ingredient. Don't worry, you'll get to drink some of it anyway. After all, bread making can be a thirsty business....

This bread is not particularly beery, it mainly uses the ale as a bit of a "flour improvement agent". Modify the recipe to include more ale if you want a more beery tasty.

Here we go: I'll skip most of the instructions and just give you some weights and ratios.

1/4 ferment:
250g strong white wheat flour
250g Ale of your choice.
2g Yeast

Leave the sponge for 3-5 hours at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge. 

Main dough:
The ferment
750g strong white wheat flour
430g water
20g salt
8g active yeast

Total dough: 1710g

Mix and work the dough. Prove for about 1.5 hours, shape, prove for about 40 minutes and bake. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Some other information and tips:
If you're unsure about how to make this into bread, consult the basic bread recipe on this site and practice. Read around. Make lots of bread. I've not given a baking time and so on because that will depend on the size of your loaves and the heat of your oven. You should know your oven so I won't give you a temperature either. I bake my 550g loaves at 250 C for 5 minutes then at 210 C for approximately 21 minutes on a stone. Just do what you feel is right.

I add the salt about halfway through mixing. This allows you to get rid of any clumps of ferment that haven't mixed in properly. Once you add the salt you'll notice the gluten strengthen and the dough becomes slightly harder to work but also a lot smoother as the salt ions balance out some charges on the protein strands.....ahem.

By the way, the 1/4 ferment refers to the fact that it contains a quarter of the total weight of flour.

 

 

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