On the back of the big success of our brewing competition here at work, where many keen home brewers put forward some amazing swills (some of which we will hear from in posts over the next few weeks). I thought it might be time to celebrate something that is very, very small but no less successful. It’s a fungus that puts the spring in our bread and the ‘spring’ (alcohol and fizz) in our beer. So let us celebrate this little fungus we call yeast by putting it to work in a yummy loaf which uses only beer for the liquid portion of the dough. The addition of parmesan to this recipe gives a nutty sweet flavour that perfectly balances the subtle bitterness of the beer.
If you are into beer making at home you can try using some of the dormant yeast in the bottom of your fermenter. Take a small portion of the yeast and grow it over a couple of days stirring in a little flour every day to feed it. Then use it as a starter for your bread.
makes 1 loaf--
3 ¼ cups high grade flour
18g package active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup grated parmesan
1 375ml bottle of beer, ales work well (I used an APA)
1 cup of freshly chopped basil
Olive oil to oil your loaf tin
Flour for dusting the bench
Pumpkin seeds for topping
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, parmesan and the pepper.
2. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the bottle of beer in and slowly bring the mixture together.
3. Once combined turn the dough out onto a well floured bench and start kneading the dough until it is well combined and silky smooth.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl, place your kneaded dough into it and cover with plastic wrap making sure you oil the top of the dough lightly to stop it sticking to the wrap. Leave in a warm place to prove (should take a couple of hours).
5. Once the bread has double in size, remove from the bowl onto your floured bench and knock the air out of it. Then place in your oiled loaf tin.
6. Allow the dough to rise again then sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and place in a preheated oven at 220°C. Bake until the loaf is lightly brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Depending on the shape of the loaf it could take up to 45 minutes.