I think I’ve got a good beer barm bread now, although I’ll continue to experiment.
Here’s the latest incarnation:
BEER BARM BREAD ÁLA ANITA
I started with beer barm from our brewing class. The resulting bread has a beer-y flavor, with the hops coming through. It pairs well with sharp cheddar and hot chili was also suggested as an accompaniment.
2 c. barm* warmed slowly to 168-170⁰ F. Turn off fire and whisk in ½ c. flour. Let cool to warm (about 70⁰ F.)
Let sit overnight. It should be bubbly in the morning.
Next day add:
1 c. warm water and stir well
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dry yeast**
2 c. (about ) flour
Mix well. It’ll probably be a bit soft, but mix it and then cover and let sit for a short while (10-30 min.).
Then knead again lightly for about 1 min., adding flour as necessary to keep it from sticking.
Let sit about an hour, covered.
Then knead again lightly for about 5 min., or until it feels well mixed and smooth. It will be a soft dough.
Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Make bread into an oblong loaf and place aside to rise for about 2 hours or so – till double in bulk.
Set oven to 475-500⁰F., and get it really hot. I insert a baking stone to help hold the heat.
Sprinkle the top of the loaf with water, then place in the oven.
After about 10 minutes, lower heat to 450⁰F., and let bake for another 40-45 minutes, or until loaf browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
* If you don’t have access to barm, you can use a commercial beer with live yeast.
** You can also substitute sourdough starter, but then the bread will need another round of kneading and rising, and rising may be slower.