MELLOW BAKERS: BEER BREAD WITH ROASTED BARLEY

Taking the Mellow Bakers Challenge in the mellowest possible way, I made the last bread of June in the first week of July… ;-) This was a slightly more complicated recipe, as it required roasted barley – not just the grain, mind you – but “malted barley“, not very easy to find, unless you have access to a beer brewery. Following the footsteps of other bakers, I decided to make my own, and it was a fun (and successful) project!  I highly recommend that you read Susan’s article about malt and its uses in bread,  she did a great job explaining it all.

For Hamelman’s Beer Bread, you need a poolish (made the day before), roasted barley, beer, flour and commercial yeast. The malted barley gives the bread a beautiful reddish tone, and the beer a flavor that is surprisingly delicate for such a hearty-looking bread. To allow me to bake it early in the morning, I retarded the dough overnight after the final proofing.

Comments: Making malted barley seems intimidating at first, but once again I asked the help of an expert, and brought Dan Lepard to the rescue. His book, The Handmade Loaf, has clear instructions on how to do it. Here is a quick summary of it…

THe process starts by soaking the grains in water, for 2 to 3 days, keeping them in a cool place..

Then, the grains are rinsed, spread over a damp paper, covered, and kept for 4 days in a cool place, until the sprouted portion is twice the size of the grain. Aren’t they cute? ;-)
(click to enlarge)

Finally, the sprouted barley is thoroughly dried (for 12 hours or so), and either roasted for a few minutes and ground (to make this bread), or dried at 50 C for several hours and ground into a powder (to make malt powder, and use in any bread that benefits from it).

Follow this link, so you can read about all my fellow bakers who stuck to the plan and had this bread made last month… ;-)

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10 thoughts on “MELLOW BAKERS: BEER BREAD WITH ROASTED BARLEY

  1. What a perfect boule and slash. Wow! Sally, that is so beautiful and you achieved barley sproutage too. I take my hat off to you. Now of course, I want to see a crumb picture too, but that’s being greedy isn’t it? Well done, I think you have made the best looking beer bread of all of us :)

    • Oh, Joanna… I wish I had taken a photo of the crumb, but sometimes when we are having a meal and enjoying it, I feel that taking pictures can be pushing the envelope a little too much, so this time the loaf was 4/5 gone when I considered taking a photo, and by then… it was not very photogenic!

      I promise to be a better blogger next time… ;-)

  2. Sally – such a beautiful boule and the scoring look good too. I wish I could malt barley too, unfortunately, it was not quite possible for me. Well, looking at your pictures really is inspiring.

    • I am looking forward to using the malt powder in a bread… I don’t have any more roasted malted barley, as I made only enough for this recipe, but malt powder is smiling at me from the cupboard

  3. Sally, such a wonderful colour! I bought malted grains at a beer and wine supply shop years ago – fascinating that you could make your own thought!

    And understand completely about the photos – my boys get very frustrated when they all have to wait while I take a photo of something they’re busting to eat. I tell them that delayed gratification is good for them! :)

  4. Have you attempted user any brewers yeasts instead of bakers yeast? I brew beer and after the primary fermentation I am left with copious amounts of active yeast cells that seem like they would be well suited for making a barm. I have wanted to try using the yeast from brewing to make bread…

    • Nathan, I’ve never tried it myself, not having access to brewers yeasts = at least, I haven’t searched it around, I guess I could probably get it somewhere – or buy it through my lab :-) (just kidding)

      I’d say you should go for it – after all, it’s only water, flour, and salt – even if it doesn’t work, you can learn a lot and have some fun (just make sure you tell me what happens…)

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