on wednesday night this week my children were due to come to my place for our fortnightly meal together..i went for a long walk with a friend in the morning, shopped for the meal and and then i spent the rest of the day cooking the meal as well as ironing the tablecloth, setting the table and picking a small posy of flowers for the table..as i was working i kept reminding myself to get the ladder so that i could get a few more bottles of beer from a high cupboard where i have them stored and to put them in the fridge because sometimes my children and i like a beer or two with certain meals..but i didn't get around to it..
when my children arrived i offered them a drink from the very limited selection i had on offer..red wine or beer..and they all wanted beer..fortunately there were enough bottles for us to have one each..my tall son offered to get more out of storage when i told my children about my unfulfilled intention to put more in the fridge..when he put four more bottles in the freezer to hasten their drinkability i asked my children to remember that they were there because it's not uncommon for us to forget..and then i have a freezer cleaning job and wasted beer..
well..i did give away a small clue in my post title about what happened to those beer bottles so it's no surprise then when i tell you that the next day when i was cleaning up i had a light bulb moment that featured those beer bottles..upon opening the freezer i was surprised though to find that only one of the three bottles left in there had an escapage problem..the other two appeared ok..so what to do with the renegade bottle of beer since the bottle was almost entirely full..throw it away..or what?
i wasn't sure if it was another light bulb moment or not when i decided yesterday to make bread with some of the beer..but..having just tasted a slice i can confidently say that beer in bread makes a very fine loaf..
since i started making sourdough bread i've not been particularly adventurous because i always use the same recipe that i adapted from one of joanna's recipes at zeb bakes..for this particular loaf i replaced the 200 mls of water with the equivalent amount of room temperature beer..
i've bought dan lepard's bread book 'the handmade loaf' but so far i haven't tried any of the recipes but i have looked at the kneading and shaping information in the book..today after the initial three 2 minute kneading and 10 minute resting cycles i always use i applied his fold and turn method after the last resting cycle, after 30 minutes and after 1 hour..and in between the folding and turning cycles i put the bread in my oven on the dough proving setting..for the final prove i put the dough in a rye floured muslin lined colander for 2 hours and then the bread was cooked with steam for 20 minutes at 220 deg c and then for a further 20 minutes at the reduced temperature of 180 deg c..
if you've made beer bread i'd love to hear about your adventure..oh..and by the way i'm now thinking about experimenting with stout in bread..