I recently visited nearby beer brewing friends, they were double tasking, making very good use of a rainy day; a dark malty 40 litre wort was well underway in the brew cooker, a small still was working alongside extracting the water of life from a load of Zwetschgen( a type of prune). Needless to say, it was a highly therapeutic combination of vapour.
We discussed a bread project and they fitted me out with a few bottles of ale from a previous batch, spent grain and a wee bit of roasted malt powder.
The leavening was a combo engagement; the rye flour went into a levain and 0.5% fresh yeast was added to the final dough.
There was a bit of fussing around to get a dough consistency that I was comfortable with, I believe in the end though, that the percentage of beer slightly outweighed the water content.
As per Alsatian tradition, I prepared a paste out of beer and whole rye flour. This also contained a combo of fresh yeast and wild culture.
After the loaves were rounded for the second time, the paste was applied by hand, this was followed by a fine sifting of spelt flour.
The final proof went well and I gave them a good solid bake.
It was definitely the maltiest beer bread that I’ve yet made, the crumb had a pronounced brew kettle perfume and also a measure of grain husks to chew on. The beer that I prepared the rye topping with, may well have been too hoppy, the crust had bitter notes to it. In short, this was a batch perhaps better left to beer heads.