Monday, April 18, 2011

There's Beer in my Sourdough!

All this talk of San Francisco and we haven't done sourdough bread in a while!  We need to fix this!

There are so many recipes for sourdough that are not best suited for the bread machine, due to the fact that the dough really needs to rest for a while to spread that delightfully sour flavor throughout the loaf, and also because when you're using your sourdough as your yeast it REALLY needs more time to rise properly and become a proper loaf of bread.

But this knowledge had no bearing on the fact that I can be lazy, and I wanted sourdough bread in less than 4 hours.  So I searched, and pieced together a recipe that would use my starter, some beer (which is pretty much liquid starter, if you think about it), and a little more yeast to get it to rise in time in the machine.  I was so pleased with how it came out, that I actually ate it all before I could take a photo of it.  Oops.

In my machine, I added:

1 and 1/4 cups sourdough starter 
1/4 cup water 
1/2 cup beer
(I used Blue Moon, as it was the least "flavored" beer I had on hand)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp yeast

Keep some water nearby when it's first mixing to make sure it all mixes together properly, I actually added a bit too much and had wet dough (but it all baked well in the end).  I know that 3 cups of bread flour usually means it's a 1.5 pound loaf, but I'm still unsure whether sourdough counts as more flour so I called it a 2 pound to be safe.  I'm glad I did, that wet loaf really benefited from the extra few minutes of baking time.  The regular white bread cycle is all you need for this one, and in 4 hours you'll have delicious BREAD!

Beer bread goes well with cheese.  Or more beer.  I've noticed that the bread seems to taste more sour on subsequent days.  Is that how sourdough is supposed to work? 


  1. That's a really ingenious recipe! I must try to make sourdough sometime.