I’ve been baking bread regularly for a number of years now, pretty much every week I’ll bake a loaf for the weekend. This is generally just a plain white loaf to last the weekend, we tend not to eat bread in the week. Every now and then I get some crazy idea to try something different, garlic bread, Sausage muffins even gluten free bread. Every time we have people round my bread seems to go down really well, so I have to make some for every occasion, I’ve even been experimenting with animal shaped rolls (I’ll do a post when I achieve perfection, or close to it).
So Louise my darling wife decided that she was going to have friends round for her Birthday, but as a number could make her actual birthday she delayed it until Halloween. Now thinking about making animal shaped rolls and halloween, I came up with black cat rolls, which led to the need to make black bread. It seems that the top chefs are into squid ink to make black ink but to me that sounded expensive and a bit over the top. As much as i like the finer things in life I’m thinking that squid is s far too much for me to be using, so I started thinking on what else to use, the only ingredient that sprung to mind was Guinness, it’s black it must make the bread dark.
As you can see from the pictures Guinness does not unfortunately give the bread any real colour, so from that side it was an abject failure, however on the positive side it does taste amazing. My quest to make black bread continues, most probably with a little cheat of food colouring. The Guinness, other beers and maybe even whisky will defiantly continue, Talisker bread anyone?
Enough with how this came about and onto the recipe, which is just a simple change of swapping the usual water in the bread recipe for the Guinness or Beer. When it comes to making bread I used to do it entirely by hand making an most amazing mess, sticky hands flour everywhere, then we got a KitchenAid complete with dough hook. Now I do the initial mix and kneed all in the mixer which makes less mess and I don’t think it alters the end product at all, it also means if you have a wetter dough you don’t end up with half of it on your hands.
So here is my recipe, I used a third wholemeal flour just to try to make that darker loaf, but you can use any flour or combination that you want to, i do find that when using wholemeal a little more yeast, liquid and rise time help with the final loaf.
- 750g Strong Bread flour
- 5g Salt
- 40g Oil or Butter
- 15g fast acting Yeast
- 440ml Guinness / Stout or Beer
- Mix all of the ingredients together and kneed either by hand or if you have one a mixer with a dough hook
- Leave to prove for two hours until it has roughly doubled in size
- Knock back and shape into loaf and place in loaf tin
- Leave to rise again for two hours
- Bake in a pre heated oven for 18 minutes at 240 degrees and a further 18 minutes at 200 degrees
- Turn out of loaf tin on to cooling rack and leave to cool