I did some scratching around with the help of Google and didn’t really find much inspiration so I decided to give it a try using a pretty standard bread recipe and substituting the yeast. Here’s what I came up with:
1 1lb Strong bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp honey
4 tbspn’spent’ brewing yeast
1/2 pint warm water
This is what the spent brewing yeast looks like. It’s the sludgy residue left on the bottom of the container once you’ve siphoned off the beer. It smells pretty powerful, but in a good way.
I mixed all the ingredients together in the electric mixer with a dough hook attachment on low speed for 10 mins. The resulting dough was alarmingly batter-like but I left it to rise on the worktop for 24 hours. I knew this wasn’t going to be a fast-acting rise!
Actually, I wasn’t sure it was going to rise at all but patience pulled through and this was the ‘before and after ‘result.
Because this was a wet dough, I decided to cook it using the Dutch oven method which allows for a good spring from the evaporation of the excess water. It’s this that makes the big holes in the bread.
This is how you do it.
- Put the dough onto a heavily floured worktop (and I mean heavily floured!)
- Roughly shape the dough and let to prove for as long as it takes to heat up the oven. It will be quite a sloppy mix but don’t worry. I put mine in a basket to stop it spreading sideways too much.
- Put the oven on to heat to 220C.
- Place a cast iron lidded pot in the hot oven for 20 mins to heat up – empty.
- When the pot is up to temperature, remove the lid and drop the dough into it. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t central, it will level itself in the oven.
- Replace the lid and bake for 20 mins
- Remove the lid or remove the loaf entirely and place on a pre-heated baking tray to bake for a further 15 mins and brown.
And that’s it. It worked!
We had it with cheese and chutney. It smells amazing and has a bit of a sourdough-like tang to it delicious but not boozy – sorry!