beer and food Snacks to beer

Snacks to beer part 1 — beery rye bread

I’ll be telling you tomorrow all about my personal favourite snack for accompanying beer — something I prefer even to pork scratchings, and which is even filthier — but, to make the most of it, I’ll need some special bread. So, today, I’m sharing the recipe for a dark rye bread with a couple of extra beer-geek tweaks.


  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 200g rye flour
  • a large handful of malted barley (I used pilsner malt)
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (for colour)
  • 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (or 1 sachet) of fast acting dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 330ml of slightly warmed beer (I used Cooper’s Stout).
  1. Put all the dry ingredient (flour, sugar, malt, cocoa powder, caraway, salt and yeast) into a big pile on your work surface.
  2. Make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the beer bit by bit, mixing between each addition, until you have a big, slightly wet, shaggy ball of dough. (Your hands will be a mess but one of these might help.)
  4. Knead it until it becomes smooth and pliable (10-15 minutes). Something I learned about bread making recently: if the dough isn’t soggy and horrible to work with for the first five minutes, it’s too dry.
  5. Put a drop of oil in a bowl. Put the dough in and turn it round in the oil until it’s lightly coated. Cover with a carrier bag.
  6. Leave somewhere warmish (the kitchen is usually fine) for one or two hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Knock it back down to size and then push it into a small cane basket coated with rye flour. If you don’t have one of those, just shape it on a floured baking sheet. Cover it with the carrier bag again and leave for another hour or two.
  8. About 30 mins before you’re ready to bake it, if you’ve got one, put a pizza stone in the oven to heat at the maximum temperature.
  9. When the loaf is ready, turn it out onto a floured baking sheet (or a peel). Be careful — you want it to retain it’s shape. Then, with a really sharp knife, cut three or four slashes across the top.
  10. Put it on the pizza stone to cook.
  11. After 20 mins, turn the oven down to about 180 degrees centigrade.
  12. After another 20 minutes, check if it’s cooked. It should be dark and sound hollow when tapped.
  13. Leave it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.


2 replies on “Snacks to beer part 1 — beery rye bread”

Hmm, I have all those ingredients at the moment. If only I seen this yesterday when i was baking like mad for a BBQ 🙂 Maybe tonight or tomorrow…

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