I met Bradley Benn at a pottery class many years ago. He is a master of his craft and a kind and patient teacher to those of us who dabble in clay. Little did I know that he was also a skilled baker, until he showed up in a classic MG with a loaf of fabulous bread. One of the hazards of this career of mine is that people rarely, if ever, bake for me, so this was an especially cherished loaf. He shared not only the bread, but also the recipe. When I decided to put it into Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I adapted his recipe to 100% whole grains. The dough is made with beer, which gives it a jump start on the sourdough flavors we usually wait for. Then we wrap the dough around sauteed onions, rosemary and walnuts. Together they create a bread with so much character and flavor you can eat it alone, but I love it with sharp cheese, grainy mustard and some sweet ham.
Below you will find my first attempt at a video and the recipe for BBBB. I will show you exactly how to roll the dough and prepare it in the pan so that you get onions in every bite. (This same technique can be used to create the raisin bread from last week’s post)
*at the bottom of the post I will announce the 6 lucky winners of last weeks RED STAR YEAST giveaway.
You will be happy to know that my son’s team won the soccer game. He came home ravenous and we cut into the loaf while it was still just a touch warm.
Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread (page 120 Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
Makes enough for at least three 1-pound loaves.
3/4 cup rye flour
5 cups white whole wheat flour
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (more or less to taste, info here)
1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups beer
1/4 cup neutral flavored oil
1 tablespoon honey
The onion mixture, per loaf
1 medium sweet onion, chopped (this is double what is in the book, both work, but I LOVE onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons rosemary (this is double what is in the book, both work, but I LOVE rosemary – my husband can live without them, so I make it both ways.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (in the video I used pecans and it was excellent)
1 teaspoons rosemary for the top of the loaf
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt for top of the loaf
Mix the dough: Dump the dry ingredients into a 6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid and stir together. Add the liquid ingredients and mix the dough until all the dry bits of flour are incorporated. (for more thorough mixing and handling instructions see page 120 of HBin5)
Cover with a lid and allow the dough to sit on the counter for about 2 hours. You will have an easier time using the dough if you allow it to chill for several hours before making the bread, but you can go for it after the initial rise. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Prepare the onions: Saute in a skillet over medium low heat with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, until wilted.
On baking day: Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough from the bucket, form it into a ball and roll it out to a 1/4-inch rectangle. Be sure to use lots of flour so it doesn’t stick to the work surface.
From here you can follow my instructions in the video. Enjoy!
The tools I used in the video:
Pastry Scraper (also called a bench knife or dough scraper)
8 1/2 x 4 1/2 Nonstick Loaf Pan
Thank you Bradley, for the wonderful bread, the recipe and the trip around the lake in your MG on a perfect summer day!
* Finally, the 6 lucky winners of the RED STAR YEAST giveaway are: knitwit, Sara (photogazelle), Betsy F, Suzette, mommablogger and Jamie. Congratulations, we will contact you shortly to send you each the following prizes:
2-pound loaf pan (extra-heavy duty aluminum), made by Chicago Metallic
Danish dough whisk (view our post to see how easy these are to use for mixing wet dough)
Three-pack of Red Star Yeast envelopes
BreadIn5 Recipe Booklet
For those of you who didn’t win this time, you can still find all of the RED STAR YEAST products here:
Either by using“Carol’s Club” points from Red Star.