ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits


with 33 comments

First, apologies to all beer lovers.

No, Guinness have not branched out into the bread market (AFAIK), but the thought of marrying the rich and creamy flavor of this beer with a rye bread has been on my mind a long time. I know you don’t care but when I drink beer, it’s this or one of the Southern German style beers with a nod towards sweet yeastiness. All other beers stink of course.

I think not all beers are suitable for baking. Sometimes their flavor in bread evaporate into nothing. What often remains is a stale bitterness that does not really blend with the flavor of the bread. The Guinness with its chocolaty and malty aftertaste is perfect for a grainy kind of bread like Vollkornbrot.

No mention of Vollkornbrot without the ‘flying top’ issue, i.e. the top of the crust flying off the rest of the loaf leaving a big hole. This time I was lucky and me thinks that soaking and boiling of the grains and meals help prevent a flying top. Also, as previously mentioned, the sourdough should be very acidic.

I thought I had turned down the oven but after 40 minutes it still was on 240°C making this loaf a bit too dark.


P.S. This bread was modelled after Baker Süpke’s ‘Schwarzer Hamster’ (black hamster), a bread that so far has found many interpretations in numerous blogs.


Rye meal soaker

  • 100g coarse rye meal
  • 100g warm water

Let stand covered for 5-16 hours at room temperature.

Rye grain beer soaker

  • 150g rye grains
  • 250g Guinness beer
  • 50g sunflower seeds

Boil the rye grains in water for 30 minutes, ‘al dente’, drain and mix with sunflower seeds. Add the beer, mix and let stand covered for 12-16 hours. The liquid will be absorbed very slowly and there might still be excess beer at the end of the 16 hours. Use that in the dough.


  • 100g rye flour
  • 100g strong white flour
  • 5g fresh yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 200g rye sourdough, hydration: 100%
  • Rye meal soaker
  • Rye grain beer soaker

Mix ingredients thoroughly until combined. Should the dough be too stiff, add some water until a constistency of mashed potatoes is reached. Desired dough temperature 27°C.

Bulk fermentation: 20-60 minutes depending how cool or warm the dough is. 20 minutes if it has the desired 27°C. Scrape out of the bowl directly into baking tin lined with baking paper.

Final fermentation: 20-40 minutes. Dough should rise sllightly and should not feel too light on top.

Bake at 240°C for 20 minutes and another 40-60 minutes at 190°C.


Written by theinversecook

6 March 2009 at 01:34

33 Responses

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  1. Hello, as you can see this is my first post here.
    In first steps it’s really good if someone supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
    Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)


    27 February 2010 at 16:42

  2. could you please convert the ingredients as I want to make this wonderful looking bread-Thank-you


    12 March 2010 at 19:27

    • Hi Mary, thanks for the kind words. You mean convert to cups, tsp etc.? Or ounces?

      Strangely, you’re the first one to ask for this. I guess it had to happen eventually, that the weight-system I like to use, gets challenged. I have no excuse for sticking to it, since 50g will always be 50g, regardless of the ingredient. Mass is the true reflection of “how much” of something there is. Chemical reactions happen by mass rations too.

      I will happily convert a recipe to cups if it makes sense. But especially in the case of coarsely ground grains every recipe in cups is bound to make the quite scientific craft of baking look like sleight of hand or witchcraft, I’m afraid.



      13 March 2010 at 02:43

    • I just found an American cup-measure in the cupboard. Will try to see if converting actually works for this recipe.


      15 March 2010 at 13:20

      • Thank-you. What do I need to make this bread like you do? What scale should I get,etc.? I just do not know how to get started. Thank-you. Mary


        16 March 2010 at 02:47

        • Will have to get me sone rye grains first to try this.

          For scales, a simple digital kitchen scale would work. Preferably with grams and ounces. Mine has that option, although I still convert everything into grams first. A larhe bowl and a dough scraper would be great. How to knead or not to knead and to use a mixer or hands…that’s one of the most debated questions on bread baking at home. I knead by hand or a strong fork for rye doughs, simulating the gentle mixing of French baking.


          17 March 2010 at 22:13

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