Beer bread "The Poacher's loaf"

    15 hours 15 min

    The poacher's loaf is inspired by our local brewery, Hall and Woodhouse, who make Badger Beer. One of their ales is the Poacher's Choice which is a traditional dark beer that has a super flavour. I use a mix of two flours to make the bread, strong white and Maltstar strong flour, and they come from our local mill in the village of Cann made by Mr N R Stoate and Sons. You can make this loaf using a beer similar to Poacher's Choice if you are unable to source it from your local shops. This recipe makes two loaves of bread.


    Dorset, England, UK
    5 people made this

    Makes: 2 loaves beer bread

    • 600g strong white flour
    • 150g Maltstar strong flour or similar
    • 500g sourdough starter
    • 250ml Poacher's Choice beer (or similar beer)
    • 10g salt
    • 100g water

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:14hr proofing  ›  Ready in:15hr15min 

    1. Put all the ingedients into a bowl and bring together to form a moist sticky dough. Tip the dough onto an oiled worksurface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes creating a smooth dough. Put the dough into an oiled bowl or container, cover, and leave the dough to rise for 5 to 6 hours or doubled in size.
    2. Prepare two proving baskets. Tip the risen dough onto an oiled worksurface and knock out the air by turning the edges of the dough inwards until the dough is smooth. Divide the dough in half and shape each one into a smooth ball and place into the proving basket, cover, and leave to rise for 7 to 9 hours or leave overnight, which is what I do. The next day the dough will have doubled in size.
    3. Preheat the oven to 240 C / 220 C fan / Gas 8/9.
    4. Place an empty meat tin into the bottom of the oven which will be filled with 250ml of water to generate steam while the loaves bake. Flour two baking trays and tip the loaves onto them, or use two well oiled 20cm loose bottomed flan tins. In the picture you will see that I used the flan tins to bake this loaf. I find the round tin helps the dough to grip and rise better than on a baking tray. Cut a cross into the top of each loaf using a razor blade or very sharp knife. Place in the oven and pour the 250ml of water to the meat tin.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks. Last step is to cut the loaf, butter, and enjoy. I like this bread with cheese.


    The flavour and texture of the bread can be altered by changing the flour types and quantities to make the flour total 750g. Also, use a different type of beer. Have fun experimenting.

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    Nothing nicer than eating homemade sourdough beer bread. Yum!  -  12 Feb 2015