Beer Bread "The Pirate's Loaf"


    I was inspired to make this bread from childhood visits to the Suffolk coast and to Southwold, the home of Adnams Ale, who make a lovely dark beer called Broadside. The recipe makes 2 loaves but those who wish to make a single loaf the quantities to do this are in brackets in the ingredients section. In the picture I baked one loaf in a 500g (1lb) loaf tin and the other loaf in a 7 inch (or 6 inch) loose bottomed high sided cake tin to make the bread more interesting. However, the traditional method of using a Banneton for the second rise and a free standing bake on a baking tray works equally well. Using the 6 inch tin give a higher loaf.


    Dorset, England, UK
    1 person made this


    • 575g (400g) strong white flour
    • 175g (100g) granary flour (or
    • 500g (300g) sourdough starter
    • 300g (200g) Adnams Broadside beer
    • 20g (10g) water
    • 15g (10g) salt


    1. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and bring together into a dough, add the water if the mixture is dry and crumbly. Oil the work surface and knead the dough for for 10 minutes until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled (I use olive oil) 3 litre plastic container with a snap lid to keep the air out. Place in a warm part of the house and leave to rise which will take between 6 to 12 hours until doubled in size. I often let the first rise happen over night
    2. Lightly grease the tin or tins, or prepare the Banneton, for the second rise. Lightly oil the work surface and tip-out the risen dough. If you are using the 2 loaves quantity split the mix in half. Knock back the dough and fold the dough back on its self a couple of times to trap the air before shaping and placing in the tins or Bannetons. Cover and place in a warm part of the house for between 6 and 12 hours until the dough has risen to just level with the top of the tin.
    3. Pre-heat the oven to 200C fan and place a roasting pan of water into the bottom of the oven to generate steam for the baking process. Cut the top of the risen dough with a very sharp knife in the shape of a cross, then place the loaves into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and tap the bottom of the loaf and listen for a hollow sound; the loaf is baked. Place onto a cooling rake. Once cooled enjoy. These loaves freeze remarkably well.

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    This very popular with the family. The bread is great with sweet and savoury items.  -  25 Aug 2015

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