320g strong white flour, like Marriage's Finest Strong White Bread flour
60g wholemeal wheat or spelt flour, like Stoate's Organic Spelt Flour
20g wholemeal rye flour, like Stoate's Organic Rye Flour
8g fine salt, like Saltan Himalayan Super-Fine Pink Rock Salt
100g water, room temperature
5g fast-action yeast, like Agrano Bioreal® Dried Organic Gluten-Free Instant Yeast 5-pack
25g honey, like our Black Bee Honey range
100g ale or beer, room temperature
15g unsalted butter
Rolled oats to finish, like our Hodmedod's British Grown Organic Jumbo Oats
The loaf mainly uses strong white flour with a little wholegrain spelt and rye giving it a more complex flavour and buff colour, rounded out by the combination of ale, milk, honey and butter.
Here we’ve baked the loaf in what’s known as a “pullman tin” – a long tin with a sliding lid that produces a very neat squarish sandwich bread – and our USA Pan Pullman Bread Pan (10cm wide/deep x 23cm long) is perfect for this.
The flavour of beer is there but it’s gentle. Don’t be tempted to replace all the water with beer as the alcohol and hops in it might slow the yeast action down completely resulting in a heavy loaf. The half and half mix of water and beer gives you a great balance between flavour and lightness.
Makes one 23cm long 10cm x 10cm bread, a smallish loaf that cuts into about 10 slices
Put the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the water and yeast until dissolved then mix in the honey, milk and ale. Pour this in with the dry ingredients and knead until smooth and elastic. Then add the butter and knead until it has mixed in evenly. Cover the bowl and leave somewhere warm, at about 24C for 90 minutes or until almost doubled in volume.
Line the base and sides of your pullman tin with non-stick paper (I use pegs to hold the paper in place before the dough is neatly tucked inside). Have two trays ready: one with a wet dishcloth for rolling the dough on, the other with a layer of oats to roll the wet dough in.
Using a little extra flour roll the dough out to about 20cm by 35cm, then roll up tightly so it’s about 20cm wide. Roll the dough first on the wet dishcloth so it’s sticky on the outside, then roll it on the tray of oats so they stick evenly to the dough. Then place the dough seam-side down in the tin. Using your fist gently punch it down into the edges of the tin. Place the lid on and leave somewhere warm (at about 24C) for about 90-120 minutes until about 2cm from the top of the tin. I check it after 1 hour to see how it’s rising, sometimes it rises quicker than others.
Heat the oven to 180C fan. Bake for about 35 minutes with the lid on then remove the lid and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden on top. Remove from the oven and upturn onto a wire rack to remove the tin. Leave until cold before bagging. Best left in the bag until the following day before slicing.