Beer bread rolls

I made these beer bread rolls last weekend and I can’t tell you how good they were. I’d never thought of making them before but found an old can of beer in the cupboard so though – what the heck!

I’m very glad I did as they were so tasty and especially nice with some soup or cheese. I’ve included a few step by step instructions below, but if you don’t want to see the pictures just scroll on down to the bottom of the page.

But I’d love for you to read on……

These rolls were inspired by a recipe in Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s book ‘How to make Bread‘. One thing you should know about beer and yeast is that, generally, you won’t get as much rise when the dough is resting. Don’t panic though, this is normal, it really springs in the oven, so don’t worry if your dough does not quite rise as much as you think it might.

Now I should say that I didn’t follow the original recipe exactly as it was a tiny bit confusing (honestly it does not take much). Not only does he sift all the lovely seeds out of the dough and saves them until the end (we like a good seed in the bread), he also seemed to use an awful lot of liquid, too much liquid for me anyway. The original original recipe would have made a VERY wet dough and even though I cut down the amount of liquid, the dough was still wet, so goodness knows how wet it would’ve been if I’d used the suggested quantities from the recipe! Lastly the original recipe does not call for any kneading, instead you turn the bread in on itself several times over a few hours – probably because it’s so wet. I actually kneaded mine and I’m glad I did.

Anyway, in true ‘Me Style’ I did my own thing and I’m glad I did as the result was lovely. I made mine with an overnight starter, as recommended in the book. The flavour was lovely, but if you are short on time I’m pretty sure it would work just as well if you made the recipe all in one go. If you did decide just to chuck it all in, it would still need a longer time to rise because of the beer, or you could use half beer half water – experiment a bit, let me know how you get on.

Oh, and don’t worry if your beer is out of date – mine was and it was just fine!

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I’ve popped some step by step images below, but if you don’t want to see the pictures you can just scroll on down to the bottom of the page.

Step 1 – The overnight starter

  • Time = 5 minutes to make and an overnight rest.
  • Ingredients = 200g of malthouse flour (the stuff with the seeds in – if you don’t like seeds  sift them out, or I’m sure wholemeal or brown flour would do). 3gm of dried yeast (either fast action or the stuff you’ve to activate will do, you could use fresh but you’ll need 6gm). 100 – 125ml of beer or ale (not from the fridge).
    1. Weigh your flour into a large mixing bowl (we’ll be using this very same bowl throughout, so if you intend to do your knead of the main dough in a stand mixer make sure you use the stand mixer bowl now).
    2. Mix your yeast with 100ml of the beer until it’s dissolved.
    3. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour your beery yeast mixture into the centre and then work in the flour with a wooden spoon, it should form a sticky soft gooey dough mixture and there should be no dry flour left. Don’t knead – it’s supposed to be quite wet and will firm up as it rests.  If it’s too dry add more beer until there is no dry flour left.
    4. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. If you kitchen is cold you may need to pop it somewhere warm, but don’t leave it near any direct heat source, otherwise it might kill off the yeast.
    5. During the overnight rise the dough will bubble up and then fall back down again, this is normal.

Image 1 = Good old ‘Newky Brown’ Any beer would do. Image 2 = Measuring the beer. Image 3 = The yeast mixture once it’s frothed. Image 4 = Flour in the bowl. Image 5 = The mixed gooey overnight mix (see I told you it was wet!)

Step 2 – Make the main dough and rest.

  • Time = 10-15 minutes to knead. 2 – 3 hours to rise
  • Ingredients. The overnight starter, 400g of malthouse flour, 10g of fine salt, 6g of dried fast action yeast (or 12g of fresh), 100 – 150ml of beer.
  1. Uncover the overnight starter, it should’ve firmed up a bit and you’ll see where it’s risen up and slid down the side of the bowl.  Take a moment to sniff the lovely beeriness of the mixture.
  2. Weigh your flour, yeast, salt (make sure the salt and yeast don’t touch) and 75ml of the beer into the same bowl with your overnight starter (can you tell I don’t like washing up).
  3. Give it a mix until a firm(ish) dough starts to form. Add as much of the beer as you can until you get quite a wet and very sticky dough. You may not need all of the beer, it will depend on the absorption of your flour. Then knead (in the bowl) for 10 minutes starting off by using a wooden spoon, then getting stuck in with your hands.  If you are using a stand mixer, mix on slow until as much of the beer is incorporated so as the dough comes together and then turn up to 4 and mix for 5 minutes. Now one thing you should know is that even though I cut down the amount of liquid from the original recipe, this is still a very wet dough, but don’t panic. It will be absolutely fine.
  4. Cover and rest for 2 – 3 hours until noticeably bigger. It won’t double like a normal dough (well mine didn’t), but it was absolutely fine when cooked.

Image = 1 The dough when first mixed (see what I mean about it being wet?). Image 2 = The dough after the first hour. Image 3 = The dough after nearly 3 hours (see how much it’s firmed up?).

Step 3 – Shape into rolls, sprinkle with rolled oats, bake, Enjoy!

  • Time = About 5 – 10 minutes to roll, a couple of minutes to sprinkle,  30 – 40 minutes to rest and 30 minutes to bake.
  • Oven temp = 210 (fan) 230 (non fan).
  • Ingredients = A heavy dusting of white flour (I used bread flour) on your work top, a handful of rolled oats mixed with a few seeds and some milk for brushing. 
  1. When your dough is risen uncover and tip out onto a really heavily floured work surface. Flour your hands, knock the dough back, but don’t be too rough, you do want to retain some of the air. Then  divide the dough into 7 large pieces. You could make smaller rolls if you like but we are greedy peeps in our house.
  2. Shape each piece into a tight(ish) ball as best you can, no need to be too neat about it, you just a shape that is tight enough that when rested they they won’t flatten out. The dough is still quite sticky, so keep flouring your hands.
  3. Place each ball onto a baking tray covered with a baking paper and a light dusting of flour. The balls can be touching but try to leave a little room if possible as they’ll expand better.
  4. Brush the top very lightly with milk then sprinkle on your rolled oats. You could add extra pumpkin seeds if you wanted to, or other seeds – the world is your oyster.
  5. Cover and leave for 30-40 minutes until the dough has almost doubled and when pressed with your finger it does not leave an indent.  When you cover try not to let the cover touch the bread. I used a tea towel propped over a couple of glasses.
  6. Pre-heat your oven now.
  7. When the rolls have rested, Pop them into your pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes without opening the door. After 10 minutes, check the colour and if they are browning too quickly, reduce the temperature 5-10 degrees and continue to bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes. If after 10 minutes the colour is OK then leave at the higher temperature for as long as you can.  Once the rolls are baked remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack then Enjoy!

Image 1 = The rolls with their topping. Image 2 = The rested rolls before baking 3 = The rolls straight from the oven.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this bread, I certainly did.

Below is the printable recipe for Beer bread rolls. For other recipes on my site please follow this link.
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Beer bread rolls

  • Servings: Makes 7 large rolls
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Tasty beer bread rolls, great with soup or cheese.

Although this is a more complex recipe it’s well worth giving it a go. I’ve included some images above if you are stuck and as I’ve said above in the main post, although I did the overnight rise I’m sure it would work if you just decided to chuck it all in.

Ingredients

  • 600g of malthouse flour (200g for the starter and 400g for the main dough).
  • 10g of fine sea salt.
  • 9g of dried yeast (3 for the overnight starter and 6 for the main dough – you could use fresh so double the quantities if you do).
  • Between 200 and 275ml of beer.
  • A handful of rolled oats mixed with some seeds and a little milk for the topping.

Directions

  1. First make your overnight starter by weighing 200g of the flour into a large mixing bowl (we’ll be using this very same bowl throughout, so if you intend to do your knead of the main dough in a stand mixer make sure you use the stand mixer bowl now). Now mix your yeast with 100ml of the beer until it’s dissolved. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour your beery yeast mixture into the centre and then work in the flour with a wooden spoon, it should form a sticky soft gooey dough mixture and there should be no dry flour left. Don’t knead – it’s supposed to be quite wet and will firm up as it rests.  If it’s too dry add up to 25ml more beer until there is no dry flour left. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. If you kitchen is cold you may need to pop it somewhere warm, but don’t leave it near any direct heat source, otherwise it might kill off the yeast. During the overnight rise the dough will bubble up and then fall back down again, this is normal.
  2. 2. Uncover the overnight starter, it should’ve firmed up a bit and you’ll see where it’s risen up and slid down the side of the bowl.  Take a moment to sniff the lovely beeriness of the mixture. Weigh 400g of flour, yeast, salt (make sure the salt and yeast don’t touch) and 75ml more of the beer into the same bowl with your overnight starter (can you tell I don’t like washing up). Give it a mix until a firm(ish) dough starts to form. Add up to another 75ml of beer until you get quite a wet and very sticky dough. You may not need all of the beer, it will depend on the absorption of your flour. Then knead (in the bowl) for 10 minutes starting off by using a wooden spoon, then getting stuck in with your hands.  If you are using a stand mixer, mix on slow until as much of the beer is incorporated so as the dough comes together and then turn up to 4 and mix for 5 minutes. Now one thing you should know is that even though I cut down the amount of liquid from the original recipe, this is still a very wet dough, but don’t panic. It will be absolutely fine. Cover and rest for 2 – 3 hours until noticeably bigger. It won’t double like a normal dough (well mine didn’t), but it was absolutely fine when cooked.
  3. When your dough is risen uncover and tip out onto a really heavily floured work surface. Flour your hands, knock the dough back, but don’t be too rough, you do want to retain some of the air. Then  divide the dough into 7 large pieces. You could make smaller rolls if you like but we are greedy peeps in our house. Shape each piece into a tight(ish) ball as best you can, no need to be too neat about it, you just a shape that is tight enough that when rested they they won’t flatten out. The dough is still quite sticky, so keep flouring your hands. Place each ball onto a baking tray covered with a baking paper and a light dusting of flour. The balls can be touching but try to leave a little room if possible as they’ll expand better. Brush the top very lightly with milk then sprinkle on your rolled oats. You could add extra pumpkin seeds if you wanted to, or other seeds – the world is your oyster. Cover and leave for 30-40 minutes until the dough has almost doubled and when pressed with your finger it does not leave an indent.  When you cover try not to let the cover touch the bread. I used a tea towel propped over a couple of glasses. Pre-heat your oven now.
  4. When the rolls have rested, Pop them into your pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes without opening the door. After 10 minutes, check the colour and if they are browning too quickly, reduce the temperature 5-10 degrees and continue to bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes. If after 10 minutes the colour is OK then leave at the higher temperature for as long as you can.  Once the rolls are baked remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack then Enjoy!

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