Bread and cheese, two simple yet fundamental foods – they are food groups, right? – come together for Bread Baking Day #16, hosted this month by Temperance of High on the Hog.
What to make? I came across a fantastic looking loaf that used ale in the poolish and gave metric measurements – it’s scale time! My thought was that I could add shredded cheese with sass in a crusty ale bread. Now the only little problem was that I don’t drink (I know, I know) and therefore had no idea what ale to use. I barely know what ale is. There’s a guy in my lab who brews his own beer so I asked him for the name of a “good ale.”
“Newcastle. Go with Newcastle.”
That night, I stopped by the liquor store on my way home from the lab, and it was only after I walked into the store that I realized I had no idea what the bottle of Newcastle Ale looked like. It took me a while to find it (and to make sure that I could buy a single bottle) and I must have looked like a complete fool, so here’s what Newcastle Brown Ale looks like to spare you from potential future embarassment. Actually, this is really just for my future reference:
Ale and Cheddar Bread
Note: Try as I might, I wasn’t able to find Humboldt Fog anywhere and chose the next best thing: freshly shredded Vermont sharp cheddar. I think the sharpness of the cheddar matched well with such a crusty, rustic loaf and will definitely be making this again. Again, as in really soon.
- 125 g ale (or any beer you’d just as well drink)
- 125 g bread flour
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- all of the poolish
- 750 g bread flour
- 50 g whole wheat flour
- ~80 g Vermont sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 500 g water, lukewarm
- 12 g salt
Mixing the poolish
Combine all of the poolish ingredients, cover and let ferment for 3 to 5 hours, until risen and bubbly.
Mixing the dough
Mix all of the final dough ingredients except for the salt. Knead for 10 minutes by hand until supple, and boy howdy does this dough get supple – it’s a really pleasant dough to work with. Add salt and cheese, and knead until they’re fully incorporated, another 3 to 5 minutes.
In an oiled bowl for two hours, with one stretch and fold at the one hour point.
Shaping and proofing
Shape according to your heart’s desire – I divided the dough into two portions, one for a boule and one for a sandwich loaf. Proof for one hour.
After proofing, I flipped the wheat bran-topped shaped boule out of the bowl onto a cutting board, slashed it, and placed it into a preheated Pyrex bowl with the lid on. The boule was then loaded along with the proofed sandwich loaf into a preheated 475F oven. The heat was turned down to 450F after 5 minutes, the lid of the Pyrex bowl was removed after ~10 minutes and everything was baked for a total of around 25 minutes, until the crust was a golden or rich, caramel brown.
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I’m sending these loaves over to Temperance of High on the Hog for Bread Baking Day #16, Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte as the wonderful founder of Bread Baking Day, Susan at Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting, and Tommi at Brown Interior for kindly sharing her recipe in the first place – thank you!