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Farmers Cheese Beer Sourdough Bread

15 Mar

MainFinal Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day I figured I would make another bread using beer along with some freshly milled flours.  I had bought some Farmers Cheese meaning to make pierogi again but have not had a chance to do so yet, so into the cauldron it went :).

I wanted a sour, sour dough and nothing in my experience makes a bread more sour than mixing beer with rye flour and letting it bulk ferment overnight in the refrigerator.  To make sure the dough wasn’t as sour as a barrel of pickles I added some Kamut flour and white winter wheat  to round off the flavor profile.

The Farmers Cheese has a pretty high water content which I tried to account for in the formula below by breaking out the water separately so this dough was really wet.  Unfortunately I was preparing this dough along with my last bread and working at the same time and I didn’t re-flour my basket before putting the dough in it.  When I un-molded the dough part of it stuck to the bottom so this is not going to win any beauty prizes.  It does however taste pretty good with a nice sour tang.  You can definitely taste the addition of the beer so if you if you don’t like beer, this one is not for you.

I’m not sure if the way I added the water and beer along with the additional water content of the cheese was calculated correctly.  Actual beer for recipe was 361 grams plus 64 grams of water to the main dough.  The starter was built up in 2 stages with 75 grams of water added in stage one and 92 grams added in stage 2.

(Note: I just updated the formulas with some help from Jacqueline from BreadStorm.  She helped me add the starter hydration and the water from the farmers cheese correctly.  Please note that the total amount of Farmers Cheese is 213 grams.)


Ian's Farmer Cheese Beer Bread (JC edit) (%) Ian's Farmer Cheese Beer Bread (JC edit) (weights)

Levain Directions Build 1

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofing box set at 82 degrees and it took around 5 hours.

Levain Directions Build 2

Mix the 75 grams of Kamut with the 52 grams of WW along with 92 grams of water to the first build and let it ferment until doubled.  Since I used my proofing box at 82 degrees again it took about 4 hours.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, beer and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), , and Farmers Cheese, and olive oil and mix on low for 6 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.  I made 1 large boule shape.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.