Fresh from the oven – Beer Bread Bowls.

October’s Fresh from the oven challenge was hosted by Corry. She recommended a fantastic recipe inspired by from Richard Bertinet’s fabulous book Dough – Simple Contemporary Bread

I tried this particular recipe last year, but keen to adapt recipe and in keeping with my sudden preoccupation of baking with beer, I wanted to try this recipe to make beer bread bowls, specifically to be served with scouse.

I use quite a bit of Sam Smiths beers in baking as their fruit beers give great taste to the likes of ice cream & brownies and their other beers have a strong defined taste that is perfect for stews and bread. The oatmeal stout I decided to use has a definite oaty aroma and I thought it would be perfect for bread.

This time the dough seemed to work better than my first attempt last year and they worked well. I now have ideas to make these bowls as a fruit bread then filling them with custard..mmmm..

Beer Bread Bowls
makes 6 16cm bowls

500g strong bread flour
20g course semolina
15g fresh yeast (or 5g fast action yeast)
10g salt
50g olive oil
320g beer
chilli or spice (optional for added flavour)

1) Preheat the oven to 250˚C (500˚F). Mix together the flour and semolina and rub in the yeast as if you were making a crumble (Richard Bertinet’s method – see below for video link). If using a mixer, switch it on to the slowest speed, add salt, olive oil and beer and mix for 2 minutes, then turn the speed up to the next lowest speed and mix for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

2) If you are kneading by hand, knead for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until you have a nice smooth elastic ball of dough. Richard Bertinet has a unique kneading technique referred to as the French fold that can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes depending on practice. You can view his method in a online video at the Gourmet Webpage. In this video, he is actually doing sweet dough but the same technique can be used for most bread dough.

3) Place the dough into a bowl that has been floured, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

4) Lightly oil or spray with non-stick spray, the outside of 6 ovenproof bows (I used pyrex bowls). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 to 8 pieces (depending on the size of your baking bowls). Taking one piece of dough at a time and using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle (similar to making pizza). Shake off excess flour and shape each piece over an upturned bowl, patting into shape and pressing gently to remove air bubbles from between the dough and the bowl. Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Place the upturned bowls, two at a time, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then into the preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200˚C (400˚F) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Using a fine-bladed knife, gently loosen the bread from the bowls and ease off. Cool on a wire rack.

It is probably safer to serve the bowls on a plate, as they do become soggy after a while and the soup may leak through.

20 thoughts on “Fresh from the oven – Beer Bread Bowls.”

  • That's interesting, I've never heard of bread bowls before. Great idea to serve it with soup, sounds like such a comforting dinner!

  • Having so many probs with my computer and trying to post comments! Apologies if this appears a few times from me! I love both ideas, makign the bread bowls with beer and a sweet version too. Yum! Also really impressed that you managed to get an even golden colour throughout with the bowls.

  • Your bowls look really good. I've been meaning to make beer bread ever since reading about your gorgeous Black Sheep Bread – I've even bought the Black Sheep Ale!!!Really loving the idea of fruit bread bowls filled with custard – yum!!!

  • I've seen these on a couple of sites now – I love the whole idea. A bowl you can eat…can it get any better?

  • What a clever idea! Can't wait to see the sweet version… And they'd make a great ready-made mould for Summer Pudding too!

  • What a great idea! Baking with beer has to be a winner, and using bread as a container for other food, brilliant, just like going back a few hundred yrars…

  • Will the soup leak through if you put them inside these? When I was in the US last week I saw clam chowder inside loaves of bread which i thought was a really interesting concept. I like your idea for fruit ones too! xxx

  • Sorry, just saw your comment about the soup leaking through…maybe a thick soup? You can see why chowder might

  • I love the sound of these, I think I will make them when I next have guests – I will have to think of a suitable filling…

  • I've been meaning to try that recipe for ages…you've inspired to finally have a go…love Richard Bertinets book.

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