Yesterday morning I started preparing an experimental loaf of sourdough where I replaced all but a little of the water in the recipe with a honey brown lager. Today, the loaf has been proofed, baked and sampled. But let’s back up a step. I’ve been pondering sourdough mix-ins. In the past year of pandemic lockdown I’ve baked about a hundred and fifty loaves of bread. Ninety-percent of these have been baked purely to answer the “we need bread” call. There are a few reasons I turned to sourdough as a mostly reliable source of food during the pandemic, and some of them are practical. Yet, I’ve long had a curiosity about working towards honing skills in arts and science, and…

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I’ve been thinking about beer breads a lot lately. Since the start of the pandemic lockdown, I’ve been the family baker. Nearly one hundred and fifty loaves of sourdough of varying shape and quality have emerged from our oven in the last year. I’ve tried numerous flour blends to mix up our sandwich loaf selection. I’ve attempted sweet breads with sugar and cinnamon mixed in for fun and fancy. I’ve added cheeses or herbs to create savoury side loaves to accompany larger meals. Yet, somehow, I’ve never dabbled in diverting anything but the dry ingredients. Bread and beer have a long, entwined history. Some have rightly noted that bread and beer are essentially equivalent food stuffs: grains, water, yeast in…

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