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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Bake A Fruit & Seed Beer Bread Using A Sourdough Starter

I was looking for a delicious new bread to accompany a braai we were going to have when I was reminded of the Christmas pudding I had baked in December. Everyone seemed to love the fruit, so why not add that to a brand new bread recipe? I added some seeds and used beer (actually well fermented ginger beer) to assist in the raising process. This free-form bread was such a hit that people went for seconds on the bread. This is normally unheard of when there is still meat left on the table. I decided to share the recipe so you can enjoy it too.

Finely chop 1/2 cup (125 ml) raisins.

Chop 1/2 cup (125 ml) dates finely.

Measure 1 cup (250 ml) beer. I used homemade ginger beer of which the alcohol content had increased much too high to be enjoyed as a light beverage, but you can use any beer of your choice.

Heat the beer only slightly and pour it over the chopped fruit. Let is sit while you carry on with the rest of the recipe.
(Option 1: If using Active Dry Yeast, you can add a packet to the fruit and beer mixture and allow it to froth up).

Add 2 cups (500 ml) white bread flour and 2 cups (500 ml) brown bread flour to a large mixing bowl.

Add a tablespoon (12,5 ml) sugar and a teaspoon (5 ml) salt to the bowl.
(Option 2: If using Instant Dry Yeast, you can add a packet to the dry ingredients).

Add 1 cup (250 ml) sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup (90 ml) linseed to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients well.

Now add 1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter, 1 egg and 50 ml cooking oil to the dry ingredients.

Pour your fruit mixture into the mixing bowl.

Bring the dough together.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for roughly 10 minutes.

Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray and lightly flour the baking sheet.

Shape the dough into an oblong and make a couple of diagonal cuts across the top.

Cover with plastic.

Allow to rise in a warm dry place until about doubled in size. Remove the plastic. If baking in an oven, the baking sheet can go in as is for about 40 minutes at 200 °C. If baking in a kettle braai over the fire, you need to put the baking sheet in a second dish to create a thicker bottom. This will assist in preventing the bread from burning at the bottom.

Place in the kettle braai and cover. Check the temperature. It has to be higher than 200 °C and lower than 240 °C. Bake until done. Do not check before 30 minutes have lapsed.

Bread bakes equally well over the fire as in the oven.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cover with a damp cloth to create a softer crust.

Serve with butter. The bread has enough flavour not to need anything more.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
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