Barley, Beer and Dark Chocolate Artisan Bread

December 24, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Makes two 1-1/2 pound loaves
Author Notes

This crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, bread is something you will want to try. It's flavors – wheat, roasted barley, double chocolate stout, and dark chocolate - meld together into a smooth, mellow taste that leaves you wanting more.. and more! It's like a symphony in your mouth, with different flavors coming to the forefront and then fading into the background, then mixing together into a cohesive whole.
I’ve just started making artisan bread in the last few months. I used to think using a dutch oven, a kitchen scale and a thermometer were only for chefs, but I love the consistent and tasty results!
This bread takes awhile to make, but it’s so worth it! You can find detailed explanations of the steps and techniques in "Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza" by Ken Forkish. I've also included links to some of Ken's videos that show the techniques.
I hope you enjoy this amazing bread as I much as I have…

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) rolled barley flakes
  • 32 ounces (900 grams) chocolate stout, divided
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 1/4 cups (450 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 grams) instant dried yeast
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (27 grams) sea salt
  • 1 10-12 oz bag dark chocolate morsels
  1. Roast barley flakes in dry pan or oven until browned and aromatic. If using a pan, stir constantly at medium heat. If using the oven, spread the flakes out so it's only one layer at around 200?.
  2. Bring 150 grams of beer to a slow boil, add roasted flakes then turn it off. Let it sit for 20 minutes until most of the beer is absorbed. Keep any beer not absorbed and put it aside.
  3. Mix the all purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and the barley by hand in a 6 to 12 quart tub. Gently warm the 750 grams of beer (plus the beer that wasn't absorbed) to 90? to 95? (32? to 35?). Water temperature (or beer in this case) -
  4. Combine the flour and barley mixture with the beer and blend them together by hand until they are just incorporated. Cover and let this rest for 20-30 minutes. Add the yeast, salt and chocolate. Hand Mix all the ingredients using the pincer method (with your thumb and forefingers)and folding. Alternate between the two (start with folding the dough, then pinch the dough 5-6 times, then fold the dough again, etc.) until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Hand Mixing the Autolyse. -
  5. Fold the dough 4 separate times, letting the dough relax in-between, within the first two hours of the rising time, if possible. (I generally do it approx. 15-20 minutes apart). When the dough has tripled in size, it's ready to be divided. (The recipe says about five hours, but I live at a high altitude and the kitchen I use tends to be rather cool, so it takes MUCH longer than five hours for me. I usually plan for about 12 hours).
  6. Flour the work surface, your hands, and the edges around the tub so you can divide the dough. Gently work it free from the tub and ease it unto the work surface. Flour it down the middle and cut it into two equal pieces. Flour bowls or proofing baskets. Shape the dough into loaves and place them seam side down in the bowls or baskets. Dividing and Shaping the Loaves -
  7. Flour the tops of the loaves a little bit. Cover with a clean towel and refrigerate overnight. The next morning (after 12-14 hours) test the dough using the finger-dent technique to determine exact timing. Proofing and Finger-dent test -
  8. Preheat the oven to 475? (245?) with the dutch oven(s) and their lid(s) in it for at least 45 minutes prior to baking. If you only have one dutch oven, leave the second loaf in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Reheat the dutch oven for 5 minutes after removing the first loaf and then place the second loaf into it.
  9. Invert the loaf unto your lightly floured work space. Remove the dutch oven (it will be extremely hot so be careful!) and take off the lid. Carefully place the dough in the dutch oven seam side up. Replace the lid then put it all into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Bake for another 15-25 minutes until it's medium brown with the lid off. Remove loaf and let it cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lifeofcolors
  • Michelle

2 Reviews

lifeofcolors January 13, 2013
Michelle, there is no reason to knead the bread when you make this. So, I'm not sure why you would want to use a mixer? That's one reason why I like it! I haven't tried any other techniques to make this kind of bread because I think it tastes fantastic this way, but I'm sure it could be done other ways... :-)
Michelle January 13, 2013
Can this be made using a stand mixer with a dough hook?