Vanilla Porter Rye Bread

May 19, 2017
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes one 9 x 5 loaf
Author Notes

This bread has it all – a lovely, yeasty fragrance, a nice outer crust, and beautifully colored interior crumb – all thanks to the use of a flavorful, dark, vanilla porter, which pairs wonderfully with the subtle flavors of rye. This bread is perfect warm from the oven, slathered with salted butter, but is also a great sandwich bread, piled high with nearly any topping you can imagine. And as toast, it’s divine. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • Sponge
  • 1/4 cup (26 g) medium rye flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (5 g) instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (118 g) warm water
  • Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups (155 g) medium rye flour
  • 3 1/2 cups (420 g) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) fine sea salt
  • 12 ounces (340 g) Breckenridge Vanilla Porter (not cold)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Make the sponge: in the bowl of an electric mixer, stir the rye flour, bread flour, yeast, and water to combine. Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the dough: add the remaining ingredients to the mixer bowl and attach the dough hook to the mixer.
  3. Mix the dough on low speed for 3 minutes, then on medium speed for 4 minutes more. The dough will be relatively sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and pat it into a thick rectangular shape. Working from the end farthest from you towards yourself, begin to fold the dough over itself and press firmly with your fingertips to seal. Repeat this movement until you’ve formed a loaf shape.
  6. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and transfer the shaped dough to the pan. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise until it reaches the upper lip of the loaf pan, 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes.
  7. Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 400°F. Use scissors or a razor blade to cut a few vents in the top of the bread, then transfer the loaf to the oven on the middle shelf.
  8. Optional extra step: place a baking sheet with about 2 cups of ice cubes in the base of the oven. This produces steam which makes a crispier crust, but can be skipped.
  9. Bake until the loaf is very golden brown and has an internal temperature of 195°F. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold and cool completely on a wire rack.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
  • Wandadesigns
  • Carlynn Houghton
    Carlynn Houghton
  • George H
    George H
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

7 Reviews

Wandadesigns June 5, 2021
I have made this bread 3 times now and the rise is phenomenal, the bread hits the top of my oven. Is it really just 1 loave or should i divide into 2 loafs? the texture and flavor are fantastic.
Carlynn H. January 28, 2018
This was excellent. I omitted the milk solids and used 1/4 cup of honey, then brought down the beer by a few teaspoons—and I used a honey ale. Rave reviews! Make this bread. 45 minutes at 400 degrees, by the way.
George H. June 9, 2017
"Bake until the loaf is very golden brown and has an internal temperature of 195°F", about how many minutes?
Amy S. July 18, 2017
I made this yesterday and it took about 50 minutes to reach the right internal temperature. I did check the temperature every 5 to 10 minutes after about 25 minutes in the oven, so it could be faster if you aren't opening the oven door as often. If I make this again I'll probably check at 45 minutes and see how it goes from there.
Nancy May 22, 2017
This recipe sounds great!
Looking forward to making it.
If I cannot locate vanilla porter, could I use a regular porter and either vanilla extract or vanilla bean?
Erin J. May 22, 2017
Thanks Nancy! The vanilla flavor is pretty subtle, so I wouldn't add more than 1/3 teaspoon or so. It just adds a richness and a little aroma!
Nancy May 22, 2017
Erin, ok, thanks, got it...that more flavor comes from the porter, vanilla is a nice add-on.