Caraway Beer Bread

I made this bread for our Saturday night game and it was a big hit. I thought it had been completely demolished but then Steve produced two slices he had squirreled away to protect them for our breakfast the next day. It is rare for Steve to go to extreme lengths to protect the bread since he regards it as a too-ready source of calories, but this one was evidently worth it. You will find the recipe for the Caraway Beer Bread in Stanley Ginsberg’s The Rye Baker on page 231. Click through to see my review of the bread and recommended pairings.

About the bread

Caraway Beer Bread Dough

Preparation: This bread used a white rye flour and a high gluten wheat flour, which made the dough much stronger and less sticky. As you can see from the photo above the dough readily formed a ball and pulled away from the sides of the bowl. This is in distinct contract to many of the other rye breads I have made. It also required a sourdough starter and a sponge to be made ahead of the dough. The little black dots in the dough are caraway seeds. It required much more than I expected. I used caraway seeds sold by and they were surprisingly fresh with a lot of layers of flavor.

This bread used wheat beer instead of water to create the dough. Then the dough was washed several times with beer again. You can see the lovely golden color of the loaf brought about by the beer wash.

Caraway Beer Bread

Taste: If you’ve had deli rye, this bread tasted a lot like that with a delicious salty sour quality and a very complex and spicy flavor profile coming from the caraway seeds. The chewy crust had a delightful carmel brioche taste.

Pairings: I served this with a smoky almond and white bean spread, which was perfectly paired. I think it would be great bread for a rueben or really any other deli sandwich.

We drank a lovely Rodney Strong red blend with the bread but I thought it was too fruity and powerful for it. My recommendation would be a nice Alsace riesling. I think the sharp acidity would pair well with the rye.


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