In our shed there’s a barrel for fermenting, an abundance of bottles, steriliser, an immersion heater. All the things a good home brewer needs. The beer brews in the fermenter for about a week, at this time of the year an immersion heater is vital, to keep the liquid at the correct temperature to keep the yeast alive. Once bubbles have stopped coming through the valve, we test it for it’s alcoholic content, then bottle with carbonation drops. After bottling, we wait for between 6 to 8 weeks for the brew to develop before we can drink it.
There is always some sediment left in the bottom of the barrel, this time though, I couldn’t bear to wash it out. The smell of ginger permeated the shed, and so I poured it into a bottle and set it aside.
I knew that it had to go into a loaf of bread. I’d been inspired by Celia’s (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) Guinness and Treacle loaf, and thought I could do something similar. Ginger beer and honey it was, and as it was going to be a reasonably sweet loaf, fruit was added too. When feeding up Maggie in preparation for this loaf, we used equal cups liquid to bakers flour (166% hydration), this is where we used the ginger beer.
- 300gm ripe Ginger beer sourdough starter (166% hydration)
- 650gm cold water
- 50gm honey
- 300gm mixed fruit and nuts (I used almonds, macadamia nuts, cranberries, raisins and dried apricots)
- 18gm salt
- 1000gm bakers flour
- Mix sourdough starter, water, honey, salt and fruit and nuts.
- Then add flour. Squelch until there are no dry bits.
- Cover until doubled in size.
- Split into two round loafs, "slash with panache" (making cuts into the top of the loaves).
- Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 20 mins and then turn oven down to 175 and cook for a further 20 mins.