Once upon a time I dreamed of being a bread baker. I wanted to make croissants, baguettes, boules, brioche, sourdough, pumpernickel, and pan de mie. And once upon a time I did work as a morning bread baker. Unfortunately, that didn’t last very long. I am not a morning person. I have the most difficult time waking up before the sun rises. I couldn’t handle getting up at 3am each morning and going to bed at 8pm every evening. I loved the bread part, but the hours took a toll on my body. It also didn’t help that I’m super short and most commercial kitchen tables are made for 6-foot men. I had to learn to carry around crates and boxes that I could stand on to better use the mixers, ovens, stoves, kneading table.
I’m much better suited for home bread baking. I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to start mixing dough. I don’t have to make the same thing day in and day out. Best of all, I have the freedom to experiment as much as I want at home. This stout bread loaf is one of my husband’s favorite breads I make (the other is brioche). This is a simple yeasted bread that gets its nice brown color from stout beer and a touch of cocoa powder. The recipe came about when we had leftover beer from a dinner party.
This savory stout bread loaf is perfect for grilled cheeses, nut butters and jam, and hearty sandwiches. While the recipe listed below makes one loaf, I like to double it. We enjoy one now, and I freeze the second one for later. If you’d like to do the same, allow the second loaf to fully cool to room temperature. At that point, you could slice it or leave it whole. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Keep it in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost, leave it at room temperature for a few hours.
Here’s a short Instagram video of my favorite way to enjoy this stout bread loaf. I toast the bread, slather on some almond butter, top it with sliced bananas, honey roasted sliced almonds, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of ground cinnamon. I love it!
Stout Bread Loaf
Yield: 9x5-inch loaf
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
- 3/4 cup chocolate stout beer*, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups (459 g) bread flour
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- egg wash, to brush
- rolled oats, to top
- 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon water
Whisk together yeast, sugar, warmed milk, and stout beer in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes to activate yeast.
Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add bread flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt to mixer. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together. Increase speed to medium and add coconut oil. Continue to mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until dough no longer sticks to the sides of mixing bowl.
Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and allow dough to rest for one hour at room temperature.
Punch dough down to remove any air bubbles. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 12 inches. Fold into into thirds like a business letter. Tuck in the sides. Place inside a well greased 9 x 5-inch bread loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 20-30 minutes until bread rises to the top of the pan.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush top of dough with egg wash. Top with rolled oats. Bake for 40-45 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of bread loaf reads at least 200 degrees F. Rotate bread loaf midway through baking to ensure even cooking.
Allow bread to cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Allow bread loaf to cool to room temperature of a wire rack. Once bread has cooled, slice bread using a serrated knife.
Whisk together egg, salt, and water until smooth.
- I used Trader Joe's canned chocolate stout beer. If you cannot find chocolate stout beer, any dark stout beer will work.
- This bread freezes well. Allow bread to completely cool to room temperature. Slice, if desired. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Keeps in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost, leave bread at room temperature for a few hours.