Pale Ale Sourdough

Happy St Patrick’s Day troops! This year I started preparing for it early : green top bought – check, a massive collection of whiskeys at home – check, make a beer bread – check! 

In reality, I was just looking for new flavours to add to my bread, and found a bottle of pale ale left over from a Viking party last summer – that a story for another day. 
I like my beers, but I am more of a larger girl, I’d drink Guinness too, but only in Ireland – it just doesn’t taste the same anywhere else. Ale is not a drink I would ever choose, so using it in bread made perfect sense! 

Pale Ale Sourdough 
220 ml pale ale 
100 ml water 
160g white sourdough starter (100% hydration) 
1 Tbsp barley malt extract 
400g white bread flour 
100g wholemeal four 
1.5 tsp salt 

I used pale ale, but you can use any beer you may have in the house, as long as its not dark beer. 
Pour beer and water in a mixer bowl, measure out starter. I am using my KitchenAid mixer for mixing my bread, but this bread could also be mixed my hand – do whatever you are comfortable with. 
Add barley malt extract – you can buy it in health shops – or use runny honey instead. 
Add flours – I use Shipton Mill strong white and Shipton Mill wholemeal flours. 

Mix on the lowest speed (KitchenAid speed 1) for 6 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides. Leave covered to autolise for 20 minutes. 
Add salt and mix on slow-medium speed (KitchedAid speed 2) for another 2 minutes. 

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and do two stretch and folds over the next hour – after 30 minutes and after 60 minutes. 
Leave the dough covered to prove at room temperature (my house it at 21C) for 4 hours. 

Shape the dough into a loaf – I did an oblong shape – and place it into a generously floured bread basket or banneton, seam side up. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, cover and leave to prove in a cool room (around 19C) overnight, or for at least 8 hours. 

I am loving my baking cloche – a wonderful present from Ranty Man, and bake all my breads in it. 
Preheat the cloche in the oven for about 20 minutes at 220C (fan). 
Take cloche cover off and flip the loaf gently into the cloche (take care not to knock out all the air out of the loaf), do a nice deep slash, put the cover back on and place the cloche back in the oven. 

Bake for 30 minutes, take the cover off and bake for further 5-10 minutes, depending how dark do you like your crust. 

I am yet to try the bread, but it is looking pretty good!


  1. Please post a link for your sourdough starter.

  2. Please post a link for your sourdough starter.

  3. Morning, you can read my instructions on feeding starter here -
    But my starter goes like this:
    Day 1 and 2 (do it in the morning and in the evening):
    30g bottle water, 30g white bread flour
    Mix, cover loosely with clingfilm or showercap
    Day 3 (morning):
    30g bottle water, 30g rye flour
    Same mixing instructions
    Day 3 (evening)
    30g bottle water, 30g white bread flour
    Same mixing instructions
    Day 4 (morning)
    Tip out half of the starter.
    To the rest, add 30g bottle water, 30g white bread flour
    Same mixing instructions
    Day 4 (evening) and Day 5 (if needed):
    30g bottle water, 30g white bread flour
    Same mixing instructions

    You should have a fairly active starter now


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