Black beer and caraway bread with homemade butter


  • Serves 8 people

  • 150 gm double cream
  • 150 gm crème fraîche
  • ½ tsp smoked sea salt flakes (see note), or to taste
  • 150 gm rye flour
  • 1 tsp (½ sachet or 3.5gm) dried yeast
  • 100 ml porter (see note)
  • 30 gm blackstrap molasses (see note)
  • 350 gm bread flour
  • For greasing: vegetable oil
  • For scattering: caraway seeds
01   Beat cream and crème fraîche in an electric mixer on medium speed until buttermilk separates from butterfat. Drain buttermilk (reserve for another use), add chilled water to butterfat to just cover, and mix with a paddle attachment until milkiness is extracted from butter (1-2 minutes). Drain liquid and repeat washing until all buttermilk is removed and water extracted is clear (1-2 minutes). Add smoked sea salt to taste, then transfer to a double layer of damp muslin and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a ceramic container, cover and refrigerate until required. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 200gm. Butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.
02   Combine rye flour, yeast, porter, molasses, ½ tsp salt and 250ml water in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Set aside in a warm place until foaming (10 minutes), add bread flour and ½ tsp salt and knead until smooth (5 minutes). Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (2 hours).
03   Preheat oven to 170C. Knock back dough and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, dusting with extra bread flour if necessary. Roll into a smooth ball. Scatter caraway seeds on work surface, then roll dough over seeds so most are on top. Dust top with extra flour, transfer to a lightly floured oven tray, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour). Bake until loaf is deep golden and sounds hollow when tapped (30-40 minutes). Turn out onto a wire rack, cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature with butter.
Note Smoked sea salt is available from select delicatessens. Blackstrap molasses is available from select health-food shops. Porter (not to be confused with Port) is available from select bottle shops.

This recipe is from the October 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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