Pumpkin Beer Wheat-Rye Sourdough

I’m sure I’ll jinx it by saying this, but it seems that spring has finally made its way to Ann Arbor.  Of course for us that means 40 degrees and rainy, but it beats 5 degrees and snowing!  And of course nothing signals spring more than pumpkin beer!  Wait, what?  Perhaps you remember the pumpkin beer bread I made in October, using part of a six pack I got at Trader Joe’s.  Well wouldn’t you know it, but come late March we had one left!


I was scrolling through old posts by my favorite bread blog, Girl Meets Rye (formerly known as the Tartine Bread Experiment), and came across one that used a bottle of beer.  I had been planning to make a wheat-rye sourdough that day and just substituted the beer for water. 

The bread is delicious, and tastes exactly like you’d expect it.  It tastes similarly to the quick bread I made a few months ago, but the taste of the wheat and rye compliments the beer very nicely.  I do think it would have been nice to add something else to give it more texture and go along with the pumpkin taste, perhaps some chopped walnuts.


I was worried about how long it might take us to eat the bread, since I didn’t think at first I would want to use it like any other loaf for sandwiches/snacking.  But, as it turns out, it works perfectly!  Last week I used it in a peanut butter and banana sandwich for breakfast, turkey sandwich for lunch, and toasted up a few slices to dip into a tomato garlic soup.


I imagine most any beer would be a good choice to use in this bread, though probably would want to stay away from the lighter (taste and color) ones.  But then again I am no beer expert, so try what you like and enjoy!


Pumpkin Beer Wheat-Rye Sourdough – Makes 1 loaf


Ingredient Amount Baker’s Percentage
Bread Flour 250 g 50%
Whole Wheat Flour 150 g 30%
Rye Flour 100 g 20%
Sourdough Leaven 100 g 20%
Beer of choice** 400 + 25 g 85%
Salt 10 g 2%

** You will need 425 g total of liquid.  If you do not have this much beer, substitute water for the remainder.


The night before (or at least 7-8 hours) you make your dough combine 2 tablespoons of unfed sourdough starter with 100 g of water, 50 g of all purpose flour, and 50 g of whole wheat flour.  Still until there are no dry bits of flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit out overnight.  This will be your active starter the next morning.  A drop of the starter will float in water when it is ready.

When ready, disperse the starter in 400 g of beer/water in a large bowl.  Add all flour and mix by hand until there are no dry bits.  Cover and let rest for one hour.

After the hour is up add salt and remaining 25 g of beer/water.  Mix well and cover the dough again.

For the next two hours ‘turn’ the dough every 30 minutes.  This means grabbing the underside of the dough, and stretching it up and over the rest of the dough.  Perform a few of these turns each time you handle the dough.  After two hours is up, let the dough rest for another hour before you turn it again.

After the third hour, let the dough rest another 30 minutes.  Then turn it out onto an unfloured surface.  Flour the top of the dough and flip it over.  Work into a round shape and let rest for 30 minutes.

Following the bench rest flour the top of the dough again, flipping it over after so the flour side is face down.  Fold the third of the dough closest to you inward, and then stretch the dough out to the sides.  Fold the right, and then left, sides in toward the center.  Fold the top of the dough inward, and then wrap the bottom part of the dough over it all.  Work this into a round shape, and place seam side up in a proofing basket lined well with flour.

Let rise for 3-4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).  One hour before baking place a dutch oven, with the lid on, in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  Once hot, drop the dough into the pan and score the loaves.  Immediately place the top back on and return to the oven.  Turn the heat down to 450 degrees and cook for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes remove the top of the dutch oven and rotate the pan.  Continue to bake the bread for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is deeply caramelized.  Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Girl Meets Rye and Chad Robertson’s Tartine 3.


One thought on “Pumpkin Beer Wheat-Rye Sourdough

  1. Pingback: Wheat-Rye Sourdough with Caraway and Coriander | Bakers & Best

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