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Life Ale for Barm Bread? | Sourdough Companion

Life Ale for Barm Bread?

Hi all,

Let me first briefly introduce myself. I am German and currently live in Sydney. Living in NZ for a while I so missed my German breads that I started baking my own. First yeast, then about two years ago: sourdough.

Currently I am quite intrigued by the difference between the German techniques and eg. Dan's. I am also on a German forum and believe there are quite a few differences. I will share them with you as I experiment more and get more familiar with the techniques and what they do.
After starting to read here and (through your links) on Dan Lepard's site I got THL at Kinokinuya on George Street in Sydney a few days ago (the only copy on the shelf I am afraid to say). All excited about it now! The Olive Oil flatbread (Foccacia) already turned out great. Onto the Red Wine Loaf with figs and pine nuts tomorrow - yumm!

But back to my original question: Dom, I saw your pictures of your great Barm Bread on Dan's site. I was wondering, whether there is bottle conditioned Ale in Oz. Or did you get those good results with just any other Ale? I couldn't quite read the bottle that was in the picture.

cheers, -FlourGirl



Your barm bread looks fantastic (as does the red wine loaf). Mmm perhaps I'll bake some barm bread this week.

I haven't seen 'hen's tooth' ale. Must be quite rare



Hi Dom,

thanks again for the tip with the ales. I don't think I would have discovered the small print on the Coopers, if it hadn't been for the hint. I've made my first barm bread this week end and it turned out great. For this one I used the Hen's Tooth, I found. Was a really nice beer to drink as well


I'll use the Coopers next time.
Here's a picture:
and the crumb was nice and soft with a great taste to it. Yumm!

The next won't be long ...
cheers, -FlourGirl

P.S. While I am at it, here is the Red Wine loaf I talked about the other week.


you are welcome. The barm bread is one of my favourites from Dan's book. You may have seen already a thread about it on his forum

let us know how the red wine loaf goes. I haven't made that yet (nutty loaves aren't so good for the little mouths in my household).


Hi Dom,

the Red Wine Loaf is delicious! I can only recommend it. A very delicate combination! Thanks Dan for coming up with that combination!

It's not an every day bread though and I would agree that it's probably not all that suitable for little ones. But definitely a nice special treat for the grown ups.

The only thing is that is was probably in the oven for a few minutes too long, it's a bit too dark. So next time I will watch a bit closer towards the end.

I'll work on tracking down some ale this week ...

cheers, -FG

Hi Dom.

thanks for that info. Yes that was the picture I had seen, now that you write it clear text I can even read it on the bottle


Thanks a lot.
Your Bread definitely looks GREAT and if it tastes as good ... I am keen to try once I get hold of some Ale.

My Red Wine with figs and pine nuts is almost ready to go in the oven, I am so curious! It looks and smells pretty good already.

cheers, -FG


I have used a couple of different Australian ales.
MountainGoat has two bottle conditioned ales - I have tried their "Hightail Ale" and "Pale Ale". This was a loaf with the Hightail Ale
Coopers has 3 or 4 different bottle conditioned ales. I have baked with their 'Dark Ale", and have their "Sparkling Ale" and "Extra Stout" in my larder waiting for me to get to them.

I haven't quite worked out whether it is necessary though to have a true bottle conditioned ale. The heating of the ale kills the yeast in the beer (bottle conditioned ales still have live yeast in them), and the leavening agent for the bread is derived from the natural leaven, rather than from the beer. So I suspect that you could get the desired effect from an ordinary ale (but perhaps it wouldn't taste as good?).

Dan might be able to clarify if he reads this