Black Sheep Bread

This bread is in honour of the Yorkshire 3-Peaks Challenge Hubby & I completed last weekend. Thanks to everyone who sponsored us. We stayed at Pinecroft and it was somewhere I would highly recommend. We’re thinking of returning with friends later on in the year.

It was a great experience and provided great memories from the bog jumping, being knee deep in mud, weird tasting watermelon jelly sweets, a sneaky pub stop and sunset at the top of Ingleborough. During the walk I gained the nicknames of Speedy Gonzales. Once I got going, there was no stopping me. This may have been due to a heady mix of ibuprofen, Lucozade, Jelly Babies & adrenaline. I’m really proud of myself & Hubby for completing it minus any injury, blister ache or pain (ooh get me!) and the training I did over the summer really paid off. Although it took us far longer than expected to complete due to an incident involving the Mountain Rescue Team 1 mile from the end (let’s just say thank goodness for the training I did as part of my DofE Gold Expedition), some of us are planning to return next year to do it in around 10 hours. Others however have been put up hill walking for life! In a slightly crazy way I got a serious kick from the challenge and found it easier than I was expecting. Even after 25miles I could have continued, as someone has pointed out there is room for a female Eddie Izzard!

The reason for this bread being a tribute to our walk is that one member of the team (not me I hasten to add)sneaked in a cheeky half-pint at the Old Hill Inn – a fab pub between Whernside & Ingleborough belonging to the famous Black Sheep Brewery. Apparently this cheeky half-pint was one of the best drinks he has ever had and it provided some comedy moments for the rest of the team as it went straight to his head, he started to talk about how pretty all the trees were and I swear at one point he began to skip up Ingleborough. I’ve never baked bread with beer in it before, but have declared this bread to be a resounding success. It produces a beautiful fluffy bread with a slightly golden crumb. You can certainly taste a hint of ale in the bread. It’s given me some ideas for some other bread that I’ve going to keep under wraps for now. This is also the first time I’ve used my new brotform and grignette and am really pleased how well they have worked.

Now, the after effect of endurance exercise is that it does 2 things to your appetite. Either you can’t eat enough or your appetite is zapped. Now you would think when burning 9000 calories in 16 hours we would both have raging hunger…nope. Our appetite was completely killed and a week on it’s only just getting back on track, hence why it has been so long since I’ve blogged. Normal service will now resume on my blog with both Hubby & I having lots of great foodie projects up our sleeves. So here’s to carbs, the great outdoors and friends. Cheers!

Black Sheep Bread
Makes 1 large loaf

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
5g fast action yeast.
300ml Black Sheep Riggwelter Ale (yes I know it’s sacrilegious, but it needs to be warm)

1) Mix together all the ingredients until you have a rough dough. Knead either by hand or with a mixer for 10 min until you have a beautiful, silky dough. Shape into a round and leave to rise in a covered bowl for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

2) Knock back the dough, shape into chosen shape and place in/on tin or brotform and leave again covered in a plastic bag until it has doubled in size. If cooking on a baking sheet cover in polenta/course semolina before placing the bread on as this stops the bread sticking to the sheet.

3) Preheat the oven as hot as it will go. At the bottom of the oven place a baking tin of boiling water (this helps to develop the crust). If using a brotform turn bread out onto tray. If not using a brotform place the dough in/on chosen tin. Slash the top of the loaf (optional) then bake for 10 min.

4) Turn down the oven to 200oc and bake for a further 20-30 minutes. When the bread is ready the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Published by Jules

Professional Food Geek who loves a freshly baked loaf.