• Ale bread
You’ll need
    • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
    • 75g rolled oats
    • 5g fast action dried yeast
    • 10g fine salt
    • 300 - 350ml Badger Fursty Ferret ale
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 75g walnut piece
    1. To make the dough, place the flour, oats, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.

    2. Add the ale and olive oil, and with one hand mix to a rough dough. Adjust the consistency if you need to, with a little more flour or ale to make a soft, easily kneadable, sticky dough.

    3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, using more flour, if required, for about eight to 10 minutes until the dough is silky and pings back when pressed with a finger.

    4. Shape the dough into a round and place it in the bottom of an oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. After this time knock back the dough by tipping it onto the work surface, and kneading it for two minutes or so. Then stretch the dough out on the worktop, scatter over the walnut pieces, and fold, roll and knead briefly, to disperse them.

    5. Form the dough into two equal siz rounds and place on lined baking sheets. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave them to prove until they are nearly doubled in size and ‘bursting to be baked’. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7, with a baking tray in the bottom of the oven.

    6. Slash the tops in a cross with a serrated knife. Place the loaves into the oven and pour some boiling water into the tray on the bottom to create some steam and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the loaves feel hollow when you tap them on the base. If the loaves are browning too quickly, turn the heat down after 15 minutes to 190°C/gas mark 5 and cook for a further 20 - 25 minutes. Serve warm or cold.