Beer and cheese bread

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Makes 2 loaves

From The Hairy Bakers


  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 450ml/16fl oz brown ale, at room temperature
  • 520g/1lb 2½oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 320g/11oz wholemeal flour
  • 200g/7oz cheddar, grated
  • 75g/2½oz parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • 50g/2oz powdered milk
  • 1½tsp salt
  • 1½tsp mustard powder
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 free-range egg, white only, for glazing


  1. In a bowl dissolve the sugar and yeast in the brown ale and set aside for 5-6 minutes.

  2. Mix the bread flour, the wholemeal flour, cheddar, parmesan, powdered milk, salt, mustard powder, eggs and fennel seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and beer mixture and mix well with your hands until the mixture forms a soft dough.

  3. Using floured hands, knead the dough on a clean, floured work surface for 20-25 minutes until smooth and elastic. If the dough becomes too dry add a little warm water.

  4. Divide the dough into two loaves and place them onto a large baking tray. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the loaves with a criss-cross pattern. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave for two hours in a warm, dry and draught-free place, until the dough has risen and doubled in size.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. When the loaves have expanded, brush each with the egg white.

  6. Transfer the loaves to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread has cooked through and the crust is golden-brown.

  7. To serve, slice the loaves and serve with a big bowl of soup.

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