I went searching for a yeasted Guinness bread since I had this six-pack of Guinness and had a hellava time finding a decent recipe. Just about everything coming up in Chef Google was a soda bread – even after specifically stating yeast. The few that were yeast were more fruit-related like the Barmbrack I’m making later in the week. Not what I was looking for.

I did find one recipe at Wild Yeast Blog that had a bit of promise, so I sat down to see how I could make it work for me. The story behind the loaf is pretty funny if you have the time to read about kitchen disasters… The blog hasn’t been active in several years, but it looks as if there may be some good recipes to play with!

Guinness Rye Bread

adapted from Wild Yeast Blog


  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bottle Guinness Extra Stout

for the dough:

  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • the sponge


Make the sponge:  In a mixing bowl proof yeast in the 1/4 cup water and Guinness. Add the two flours and mix well. Cover and place in a warm spot and  let rise about an hour. I use my microwave with a 2 cup measuring cup of hot water.

Make the dough: Add the remaining flour, fennel seeds, and salt to the sponge and mix with dough hook about 7 or 8 minutes. The dough will be soft and a tad sticky, but should pull completely away from the sides of the bowl and just barely stick to the bottom.

Form into a ball and place into an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place – back in that microwave, for me – for another hour.

Make the loaf: Place dough on a lightly floured board and form into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest about 15 minutes.

Reform into a tight ball and place on a peel liberally coated with cornmeal. Cover, and let rise 30 minutes.

Carefully slash top with sharp knife or razor blade and slide onto baking stones preheated to 425°F.

Bake 30 minutes or until completely done and sounding hollow when bottom is tapped.

The bread has great flavor, a wonderful, light crumb, and just the right amount of chew in the crust. The fennel comes through pretty strong, and the malty Guinness is there, as well. The rye compliments everything.

We used it to sop up a rich Guinness Beef Stew based on my Braised Beef with Guinness. The flavors all worked great together.

Here’s my kitchen mantra:

Here’s to a fellow who smiles
When life runs along like a song.
And here’s to the lad who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.

Be the one who smiles when it goes wrong. Worst thing that can happen is you throw it all out and call for pizza.