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Beer Balm “Trub” Bread

In Dan Lepards book The Handmade Loaf, he talks about making beer balm bread using a bottle of conditioned beer to make a starter. In reading more about this on line, I came across an article saying that centuries ago bakeries used to be built next to breweries and use the foam or balm that was skimmed off the top of the fermenting brew as a natual leaven for the bread. As a keen homebrewer and, by chance, having a brew on the go at the time of reading Dan‘s book, I took 2tbsp of the ”trub” at the bottom of the brewing bucket and mixed it with 2tbsp of strong flour and 2tbsp of water and within 2 hours it was bubbling away. It smells totally different from my sourdough leaven, smelling slightly sweet with a distinct honey aroma even though my brew was made completely out of grain and hops, with no honey added.

So after building up the strength and quantity over a few weeks, I used the trub leaven in this recipe.


250g strong white flour No 4 (105)

250g stoneground wholemeal flour (706)

7g flaked salt

350g water

100g trub leaven


Mix the leaven with the water in a bowl, add flour and salt on top, knead for 10 minutes (I use the slap and fold method) then place in a bowl and cover. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl 3 times, leaving an hour in between each fold, then leave to double in size.

When doubled in size, scrape onto a lightly floured surface, gently stretch and fold and place into a well floured proving basket and leave to prove again.

Preheat the oven to 240c and when ready slash the top and bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 220c for a further 30-35 minutes.

A great loaf and one I will definitely bake again.