Guiness Stout-Veal Stock Bread/Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

My second pick for innovative use of veal stock came in from Marc Barringer, Chef/Hopsitality Director, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Grosse Pointe Woods and  Food Service Director, Lost Lake Scout Reservation, Freeman Twp., Michigan. He’s also a freelance writer, innovative cook and classic jack-of-all-trades in the best cooks tradition (still a school crossing guard! God bless him!).  Veal stock is one of the great preparations of the kitchen that can elevate everyone’s cooking, and someone on twitter asked me what you could do with it. It lead to a lot of great ideas, in addition to the traditional uses for making sauces and enriching braises.

Read the story of how Marc came up with bread—it’s classic innovation from the restaurant kitchen.  I love it.  And I love the bread.  Donna loves the bread. James loves the bread. It’s got a deep complex bread flavor without being overpowered by the stout.  It’s fabulous simply with butter and veal salt. —MR

by Marc Barringer

I’ve worked in and out of the food industry since I was a teenager in the 80′s. Worked at every back of the house position in many different restaurants. I’ve also worked as a portrait photographer, technical writer, outdoor recreation equpiment tester/salesman, and am still a school crossing guard.

My adventures in bread began in college. A recipe for Tuscan Bread in Esquire started me baking in a common dorm kitchen in 1987. The sunday night loaf became an event enough that it helped grow a common meal group that lasted years. It also led me in the direction of all yeast breads and cinnamon rolls. I also participate on the Fresh Loaf website and tease the folks at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

The genesis of this bread was at Toast, a restaurant in Birmingham, Michigan; where I was hired as part of start-up crew. We were taking an established breakfast and lunch restaurant from Ferndale, a bohemian part of town and opening the second location in a seriously upscale area; plus we were asked to create a dinner and full dessert menu. I had room to play a bit and make up breads and desserts that went along with the chef’s and owner’s vision for the menu.

I was in the kitchen making cinnamon rolls for French toast and the bartender came in complaining about the Guinness tap being a bit foamy. I went out to the bar with a measuring cup and pulled a bit more than a cup of Guinness, just to see how bad it was. I retreated back into the kitchen and let the Guinness sit out while I was scaling the rest of the ingredients for the baguettes.

When it came time to start making the bread, I was struck with an idea; I added the beer. I just added what I knew would be good. Within this moment I knew I needed more liquid. More beer? Just then the sous chef asked for the veal stock from the fridge next to me. We used a lot of veal stock in our dishes because it is a great way to add depth to them. Why not use it in bread? I warmed up what I needed and made the bread with veal stock. That was the start of the veal stock and Guinness bread.

The bread is just a variation on the Ratio 5/3 ratio of bread flour and liquid. I also use sourdough starter in almost all the bread I bake, even if I am adding instant yeast.

Now, due to a couple of factors, you may need to play with this a bit:

  • Due to some fat in the stock, it is not a completely lean dough. You may need to cut back on further fat enrichments if you were planning them.
  • The beer and stock (and its gelatin) make the dough slightly stickier. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking a 100% stock bread may have rise issues.
  • Autolyse, mixing the dough just to combine all the ingredients, then letting it rest for 10 or 20 minutes before completing the mixing, is necessary.

And by all means, let the dough rise as long as prudent. The super-long rises of the “no knead” breads takes this bread in deep flavor directions. The enzymes loose in the mix have so much more to work with. If you were using the Dutch-oven baking method, the crust would be even better.

Veal Stock and Guinness Bread

Makes two baguettes or a good sized family boule. (Not quite enough if you have teenagers in the house)

  • 1 pound 4 ounces/567 grams bread flour
  • 4 ounces/113 grams veal stock (at room temp or better)
  • 8 ounces/227 grams Guinness draught (though Extra Stout might be even better)
  • 6 ounces/170 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 teaspoon/6 grams salt
  • 2 teaspoons/7 grams instant yeast
  1. Combine the bread flour, veal stock, Guinness, and starter in a the bowl of a standing mixer (or any bowl if you’re mixing by hand). Mix just to combine.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add the yeast and salt.  Mix and knead the dough until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. You should be able to stretch the dough to translucency without tearing it.
  3. Let the dough rise in the bowl, covered, till it has doubled in size, at least two hours and as many as four.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F/232 degrees C.  This will take about 30 minutes for the oven to reach temperature.
  5. Knead the dough to force out gas and redistribute the yeast and shape it into a rectangle about an inch thick. Let it rest for ten minutes covered with a towel.
  6. Shape the dough into baguettes or into a boules. (See bread baking basics on this blog for more info.)
  7. When the second rise is done, upend the dough onto your baking surface, slash it 3 or 4 times with a sharp knife (if scoring boules, slashes should be parallel and each successive score should begin above the score before it) and bake for a half hour.  Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. and continue baking till done, another 15 to 30 minutes.  (If you’re unsure about doneness, use a thermometer and remove the dough when its internal temperature is 200 degrees F/93 degrees C.)

If you liked this post on veal stock & Guinness baguette, check out these other links:

© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved

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11 Wonderful responses to “Veal Stock and Guinness Bread”

  • Kevin LaVoy

    When I was going to Lost Lake as a scout in the 80′s, I certainly don’t remember eating anything like this. I feel like I missed out!

  • Kathi

    Toast is one of our go to weekend breaksfast places. I will have to stop by there for dinner sometime and see if this is still on their menu.

    • Marc Barringer

      Probably not. They are still a great place, but I’m not sure if this fits the set-up they have now. Not bad, just not the same.

  • Scott D. Harris

    I am not trying to be a pain, because the idea is cool (made bread with beer before, but not stock) but as the directions are listed you will have the oven at 450° for about 5 hours before baking. Just asking.

    • emilia

      Scott you are correct on the pre heat oven time. The time wiill be adjusted for preheat. Give your oven ample time to come to 450f.

  • Moonbeams

    Oh wow. Just. . .WOW! I am SO going to try this – I just happen to have some homebrewed stout and some veal stock on hand.

  • Susan

    I love the idea of using stock as part of the liquid in a bread dough. I’ve not seen a recipe or even thought to do such a thing. Thank you for this.