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Recipe Development: Guinness & Treacle Bread
Overview

Kerry takes you through her thought process behind her Guinness & Treacle Bread, playing around with the science of her bake such as, the gluten content, texture and colouring, and shows you how you can put your own creative spin on the loaf.

Development Stages

Stage 1: Key Components

Shape & Appearance - traditional rectangular loaf shape with a crack across the top from the Guinness reacting with the milk.
Flavour - malty notes from the Guinness balanced by the sweetness of the black treacle with spicy, ginger overtones.
Colour - when choosing black treacle as her sweetener, colour was also a deciding factor for Kerry who wanted a rich, darkened colour to the loaf.
Texture - Kerry plays around with the gluten content, opting for porridge oats which have lower levels of gluten and a mix of wholemeal and plain flour to create a more cakey texture. The oats reserved for the topping add a nice crunch once baked and sprinkling the oats through out the dough mix gives a nutty chew to the loaf.

Stage 2: Teachings

1. Cooking with alcohol - learn how to cook with alcohol, enhancing the flavours and textures of this loaf.
2. Soda leavening - use soda to give rise to the loaf, reducing the prep time of the bread as well as giving it different flavour characteristics.  
3. No knead bread - discover the texture of a mixed dough rather than kneaded giving you a tighter and denser texture.

Stage 3: Make It Your Own

1. Historical Influences - you can look to history for inspiration for example, Kerry uses black treacle which gained popularity as a cheaper alternative to sugar in the Victorian era/19th century.
2. Keeping it Local
- have a look at what's distinctive to your local area, for example instead of Guinness you can support your local stout and beer suppliers. Keep an eye on how your alcohol will affect the colouring and flavour of the final loaf and use the flavour profile as inspiration for pairing with any fillings or toppings.
3. Flours
- experiment with the flours and grains, playing around with the gluten content, texture and crumb structure.
4. Toppings & Fillings
- play around with flavour and texture. You can try different grains, nuts, seeds like fennel, grated carrot, herbs like thyme, also dried fruit and honey for sweetness.

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Lizzy Andersen
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Philip Reyes
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Milly Braxton
Kerry Harvey
I've worked in Michelin kitchens around the world including Ireland's Chapter One and I'm keen to make Irish fine dining more accessible.