A mighty bread, a shape-shifter, that changes every time it is made. It changes its name, the beer, the grain, its size.

I usually call it Cistercian (rhyming slang: Cistercian Monk = drunk – as in “Got totally Cistercianed last night” but it sometimes takes on the name of the beer used. Any grain, pot barley, wheat or rye can be used. As with any dough, size is a matter of choice. But if you ask me 2 kilos is the thing here for full effect.

(If you want to try a 2K loaf recalculate from a dough weight of 2150g)

Different grains absorb different amounts of liquid and cooking times vary so a bit of trial and error is necessary (which is why I have left-over beer soaked grain in the bottom of the freezer). The grain weight is after soaking.

Several hours before mixing cover the grain in water, bring to the boil and simmer until the grain just starts to soften. Drain and cover again with your choice of beer.

When you come to mix, drain the grain and make up the beer to the amount in the formula.

Mix all the ingredients and knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.

Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.

Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.

Prepare a proving basket – sprinkle cooked grain in the bottom for decorative effect (dry it first). Shape the dough and place it in the basket seam side up. Cover and leave for 3½-4 hours checking with the finger tip test after 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to about 210C.

Gently turn out the dough onto a baking sheet floured with wholemeal rye. Slash and bake for about 50 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack

Special order for Gŵyl Owain Glyndŵr, a feast to celebrate the life the last Welsh leader to lead a rebellion against an English King, using beer from Bethesda’s own Cwrw Ogwen.