Paddy’s beer bread

Paddy’s beer bread

Lucy's Bakes
10 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Jacqui Melville

Paddy, a friend whose real name is Mark, incidentally, has fond memories of Veda loaf while he was growing up in Northern Ireland. But as we were in France when we tried to recreate this childhood memory we had no access to its main ingredient – malt extract. We improvised and used beer in place of water to give us that malty taste and after a couple of attempts were very happy with this beery, dark bread. It makes wonderful toast and is great sliced to serve with soup. Not really like Veda loaf at all but we actually think this is a terrific bread with a dark cinnamon colour.


Quantity Ingredient
500g strong white bread flour
10g fast-action dried yeast
10g salt
30g olive oil or rapeseed oil
50g black treacle
300ml malty brown beer


  1. Line a 1 kg loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the oil, treacle and the beer and stir with a fork to start to mix.
  4. Turn it onto a clean work surface and knead for 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave it until doubled in size (I place it in my oven at 60°C with the door slightly ajar, for 30 minutes).
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, return it to the work surface and knead again to reduce it to the original size and then shape into an oblong and put it in the prepared tin.
  6. Cover again with a tea towel and leave to rise again in the oven or at room temperature until it has doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220°C – take the bread out first if proving in it! Bake for 30 minutes adding a ramekin of water to the oven.
  8. Knock on the bottom with your fist – if it sounds hollow the loaf is done. Cool completely before cutting into slices.


  • This recipe is vegetarian, nut-free and dairy-free.


  • Spend an extra couple of minutes kneading to ensure you have a really elastic dough.

What the the testers say

  • MARK SCILLEY – ‘It’s not like the Veda bread of my youth in Northern Ireland but I love this beery dark loaf.’

    IAN MEEKCOMS AND FAMILY – ‘I have never tried Veda loaf, so I don’t know what it was meant to be like, but we love this bread – I have it with salty butter and oysters.’

    LIZ EVERSON – ‘I had no idea what this would be like. It is dark and slightly sweet. A good toasting bread.’
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