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Guinness Buckwheat Bread

This Guinness Buckwheat Bread has an entire bottle of Guinness Stout in the dough. The stout flavors and aerates the bread and the buckwheat flour lends great flavor and color to the loaf.

guinness buckwheat bread sliced on a cutting board

Because I was very busy testing St. Patrick’s day recipes I had a six pack of Guinness in the refrigerator. I’d already used a few bottles making Guinness Chocolate Fudge Cake and Triple Guinness Bundt Cake.

Beer & bread are natural partners. They’re both, essentially, a grain base mixed with yeast which is left to ferment until CO2 bubbles are formed. The bubbles give beer their carbonation and cause bread to rise.

As a matter of fact, the sourdough starter I used to make this bread was originally made from mash which was left over from my son’s beer making. So this bread has brought that sourdough starter full-circle. (If you don’t have a sourdough starter follow the alternate instructions)

As for the “Buckwheat” part of this bread, well, I’d just bought a bag of buckwheat flour specifically to do some recipe testing.

By the way, buckwheat isn’t a wheat at all, it’s the seed of a plant which is related to rhubarb and sorrel. You can read all about it on Wikipedia if you’re interested.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Guinness Buckwheat Bread:

adding guinness to bread dough
Use an entire bottle of Guinness in the dough.
guinness bread starter in a bowl
Let the dough rest 20 minutes so the gluten can start to develop.
folding sourdough bread in a bowl
Fold the four sides of the dough to the center and flip the dough over. Rise overnight.
a loaf of unbaked guinness buckwheat bread on a wooden peel
Slash the loaf with a razor or sharp knife. I added some poppy seeds to my loaf.
guinness buckwheat bread, sliced on a cutting board.
a slice of guinness buckwheat bread made with sourdough starter

I love the deep color and flavor of this bread. The sourdough starter, Guinness and buckwheat come together for a flavorful, chewy and savory loaf. This is a really great sandwich bread and it keeps for days.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

guinness buckwheat bread 13a

Guinness Buckwheat Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes

Guinness Buckwheat Bread with an entire bottle of Guinness Stout in the dough. The stout flavors and aerates the bread and the buckwheat flour lends great flavor and color to the loaf.


Make the Dough

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 100g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration) (see note 1 if you don't have a starter)
  • 1 bottle Guinness (11.2 oz bottle), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz, 120g) buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 1/2 cups, approx. (16 oz, 455g) unbleached bread flour


  1. Combine the sourdough starter and Guinness in the mixing bowl. Add the buckwheat flour, salt and honey and mix to combine. Add 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes to absorb the flour and let the gluten develop.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining bread flour. Knead until the dough gathers on the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use a little more flour if the dough is still very sticky. But this is a fairly soft dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to cover the dough. Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm spot for 1 hour.
  4. With the dough still in the bowl, fold the top quarter of the dough over onto the middle of the dough. Continue folding the other three sides of the dough. Flip the dough over, cover the bowl and set aside for an 1.5-2 hours. Fold the four sides of the dough again. By now the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature.
  5. Cover the bowl and set in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator first thing in the morning. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  6. Without kneading out all the air, gently fold the dough and shape into 1 large round loaf or two smaller loaves. Place the loaves on a wooden peel dusted with cornmeal or onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
  7. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and rise until almost doubled, about 2-3 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F, place a baking stone and a small pan with rocks in the oven if you have one. If you want to bake the loaf in a Dutch oven, place that in the oven to preheat.
  9. Brush the loaf with water and use a sharp knife or razor to make several slashes across the top of the loaf. Top with seeds if you like. If using the Dutch oven, use the parchment to transfer the loaf to the preheated pan.
  10. Bake until the middle of the loaf is 200°F or the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40 minutes for a large loaf. If using the Dutch oven to bake, remove the lid after 20 minutes and bake until well-browned.


1. If you don't have a sourdough starter combine 1/4 cup all purpose flour flour, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour and 2 teaspoon dry yeast. Set aside for 1/2 hour then continue with the recipe. Your rising times will be faster if you use yeast.

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