Malted Root Beer Sourdough Bread

Malted Root Beer Sourdough Bread

For a long time, I have wanted to make artisan Sourdough Malted Beer Bread, it was something we could get from German bakeries when I lived there. It’s dark, rich color and a hint of rye made this bread better the next day. Two or three times a week we would dash across the street and bring a hot loaf home. Our land-lady would admonish about the dangers of eating hot bread, but who could resist. I would slather it with butter while it was still hot and half a loaf would be gone by the end of breakfast. 

Most days there was some leftover and I was amazed at the flavor developed overnight. It certainly was better than the Graubrot we ate nearly every other day, which by the way, is better than the best loaf of store-bought bread anywhere around here unless of course, you are stopping by Abigail’s Oven or one of the stores that carry their bread.

So I was delighted to see this Sourdough Beer Bread from King Authur Flour in my inbox. However, not being a beer drinker and not have malted wheat flakes on hand, it was time to substitute.

Spruce Eats suggested root beer as a substitute for dark beer and  Taste of Home rated Dad’s Root Beer as their taste test winner, so one down and one to go.The malted wheat flakes were a real problem though. The recipe suggested you could use old fashioned oats, but without the malt, I was sure something would be missing. Maybe I could add some Ovaltine or Whoppers, which both are made from malted milk.

I had a few whoppers on hand, so I gound them along with my whole wheat in my blender and got a great brown flour. Once I added the dark rye it was perfect. Frankly, I think we have a winner, albeit with a weird name:

Root Beer and Whopper Sourdough Bread



  • 1 cup (227g) active sourdough starter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (255g) strong rootbeer (ie. Dad’s, Stewarts, etc)
  • 3 ½ cups (426g) flour (½ dark rye, 1½ bread flour and 1½ whole wheat flour)
  • 8 whopper malted candies (mix in a blender with a cup of four until powdered)
  • 1 tablespoon (21g) honey
  • 2 (11 g) teaspoons salt
  1. Pour the boiling water over oats, stirring to combine. set aside to cool down while preparing the dough.
  2. Combine the starter, rootbeer, and flour in a stand mixer bowl. Run-on low for about 3 minutes until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  4. Then add the oat soaker, honey, and salt into the dough at low speed until it is mixed well.
  5. Turn the mixer speed up a bit to knead the dough until it’s smooth; about 2 to 3 minutes. Then cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover the dough and run the mixer for another minute. Cover it again, and let it rest for another half-hour.
  7. Repeat this process two more times every 3o minutes.
  8. Then cover the dough for a long-ferment (8–12 hours).
  9. After the long-ferment, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Shape it into a boule (round).
  10. Resting on the floured surface, cover the boule with a bowl or damp towel and let it rest for 20 more minutes.
  11. After this rest, shape the dough into a tighter ball and tension it. 
  12. Place it seam-side up in a bowl lined with a floured cloth, or a floured brotform/proofing basket.
  13. Cover and let rise/proof for an hour in a warm place (or until it is about 50 percent more than its starting size).
  14. Before baking, preheat the oven with a baking stone (if you have a stone) or your dutch-oven to 465°F.  For crustier loaf, place an empty cast iron frying pan on the oven rack below the stone to also preheat.
  15. When the loaf has risen, and the oven is preheated, turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment.
  16. Slash the top several times with a lame or very sharp knife
  17. Slide the parchment directly onto the stone in the oven or onto a baking sheet, and place it in the oven.
  18. Pour 1½ cup of boiling water into the preheated cast iron frying pan or cool baking sheet, but watch out for the steam so that you are not burned.
  19. Turn the heat to 450°F and bake the bread for 20 minutes,  then remove the pan of water and lid or cover on your bread
  20. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 200°F. The loaf should be crusty and deep brown in color.
  21. Allow the loaf to cool in the oven with the door ajar; cool completely before slicing. 

Root Beer Whopper Loaf—first try

The folks at King Arthur conclude: “Store leftover bread in a paper bag or loosely covered in plastic for a few days at room temperature; wrap and freeze for longer storage. Slicing the loaf before freezing it is a convenient way to have single servings readily available.”

In the space below tell us about your most adventurous substitutions in baking. 

Author: Darryl Alder, retired Scouter and outdoorsman, who spent too many hours over a campfire using a dutch oven, and loves sharing recipes for the kitchen and the campfire.

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