- Preheat the oven to 250C.
- To make the bread, make sure that the porter beer is at room temperature and pour into a bowl. Mix in the yeast, until it has dissolved.
- Add the rye flour, strong white flour and Sarson’s Malt Vinegar and mix to make a thick batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Uncover and add the remaining flour and salt.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface, first in the bowl and then transfer to your work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and supple and no longer sticks to your hands.
- When ready, form into a ball and place back into the bowl, lightly dust with flour and cover with a tea-towel. Leave to rise for 45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (it should have grown in size) and shape it into a smaller ball. Place back in the bowl and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and form into even shaped loaves and place on baking sheets. Dust with flour and cover them with a tea-towel. Leave to prove for another hour and a half, or until they have doubled in size.
- Mist the inside of the scalding hot oven with a few squirts from a water spray gun before putting your loaves in.
- Make two deep slashes in the bread with a serrated knife. Bake the loaves for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to 220C and bake for a further 25 minutes, until they are rich and brown in colour. When done, they should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and leave to cool before serving.
For the rarebit
- Heat the grill to 200C and slice your bread into four thick slices.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan until it starts to bubble.
- Add the flour and stir in quickly, for about a minute.
- Add the mustard, porter beer, grated cheese and a good amount of cracked black pepper and stir through to melt and incorporate all the ingredients, until it forms into a spreadable paste.
- Give your bread a quick toasting on either side and then spread the rarebit onto one side before blasting under the grill again, until it sizzles and browns just slightly.
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