Ghost Bread – Beer, Orange and Fennel Rye Loaf

IMG_0521Ghost Bread?  Well, this uses the remains of my bottle of Centurions Ghost, opened for my batch of Centurion Rolls.  A terrifically rich and award winning porter, sourced locally York Brewery.

This bread brings together some classic flavours of anise (in the form of fennel – you could use caraway or cumin seeds), the bitter sweet black treacle and rich orange zest to really bring a festive touch to this rye loaf.

Rye makes quite a dense loaf – don’t be tempted to add extra flour if the dough seems sticky when kneading.  Work through the sticky stage or use more olive oil


  • 70ml Water
  • 35g Butter
  • 10g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 20g Black Treacle
  • 9g Salt
  • grated zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/2-1tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 325g Wholemeal Rye Flour
  • 320g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 350ml ‘Centurion’s Ghost’, or alternative porter or stout
  • 10g Quick Action Yeast
  • A little oil for kneading


  • In a pyrex jug, mix the water, butter, sugar, treacle,salt, zest and fennel seeds.  Heat in the microwave until the butter is just melted and stir well.  Set aside for a few minutes
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flours and yeast and mix lightly.  Pour in the beer and stir through with a knife
  • Pour in the water/treacle mixture and work into the dough with your fingers until well combined, then set the bowl aside, covered, for 30 minutes to autolyse.
  • Lightly oil a clean surface, and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  The wholemeal flour, seeds and zest means it won’t pass a window pane test, but you’ll be able to tell when the dough starts to turn silky smooth.  It may stay a little sticky – use a little more oil rather than adding more flour
  • Set aside in an oiled bowl, covered to rise until doubled in size – about an hour or so
  • Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 2.  Knock back lightly and shape each half into a batard, or torpedo and place on a sheet of silicon paper to prove for about 1 hour or until doubled in size
  • Dust a little rye flour into the surface of the loaves and rub gently.  Slash with a sharp knife and bake in a preheated oven, 210oC fan for about 30 minutes
  • Allow to cool completely before serving




4 Comments Add yours

  1. Pb says:

    Reblogged this on Paradise enow and commented:
    Looks interesting. We are a long way away from York Brewery though. OMG – I do fancy a pint of Terrier!

  2. jmait says:

    What beautiful loafs! Your recipe really interests me. I’ve never used or heard of Treacle before. Could something else substitute for it? Maybe honey or molasses?

    1. Hi Jessica – you can use dark molasses, it should give the same effect (the same thing on this side of the pond?). The dark treacle adds a wonderful rich colour but a slight bitterness – it works really well with the fennel

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