Recipe: Cheese & Beer Loaf – Local for Lammas Day

Local Lammas LoafThe 1st of August is Lammas, when traditionally bread made with the first grain harvested that year,  would be baked and eaten.

Lammas derives from the Anglo-Saxon for loaf mass, and celebrates the first harvest festival of the year, when the first grain to be harvested was made into a loaf which was bought to Church to be blessed.  Sometimes the blessed loaf was used for magic, and was broken into 4 parts and placed at each corner of the barn to protect the newly harvested grain.

This Lammastide The Real Bread Campaign are encouraging people to celebrate great bread by baking or buying a local loaf for Lammas day.

Cothele MillNestled on the Cornish side of banks of the Tamar; the river which divides Cornwall and Devon, lies the Cotehele Estate.  Now owned by the National Trust, it is peaceful, stunningly beautiful, with an attractive house that is not overwhelmingly grand.

The formal gardens surrounding the house overlook the Tamar rail bridge, and give way to woodland and meadows nearer to the river.    The estate contains orchards, a cider press, a restored Tamar sailing barge (one of the few remaining) and a mill where organic local flour is ground.

I had not been to Cothele for many years, and on our way back from a trip to Cornwall earlier this year we stopped for an afternoon to explore and importantly to buy some flour.

CotheleMy offering for the Lammas is a Cornish loaf, containing the Cothele flour, Skinner’s Cornish Blonde beer and Davidstow Cornish cheddar.  Like with many things practice makes perfect, and baking bread is no exception.   I was delighted with my loaf, which was not only delicious, but looked fantastic too with a slit along the top and a perfect muffin shaped crust where it had just spilled over the top of the pan.   I have to pass some of the credit to my stand mixer, FiFi La Firecracker who does sterling service kneading the dough.

Local Lammas Loaf slicedOne of the really nice things about this loaf is that there should be just enough beef left in the bottle for you to enjoy a small glass whilst the bread is rising!

Recipe: Cornish Beer & Cheese Loaf

Makes 1 medium loaf (lasts the 2 of us 2 days)


300ml Blonde(ish) beer
1 heaped tsp yeast (dried active – I used the one for hand baking)
150g wholemeal flour
300g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs oil – olive / rapeseed / hemp etc.
50g grated strong cheddar

Pour the beer into bowl, add the yeast and swirl until it is dissolved.  Add the other ingredients.

Knead with the dough hook attachment of your mixer on the lowest speed for about 4 minutes until a smooth stretchy dough has formed (if you knead by hand it will take longer).

Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for a few hours or  in the fridge overnight. It should more than double in size.

In the morning turn out onto a floured board and gently knock the dough back. Shape the loaf,  place in an oiled and floured 1lb loaf tin.  Leave somewhere warm until doubled in size again.

Place in a preheated oven at GM7 / 220C / 425F and bake for about 40 minutes.   For a crustier loaf place a small dish of water in the oven under the loaf.

When it is done it should turn out of the tin and sound hollow when tapped.  It always takes longer to bake than you think it will, so my general rule of thumb is that if you are unsure give it another 5 mins.

Local Lammas Loaf Ingredients

Why not try making a local loaf this Lammas Day?

Sending this to Girlichef’s Bake Your Own Bread.

And to Yeastspotting.

Visit the Fuss Free Flavours Giveaways Page for a chance to win some amazing prizes!


  1. says

    Oh my gosh…those pictures! You don’t know how badly I just want to jump into the screen and hang out there. I’ll be baking a loaf of bread later today for Lammas (though won’t be ready in time to post today)…I usually make one with grain from a local mill and lots of fresh herbs from the garden! I LOVE the sound of your Cheese & Beer loaf. So happy you’re sharing it w/ #BakeYourOwnBread, as well! :)

    • Helen says

      Thanks Heather!

      My bread currently seems to be getting better by the loaf. Was delighted with this one.

      Love Cornwall. Cotehele is very special.

  2. says

    I do love your bread recipes, you seem to find such wonderful flours and this is no exception. I have to get myself a bottle of Doom Bar beer which we always drink whilst on holiday every Easter in Cornwall. It is a delicious beer and I think it would be perfect for this loaf!

  3. says

    Cheese and beer! Two of Nick’s favourite things! If he sees this he’ll be wanting me to make some. Very envious of your trip to Cothele, it was on my wish list last time I had National Trust membership coinciding with a Cornwall trip (back in 2002!) but we never made it. Then when we went back to Cornwall in 2007 I was six months pregnant and not up to it. Lovely pictures to get a feel of the place.

  4. says

    How exciting. I’m always surprised if I see anyone writing about my local haunts as our part of Cornwall is generally forgotten. You’ve taken some great photographs, far better than anything I have. Cotehele flour is the one I use if using wholemeal flour, which is most of the time so I get through a fair amount of it. And your Lammas loaf looks absolutely delicious.

  5. Mich - Piece of Cake says

    Hi, I’m dropping by via BYOB. What beautiful photos! And I love the idea of using bear in bread, that is so unique and the first time I have come across this.

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