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Honey Hefeweizen Boule Loaf

Honey Hefeweizen Boule Loaf

Honey Hefeweizen Boule Loaf. Simple, easy and delicious. Perfect recipe for first time bakers! 

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Last year, with a camera crew in my face, I interviewed the head brewer at my favorite Los Angeles brewery. "All I am is a yeast wrangler. I don’t work for the brewery, I work for the yeast." He laughed until I asked him about the times when the yeast rears its stubborn head and won’t do what it’s told. He gritted his teeth and scratched the back of his large mass of curly hair as his laughed turned painful, "How about we don’t talk about those batches?"

Fair enough. Even without experiences with failed brewers yeast, I’ve felt the soul crushing defeat of bakers yeast that has a mind of its own. There are a few things you can do to show that yeast who’s boss. Make sure the yeast isn’t expired (expired yeast is actually dead, it won’t work), make sure the temperature is exactly where you need it (it’s different for rapid rise and regular yeast, it’ll say on the package what temp is best), and let it rise in a warm room.

Even with all these safeguards, sometimes yeast just wants to be an asshole and refuses to rise, it still happens to me every once in a while. It’s rare for me to have a failed loaf, and even with the occasional baking breakdown, it’s still worth it, it’s still an obsession I indulge in on a weekly basis. It’s still incredibly gratifying.

Other than scrapping it all and starting over, there is one trick I’ve learned to revive a dead loaf.  Place about a tablespoon of water in a small bowl and heat to the correct temperature. Add a package of yeast and wait for it to get foamy (this is called proofing and should happen in a few minutes), stir into a paste. Knead the yeast paste into the dough and hope for the best. If that doesn’t work, throw it in the trash, cuss like a sailor, and go get pizza. You’ve earned it.

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Honey Hefeweizen Boule Loaf


  • 4 ¼ 19 wt oz cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package 2 ¼ tsp rapid rise yeast
  • ¼ cup honey
  • pinch salt
  • 12 ounces wheat beer*
  • egg wash 1 egg, 1 teaspoon water, beaten


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the flour and yeast, mix to combine.
  • Heat the beer to between 120 and 130F degrees.
  • Add the beer and the honey to the flour, beat on high until dough gathers around the hook and is no longer sticky, about 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Place a baking stone in the oven, preheat for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Once the dough has risen, place a bread peel (or a sheet of parchment paper) on a flat surface, cover in cornmeal or semolina flour. Grab the dough in your heads, folding it into itself gently a few times, then form into a tight ball. Place on the peel (or parchment paper), allowing to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Brush the top with egg wash, slash an “X” on top of the loaf using a sharp knife.
  • Transfer the dough to the pizza stone using either the peel or by simply placing the parchment paper on top of the heated stone (if you don’t own a bread stone, just place the parchment on top of a baking sheet and set that into the oven when you are ready to bake).
  • Bake at 400 until top is a dark golden brown and makes a hollow “thump” sound when tapped, about 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before slicing.


*This recipe is for a very low IBU (low hop) beer. If all you have is a pale ale, IPA or hoppy wheat, use 3/4 cup beer and 3/4 cup hot water or the beer taste will be overpowering.

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Susan January 9, 2015 um 9:36 am

This loaf sounds delicious. I’ve saved the recipe even though I don’t bake much any more, and rarely eat bread (living on the border with Mexico has turned me into a tortilla maker/eater), this one sounds too good to not make at some point. It just occurred to me that it would make an excellent hostess gift. I really appreciate the tips about how to boss yeast around – very useful information.


Liz @ Floating Kitchen January 9, 2015 um 10:19 am

Oh I want a big slice of this right now. It looks amazing. Looks like you’ve earned your yeast wrangling spurs!


Maggie January 9, 2015 um 2:19 pm

I have printed and will do next. I am currently in a bread making obsession because of a book I just read…thanks for fanning the flame. And telling me its ok if it doesn’t work every time.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 9, 2015 um 5:12 pm

Sometimes yeast absolutely wants to be an asshole!! Gah! And beer is the best thing to help it along. I love this bread.


Chrissy January 10, 2015 um 7:52 pm

I love beer bread and find it so much safer than dealing with asshole yeast *I’m not bitter). Love the hefes so I’ll have to give it a go with that!


whilehewasout January 13, 2015 um 7:14 am

Hurray for a vigorous pack of yeast and our friend: the pizza 🙂 Oh and thanks for the recipe!


Nance January 21, 2015 um 8:27 am

My frist bread and it turned out fantastic!! Thank you so much and I know am confident enough to try more bread recipes.


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