If you know me, then you know that one of the favorite things I make in my Kudos Kitchen is a yeast bread. There is something about the smell of the yeast, the feel of the dough and the temperamental nature of the mix of such simple ingredients.
To me, it's one of the most exciting baking experiences when you get to witness a well made yeast dough rise and plump, if all the elements and ingredients are in perfect proportion. It's also one of the most deflating experiences to see a dough that, for whatever reason, sits lifeless in a bowl and doesn't have the energy to lift itself up and puff itself out. Strange that somedays I know that feeling! :)
This isn't meant to scare you off from making yeast breads. Not hardly. It's meant to draw you in to the wonders of working with yeast. It's a mystery that I never tire of and an ingredient that has a secret life that keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of that perfect loaf that melts your heart, as well as your butter!
I found this particular recipe by Chef John on allrecipes.com. The only thing I did differently from Chef John was that I made my dough in my stand mixer because I was a little strapped for time. Chef John used a bowl and a spoon. You can't get much easier than that!
RUSTIC NO-KNEAD BEER BREAD
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour - divided
1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can of beer
1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
additional flour for dusting
1 tablespoon cornmeal
-Stir together the yeast, 1/2 cup of the flour and the warm water in a large bowl.
-Let rest in a warm spot for approximately 30 minutes, until the mixture becomes foamy.
-Add the beer and the remaining flour and salt into the bowl.
-Mix until all the flour is incorporated (I used a dough hook) and forms a sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
-Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
-Scrape the dough from the bowl and place on a well-floured surface.
-Generously flour the top of the dough and form it into a long, rustic loaf shape.
-Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and transfer the loaf to the baking sheet.
-Allow the loaf to rise in a warm place until doubled (approximately 1 hour).
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Place a small oven-proof pan, filled with water, on the bottom rack of the oven. This will form a steam inside the oven as the bread bakes and give your loaf a beautiful crust.
-Using a sharp knife, slash the top of your loaf a few times before baking. This help with the rise during baking and also gives your bread an artsy artesional bakery look.
-Bake for 35 minutes until the loaf is a beautiful golden brown.
-Allow to cool and then wrap with plastic wrap and bring to your sisters house for dinner. LOL Well, at least that's what I did (which is sadly why I have no "sliced" pictures of this wonderful bread)!
The tender crumb on this bread is just what you'd expect from a wonderful corner bakery loaf. The slight tang from the beer is light and almost goes unnoticed. I actually think that the next time I make this loaf, I'll use a darker ale type beer and not a cheap can that's been in the back of the fridge because nobody likes it.
Either way, this recipe is a winner and I look forward to making it again soon!
Panera has nothing on me!!!
Until we break bread again...thanks for coming by to visit! You're always welcome in my Kudos Kitchen!