I have no idea what took me so long to make this recipe. I remember flagging it in an old Cook’s Illustrated magazine and I’ve seen it made on countless blogs. The name itself is so appealing – bread with almost no kneading – how can that possibly work? Well, I assure you that it did – and it was super easy.
The recipe calls for lager-style beer – and luckily my husband had just bought a variety of different beers and one happened to be a lager. It worked out great for him – since he got to drink the rest of the bottle. Typical bread recipes do not call for beer – so I’m guessing that is why this works with very little yeast and almost no kneading. But you do have to let it sit out overnight (or at least 8 hours) – so plan ahead!
The bread had a really nice crisp crust and soft, doughy interior. I can’t wait to make this one again!
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (5 ounces)
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mild-flavored lager-style beer
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1. Whisk flours, yeast, and salt in large bowl.
2. Stir honey into water, then add water, beer, and vinegar to the dry ingredients.
3. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
4. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
6. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
7. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make an X –shaped 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough.
8. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven.
9. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated