Slice into an amazing loaf of homemade rustic bread that is easy to make with this almost no-knead method. You will love its crusty exterior and deliciously chewy center.
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This is the type of bread that goes so well with a pasta dish or Italian salad. Delicious for dipping in flavored oil too.
Preparing the dough
Don’t be worried if there looks to be a lot of steps in this recipe. The dough mixes easily and you will quickly have it in the bowl to rest.
You will need 3 cups of flour. I like to be pretty exact so I use a kitchen scale to measure 15-ounces.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the bread: flour, salt, rapid-rise yeast, water, white vinegar and a bottle of mild-flavored lager (I used Michelob Ultra). I like Fleischmann’s bread machine yeast rapid rise. I buy a 4-ounce jar and store it in the freezer so it keeps fresh for a long time. You can find the yeast at your grocery store or Walmart.
Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large bowl.
Add water, beer and vinegar.
Using a rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
My dough rested for 18 hours and this is how it looked at the end of that time.
Transfer the dough to lightly floured work surface.
Knead the dough 10 to 15 times.
Shape the dough into a ball by pulling edges into middle and tucking under. Transfer the dough, seam-side down, to the center of the parchment and spray the surface with nonstick cooking spray.
Pick up the dough by lifting the parchment overhang and lower it into a large Dutch oven, leaving any excess parchment hang over the edge of pot.
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 to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position. Remove the plastic wrap covering the dough and lightly flour the top of the dough.
Using a razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, 1/2-inch deep slit along top of dough.
Cover the Dutch oven and place in an unheated oven. Immediately heat oven to 425 degrees.
Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep golden brown. This is what you will have at the end of the baking time… an amazing loaf of rustic bread! Allow the bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing with a serrated knife.
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Almost No Knead Bread
recipe source: Cook’s Illustrated
3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) water at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager
1 Tbs. white vinegar
- Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.
- Add water, beer and vinegar.
- 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 at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
- Lay a 12 by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and spray with oil spray.
- 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 center of parchment and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pick up the dough by lifting the parchment overhang and lower into a large Dutch oven, leaving any excess parchment hang over the edge of pot.
- 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 to 3 hours.
Getting ready to bake
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position.
- Remove plastic wrap covering the dough.
- Lightly flour top of dough.
- Using a razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, 1/2-inch deep slit along top of dough.
- Cover Dutch oven and place in an unheated oven. Immediately heat oven to 425 degrees
- Bake, covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
- Carefully remove bread from the Dutch oven; transfer to wire rack and cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.
- Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more with a lid knob that is oven-safe at 425 degrees. An enameled cast-iron with a tight-fitting lid works best.
- Use a mild-flavored lager or a mild-flavored non-alcoholic lager
- The bread is best eaten the day it is baked. To store longer, wrap tightly in aluminum foil for up to 2 days or wrap well and freeze.
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Is there a way to make this without the beer?
I am sorry for the delay in responding to your comment but my daily schedule has changed much as has that of many others.
I did an internet search and found the following that gives insight to your question:
The purpose of the beer (and the vinegar) in this case is to add some of the malty, fermenty flavors typical of longer-fermented or sourdough breads. You can either leave it out and replace it with an equal quantity of water or use a non-alcoholic beer.
The carbonation from the beer might add a little extra lift at the start to establish some air cells and work the gluten a bit, but with an 18 hour room-temperature bulk rise, that benefit would be negligible. In most beers (especially large US commercial bottlers) there isn’t enough active yeast left in the bottle by the time it is drunk to do anything either.
The author of the original article (Cook’s Illustrated #90, Jan 2008) added the beer and vinegar in order to add flavor to a bread recipe that already produced decent bread. Source (https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/43443/why-does-the-almost-no-knead-bread-recipe-use-beer-can-it-be-replaced)
I hope this is helpful and if you should experiment with the recipe, I’d love to hear how it works out!
Best wishes to you and yours for health and safety!
I love that you make this in a dutch oven type pan. Would never have tried that. I wish I could eat bread, but I may try this just for the fun of it and of course hubby would love it or it would make a nice gift. thanks for the recipe and beautiful photos.
Ann Thompson says
Yum, pass the butter 🙂
Lorraine, this bread looks amazing!! Again, I am going to Pin the recipe to try “after the wedding.” (I put those words in quotes because I find myself saying this over and over!)