Recipe paraphrased from a recipe in Cooks Illustrated 1/2008 This recipe comes out best made in an enameled cast-iron dutch oven with a lid that fits tightly. It can also be made in a regular cast-iron dutch oven or a heavy stockpot. Use a mild flavored beer like Budweiser or a mild flavor non-alcoholic beer. The bread is best the day it's baked. It can be wrapped in foil and stored in a cool dry place for 2-days. This recipe makes one large, round loaf of bread
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast and salt. Now add the water, beer and vinegar. Fold batter using a rubber spatula. Scrape the dry ingredients from the bowl bottom and continue folding until a ragged ball of dough forms. Cover bowl with some plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
- In a 10-inch skillet, place a 12 x 18 inch piece of parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Take the bowl of dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough 10 to 15 times. Pull edges of dough from edges into the center to form a ball of dough. Place the dough with the seam side down, into the parchment lined skillet. Spray dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the dough loosely with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 2-hours. The dough should not easily spring back when poked.
- Place a 6 to 8 quart, heavy bottom, Dutch oven with lid, on lowest oven rack. Preheat the oven at 500°F for 1/2 hour. Lightly dust top of dough with flour and then make single 6-inch long, 1/2 inch deep cut on the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade. Take preheated Dutch oven from from the 500°F oven and remove lid. Using edges of parchment paper, pick up dough from frying pan and place into Dutch oven. Allow extra parchment paper to hang out of Dutch oven and cover dough with lid. Return covered Dutch oven to oven and turn temperature down to 425°F Bake bread covered for 30-minutes. Remove lid and continue baking until bread is deep brown and an instant read thermometer, inserted in loaf center, reads 210°F This may take 20 to 30 minutes after removing cover. When done, remove bread from Dutch oven and cool on wire rack for 2 hours, until bread reaches room temperature.
This recipe produced the tastiest and prettiest loaf of bread I have ever made. I have made it at least six times, and it has turned out well every single time. A great fool-proof recipe for novice bakers.
I agree with Monstr - this turns out SO much better than the regular no-kneads! I followed the original ATK instructions (3/4 c. water, 1/2 c. beer) but increased the yeast to 1/2 t. since I only had regular yeast. For baking I used a 10-inch cast iron pot with 3 1/2--inch sides. The loaf rose so much that it hit the lid! It turned out with a beautiful super-crispy crust and looked just like the artisanal loaves I see at the store! My loaf was already golden brown when I took the lid off after 30 minutes so another 15 was all that was needed to produce a deep brown crust. I was so impressed I just bought a bigger cast iron pot on Amazon so my future loaves have as much room as they need. Excellent!!
I've made this a few times already. It makes great bread! The only problem is that it doesn't last long! I think the beer and vinegar give it a little more flavor than the simple flour, salt and water recipe (which I have tried as well.). This is definately a keeper.