Sunday, March 22, 2009

Almost No- Knead Bread

3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp rapid rise or instant yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 water, at room temp
1/2 cup mild flavored beer (I used harpoon ale)
1 TBSP vinegar
vegtable spray

1) Whisk the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Fold in the water, beer and vinegar with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for at least 8 hours, or up to 18 hours.

2) Lay an 18 by 12 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10 inch skillet and spray with vegtable oil. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface adn knead by hand to form a smooth ball, 10-15 times. Shape dough into a ball by pulling the edges into the middle with floured hands (there is a picture in the mag). Transfer dough, seam side down, to the prepared skillet.

3) Mist dough with vegtable oil,and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temp until doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, about 2 hours. (It didn't seem doubled in size to me and I let it sit maybe 4 hours and it still came out great)

4) about 30 minutes before baking, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position,place a large covered dutch oven on the rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees (not all knobs on dutch ovens are heatproof to 500 degrees- there are inexpensive replacement knobs available from manufactures.)

5) lightly flour the top of the dough and score it with a knife or razor blade. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Pick up the parchment paper and dough and carefully lower into the hot pot, letting any excess parchement hang over the edge. Cover the pot.

6) Place the pot in the oven, reduce the oven temp to 425 degrees, and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake till the center of the loaf registers 210 degrees on an instant read thermometer and the crust is a deep golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pot, transfer to a wire rack, and cook to room temp. About 2 hours, before serving.

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