Friday, February 3, 2012

NO-Knead Bread ---yup...any BEER drinking Gal/Guy can do this!

OK...SO... I will raise my hand...stand up...and ADMIT IT.  I....L-O-V-E making bread now.  It's like I'm addicted to working with the dough...anxious when it's "supposed" to be rising... and the smells! wow.  When it's finally done... that first slice (if all turns out) is heavenly.  Just made for a butter commercial!

THEN... reality hits.  I find most people shy away from bread - and it's rising times - and that whole using YEAST thing.  I've been addicted to blogs / books that contain bread recipes. (thank you AGAIN Yeast spotting , Food Wishes - there's a great video Chef John posted using a recipe for this style of bread making)  I'm learning - adapting - adjusting... and so far, results have been awesome! (or I think so!)  I do know of several people that also shy away from just the kneading part, as lets face it....  it's a work out at times!  WELL.. in my latest ventures of bread making 101... I did 2 "new" things.  1st - started off making a "sponge" (ooo getting all techy!) ...and 2nd - I put AWAY the mixer..  brought out a spoon and a spatula as this need to KNEAD! SO, while I didn't get that arm work out.. I DID get a beautiful "artisan" looking loaf of bread!

No-KNEAD Bread! who'da thunk!!
 OK, and here's a lil' secret...  there's a "special" ingredient that's added... BEER! SO, with only a few ingredients, no mixer, no kneading required... even your everyday - Mr or Miss Joe Blow can make this bread!!  ---and did I forget to mention -- minimal rising time...even with the making of a sponge!?  Woot Woot!!

NO-Knead Bread
For the Sponge:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 BOTTLE of Beer  (I used a lager)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt (table salt works)
  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
In a large mixing bowl, place yeast, flour and warm water (not boiling...little warmer than lukewarm), whisk together well.  Cover and place in a draft free - warm area.  Inside of oven with your light turned on works well. - LEAVE IT for 30 mins to let the sponge develop.
It should look something like the above - bubbly and "spongy" when stirred with a spoon. 

Next, add the BEER, slowly (it'll bubble up a bit), salt and all 4 cups of flour.
Give it a real good mix with the spoon until the sticky, gooey dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Be patient with this, as it may take a couple of minutes to  mix the flour in well.  *if it appears too dry - add a bit of water. *if all flour is mixed in, and it doesn't want to start to pull away from the side of the bowl, add a bit more flour.  Your dough should look like this:

Cover the bowl with a dish towel - I used the tip from Food Wishes and dampened the towel with HOT HOT water, rung out thoroughly.  Placed it back in my oven with the light turned on.   Let it rise to double the size.  (mine took about an hour)...some say it can take up to 2 hours.

Now, using a spatula, mix the dough well.  This will deflate the dough and unstick it from the sides of the bowl. 

 Turn out the gooey, sticky dough on to a well floured surface, (cover your hands with a bit of flour, as this helps you remove and work with the dough).  I just rolled the dough a few times into a "log" shape, and placed it onto a lightly floured and greased (I used PAM spray) cookie sheet. 

Back into the oven it goes - and cover it with a DRY tea towel.  Let rise for another 30 mins.

Keeping dough covered, remove from oven (if in) - or if you placed it else where on a counter... just let it sit there a while longer -  Place a loaf pan half full of water in oven, and pre-heat to 425F.

Once oven is ready - uncover dough, and take a sharp knife, slice down length if dough.  Then, slice again down same length.  Sprinkle top of loaf with a little bit of flour.  Now place, uncovered, in oven.

Bake at 425F for 35 mins to 40 mins or until loaf is a golden colour, and sounds hollow when "knocked". 

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled.... slice open and ENJOY!  Awesome with butter... and went perfect with a homemade soup! 
For this loaf... I used the  Whistler Brewing Company - Powder Mountain Lager.  Worked great. 

Throw in a hearty soup, maybe another Beer (or 2), and you've got yourself a comforting, YUMMY meal! 
I think, next time... I'm going to start playing with "flavours" for the bread...asiago cheese, roasted garlic, rosemary... okok... now my mouth is watering....mind is creating....  Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. great!! this is what i needed, thank you!!!

    1. Awesome!! when you try it, let me know how it went!