Don’t be intimidated by the length of the instructions. The hardest thing about the recipe is getting the liquids up to temperature. I mixed up another one this morning and it took me 10 minutes. Having a scale makes it very easy. If you do not have a scale, make sure you fluff the flour in the bag before measuring, scoop, then level off the top with the back of a knife. This will give you a more accurate measurement. Remember this whenever you bake.
No Knead Bread
3 C bread flour (15 oz)
½ tsp instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1 T malt or red wine vinegar
¼ C beer (preferably a wheat beer, nothing hoppy)
Hot Water to make 1 ½ C
Combine the flour & yeast. Mix well.
Combine the remaining ingredients. Using an instant read thermometer, check the temperature. You want it between 125° – 130°F. Heat or cool the mixture until it is that temperature. I use my insta-hot and leave out a bit of water, adding an ice cube or more hot water as necessary. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir until combined.
Dough will be very soft & sticky. Cover and set aside.
After about 7-8 hours the dough should have more than doubled in size & have lots of bubbles trying to get through the top of the dough. You can now put it in the fridge for up to three days or bake it now.
Remove the dough from the bowl, putting on a well floured board. Form it into a ball. Set aside. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of a 4-5 quart pan with a well fitting lid. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of the oil and place the bread on top. Slash the top of the bread. I just use scissors to cut an X in the top, about 1/2″ deep. (if dough is just out of the refrigerator, let formed bread rest in the pan about 1 hour to come up to room temperature)
Put the lid on the pan and place in a cold oven. Set the temp to 450°F and turn on. Put the bread in the oven and turn the timer on for 30 minutes. Relax. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for 30 more minutes or until the bread is very brown and crispy and you are being driven insane by the aromas. Carefully remove from the oven, put the bread on a rack and allow to cool another 30 minutes.
(sorry, I know it smells wonderful, but if you cut it right out of the oven it will be all gelatinous inside) Remain calm. Take the butter out of the fridge. Or mix up some olive oil, herbs, pepper, & Parmesan to dip the bread in when it is cool. Use a serrated knife to cut & enjoy. Aren’t you glad you waited?