This is probably the best loaf of no-knead bread I have made yet! The aroma of bread and garlic while it was baking had my knees trembling with excitement. The texture was looser and chewier than usual, possibly because I used a tad less flour than usual (I ran out). Or perhaps this was the beer talking; I will have to make another loaf to be certain!
Before I knew who Jim Lahey was, I would bake a loaf of bread on occasion. I went through various stages of bread making over the years. I made it completely by hand, then invested in a bread machine which took up a huge amount of space. Eventually I grew tired of the paddle hole at the bottom of the oddly shaped loaves which emerged, so I would let the machine do the work, then I'd remove the dough and shape and bake it the conventional way.
This past year with a few exceptions, I have mostly made the no knead bread, trying out different flours and flavours. This week was no different. I decided to swap out the water for beer and I was thrilled with my loaf of bread.
Inspired by Jim Lahey's Recipe
1/2 cup rye flour
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, give or take
1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups beer, light or dark (12 oz bottle)
1/4 cup roasted garlic
2/3 cup cheese (cheddar, gruyere, gouda; anything you have on hand), cut into 1/2" cubes
Combine the rye flour, 2 cups unbleached flour, yeast and salt in a large glass bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the beer. Stir until well combined.
Cover the top with a cheese cloth and set in a draft free place in a room with a temperature of about 70-75°F. for about 18 hours. Then stir down. You can repeat this step a few times more if you like. The dough will begin to get a nice "sour" tang.
Add the roasted garlic and cheese. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Work in about another 1/2 cup of flour. Cover and set aside for up to 8 hours or so.
Place a piece of parchment paper into a bowl. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the surface of the paper, then sprinkle a small amount of flour over the dough. Flour your hands and place the dough onto the parchment paper.
*For this particular loaf, the bowl is necessary because the dough is very moist and won't hold it's shape well otherwise.
Try to shape it into a ball if that's possible. I floured the surface and tried to tuck in the edges underneath, but this dough was wetter than usual (bottom left of the photos). Cover it with the cheesecloth and allow to rise 2-3 hours, or until it looks like it's doubled in volume.
When the pot is good and hot, carefully pull it out and place the parchment paper with the dough into pot and cover with the hot lid taking care not to burn yourself. Bake for about 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until the crust is a nice brown.
Allow the loaf to cool at least an hour before cutting into it.