Homemade bread, is there anything like it? I absolutely love tearing off a piece as soon as it’s pulled out of the oven. However, it can be a pain to make: kneading and waiting, kneading and waiting, kneading and waiting. That’s why I opt for this amazing No Knead Beer Bread.
No Knead Beer Bread is So Easy To Make and A Perfect High Altitude Bread Recipe
High altitude baking is no joke. Forget the “light as air” madeleine cookies, or the puff pastry. Basically, forget any kind of French baking (even though it’s my favorite) because high altitude simply doesn’t support it. I know there are people out there that can bake well in high altitude, I’m not one of them.
Because of my high altitude living, normal bread baking and cake baking comes with it’s own headaches. Since there is just too much work involved to get that light, fluffy, sandwich bread, I instead opt for a heavier bread most of the time. Which is why I love this no knead beer bread.
There are moments when I take my time and spend hours kneading, prepping and baking sandwich bread. At high altitude, those breads require so much more work and I’m not a big sandwich eater, so this bread is one of my go to’s if I need a quick, easy bread that requires little effort.
No knead beer bread is a slightly heavier bread, very easy to make, and goes with soups, chowders or just some butter and jam. Even your novice baker can handle it. I tried it and use this bread recipe frequently because of how easy it is to bake.
A quick Overview of What You’ll Need to Bake this Amazing Bread
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 Cup of Warm Water
- 4 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour, Divided
- 1 12oz Bottle of Beer
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fine Salt
- A Pinch of Flour for Dusting
- 1 Tablespoon of Cornmeal (Optional)
Step 1 – Preparing the Yeast
First you’ll get a large mixing bowl and combine your yeast, warm water and 1/2 cup of flour. Once combined, cover and let sit for about 30 minutes in someplace warm. If it’s winter (which is the perfect time to make this heavy bread), I turn the oven on early and I leave it on top of the oven.
Step 2 – Adding The Rest of the Ingredients
After about 30 minutes, your mixture will look a little weird and bubbly. Add the remaining flour (4 cups), beer and salt.
Tips for Choosing A Beer
When picking out a beer, I try to pick a dark beer that already kind of smells like bread or hops. I think they give the bread a lot of flavor and also help it to rise a lot better than the lighter beers. I have tried this recipe with “chocolate” beer and “coffee” beer. Neither of them tasted pleasant and I would not recommend!
Step 3 – Preparing the Dough
Next, mix the ingredients with a bread mixing attachment on your stand mixture until the result is a thick, sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You can mix the dough by hand, it will probably take a bit longer. Then the dough will have to be covered to let it rise, this time for 2 hours, in a nice warm spot.
After about 2 hours your dough should be about double the size. If for some reason it has not risen like it should, either your location is too cold, or your yeast has gone bad. If your yeast has gone bad, it’s not likely to be salvageable. If your area is just not warm enough, place in a warm area and wait a bit longer (maybe an hour). Check on it here and there until it doubles in size.
Step 5 – Getting Your Dough Ready to Bake
Once your dough has doubled, take out a dutch oven and line it with parchment paper. I used a 10″ Lodge dutch oven. Make sure to place the dough right in the middle and then sprinkle the top of your bread with a bit of flour.
Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the top of the dough, this allows your dough to rise larger. Feel free to make pretty patterns with the gentle cuts in the dough. They will show well once the bread has baked.
Cover your dough one more time and wait for about 30 to 40 minutes, again, in a warm spot. It will rise once more.
If your oven has not been turned on yet, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
Fill a loaf pan or some other deep, bake-able dish with water and place it at the bottom rack of your oven. This will make sure that there is enough humidity for your bread. This is a really important step in any dry climate, so make sure not to skip it!
At last, your dough is ready to be baked!
Step 6 – Baking Your Beer Bread
Place your beautiful dough in the oven and bake for a 30 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes with the lid off. The loaf will be golden brown when done.
High altitude peeps, there is absolutely no substitution that I have made to this bread to convert it to high altitude. This recipe works both at 7,000ft and at sea level! It’s one of the reason I love this bread so much.
Now, remove the beautifully baked bread and enjoy! I usually let it cool a bit before slicing so that it maintains it’s form. Otherwise, dig right in while it’s still warm.
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