News Flash…making bread does not have to be hard! This recipe is a perfect example. If you’ve never attempted to make bread before, this is the perfect place to start. It’s definitely beginner friendly. It makes 1 standard loaf. The final product has a crusty exterior and soft chewy interior. [Thanks to the steaming!]. Just a quick mix, let is rise, form into a loaf, bake and eat! The smell it fills your house with is reward enough…but take a bite of this yumminess, and watch out 🙂 It does not have a strong beer taste. If you didn’t know it was in there, you probably wouldn’t even notice. But still, one word of warning – only use a beer you would actually drink. If you would never drink a heavy, dark beer like Guinness…don’t put it in your bread! You probably won’t like the bread either. Not a beer drinker, go with a light ale, a milder beer.
This would be fantastic as an appetizer, dipped in an ooey gooey cheese dip; sliced up for a sandwich [grilled cheese anyone?]; or sliced, and served warm with melting butter to accompany dinner. Glenn even had it with breakfast topped with homemade strawberry jam. And…he liked it, he really liked it!Ingredients: 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided use 1/2 cup warm water [about 100°F] 1 can or bottle of favorite beer [12 ounces] 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt all-purpose flour for dusting Directions: •Stir together yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until slightly foamy. Stir in 1/2 cup flour just until fully incorporated. Cover bowl and allow sit in a warm spot [away from drafts] for about 30 minutes. •Add beer, remaining 4 cups flour and salt into the bowl. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and forms a thick sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. [I used the dough hook on my mixer, however may be mixed by hand.] Cover and let rise away from drafts for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. •Scrape all the dough from the bowl with a rubber spatula [it will try to “hang on” to the bowl], and place on a well-floured surface. Generously flour the top of the dough and form into a loaf shape. •Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer loaf to the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with flour. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes. •Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Place a small loaf pan of warm water on a lower rack to humidify the oven, which will steam the bread. •Using a sharp knife, make a long slit in the top of the loaf. Place the baking sheet on the rack above the pan of warm water in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. •Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.