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BackstoryI found this great bread recipe from my e-cookbook from America's Test Kitchen. It is easy, but you do need to set aside the day, as the dough must rest for 8 to 18 hrs.
Use a cast-iron Dutch oven w/ a tight-fitting lid, or a heavy stockpot.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 oz), plus additional flour for dusting work space
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 cup, plus 2 Tblsp water(7oz), @ room temperature
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tblsp mild-flavored lager(3oz), such as Budweiser
- 1 Tablsp white vinegar
- Whisk flours, yeast, & salt in a large bowl. Stir the honey into the water, then add the water, beer, and vinegar to the dry ingredients. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms.
- Cover bowl w/ plastic wrap & let sit @ room temperature 8 to 18 hrs.
- Lay 12 by 18 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-inch skillet and spray w/ nonstick cooking spray.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10-15 times.
- Shape dough into a ball by pulling edges into middle.
- Transfer dough, seam side down, to parchment-lines skillet and spray surface of dough w/ nonstick cooking spray.
- Cover w/ plastic wrap, sprayed w/ cooking spray, and let rise @ room temperature for 2 hours.
- About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven to lowest position, place a 6-8 qt. heavy-bottomed Dutch oven w/ lid on rack & heat oven to 500 degress.
- Lightly flour top of dough, and using a razor blade or a sharp knife, make one 6-inch long and 1/2-inch deep slit along top of dough.
- Remove pot from oven, remove lid, & place dough (by lifting parchment overhang), & lower into pot.(Let any excess parchment hang over pot edge).
- Cover pot & place in oven.
- Reduce temperature to 425 degrees & bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid & continue to bake until loaf is deep brown & instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 210 degrees, 20-30 minutes longer.
- Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack & cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
- Makes 1 loaf, and is best eaten the day it is baked, but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.