This is a wonderful recipe for those just beginning to bake bread! I love that it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare, just a bit of thinking ahead! The crusty outside and soft chewy inside make this the perfect bread for dipping into soups or sauces! I found the recipe from “America’s Test Kitchen Baking Cookbook”. I recommend reading through the directions of the recipe first before proceeding.
3 cups all-purpose flour ( I used 2 cups spelt flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
3/4 cup water, room temperature
1/2 cup mild beer (I use non-alcoholic Odoul’s and make 3 loaves at a time from one can), room temperature
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt and rosemary if using. Fold in the water, beer and vinegar until the dough starts to come together and looks shaggy (I like to make sure the flour is mixed in all the way). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
Once the dough has risen and you are ready to continue, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place a piece of parchment paper that is 18×12-inches inside a 10-inch skillet. Place the dough on the parchment and spray with non-stick oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to raise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
About 30 minutes before baking turn the oven on to 500` with the rack at the lowest setting. Place a large, cast iron dutch oven with lid, on the rack and allow to heat up with the oven.
Score the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife and sprinkle a little flour on top. Once the oven has reached 500` carefully remove the dutch oven and lid. Place the entire loaf and parchment paper directly into the pot, place the lid back on and put the dutch oven back into the oven. It is okay to let some of the parchment hang over the edge of the pot.
Once the pot is back in the oven immediately turn the oven down to 425` and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid of the pot and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack at room temperature for about 2 hours before serving.