A super simple, experimental loaf of bread
“There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I’ve never successfully made a loaf of bread. I’ve tried whole wheat, all-purpose, no-knead, fast-acting yeast… There have been so many different varieties, but to little avail. My loaves turn out dense and heavy, doughy and tasteless.
One Saturday night spent sipping wine, I got a wee bit tipsy and decided to try my hand at bakin’ bread. I found a simple recipe with minimal ingredients: all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water. So easy!
Then I got experimental, subbing some of my Sneaky Weasel beer for a portion of the water. I was also a little too drunk to wait the full two hours to let the dough rise. Even with my experimentation and impatience, though, this was still one of the best loaves that I’ve ever made. Read on, for a recipe so simple you can even make it if you’re drunk and sloshing beer in the dough!
- 2 c lukewarm water
- 1 c beer
- 1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 6.5 all-purpose flour
Fill a medium-sized bowl with 2 c lukewarm water and 1 c beer. Sprinkle active dry yeast on top, and stir around. Let sit for a hot sec. In another, larger bowl, fill with 6.5 c all-purpose flour and 1.5 tbsp salt. Pour your water-beer-yeast combo on top of the dry mix. Stir with a spoon, then start kneading with your hands. I added a little dash of olive oil onto the top and bottom of the dough, to keep it from sticking to the bowl. After you’ve mixed well, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough sit 1–2 hours.
After your dough has risen for a couple of hours, preheat your oven to 450 F. Knead your bread again. The dough should be somewhat elastic, with no chunks of flour. Divide your dough between two loaves. I (clumsily) slashed the top of my bread to make the loaves look nice. Apparently this also serves a purpose, by allowing steam to release.
Bake your loaves in the oven for 35–40 minutes, until the crust is a beautiful golden brown.