Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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ALMOST NO-KNEAD BREAD                   COOK'S (Jan Feb 2008) 

Makes one large round loaf 

3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting work surface 

¼ tsp instant yeast

1 ½ tsp table salt

¾ cup plus 2 TBSP water (7 oz) at room temperature

¼ cup plus 2 TBSP (3 oz) mild flavored lager (Budweiser-type beer)

1 TBSP white vinegar 

Whisk the yeast, flour, and salt in a large bowl.  Add water, beer and vinegar.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture, scraping up dry mixture from the bottom of the bowl until a shaggy ball occurs.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 – 18 hours. 

Lay a 12 X 18 – inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10” skillet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 10 – 15 times.  Shape dough into a ball by pulling edges into the middle.  Transfer dough, seam side down, to the parchment lined skillet and spray top of dough with the non-stick spray.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not spring back readily when poked with a finger, about 2 hours. 

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6 – 8-quart Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven up to 500 degrees.  Lightly flour top of dough and, using a razor blade or really sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, ½ inch deep slit along the top of the dough. 

Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid.  Pick up dough by lifting parchment paper overhang and lower into pot…….let any excess parchment paper overhang lip of pot.  Cover pot and place in oven.  Reduce temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes.  Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 210 degrees, about 20 – 30 minutes longer.  Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.