The February 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated features the recipe for this bread. I had heard a good friend rave about no knead bread and tried the New York Times version and while I loved the crust, I wasn’t impressed with the flavor. Leave it to the folks at Cook’s Illustrated to find a solution. This bread is simple, has good flavor, and the crust is perfect.
Usually this bread has great holes in it, but this time the holes were not as impressive as usual. Something unusual happened when I took the bread out of the oven. There were snapping and crackling sounds that I don’t remember ever happening before. I believe some of the cracks on the outside of the loaf occurred after I took it out of the oven. I couldn’t help but think of Rice Krispies and their snap, crackle, and pop, but this was much louder. It could be heard across the room!
I used Fat Tire Ale for the beer. It’s what I had in the refrigerator. I don’t recall what kind of beer I’ve used in the past, but maybe the beer has an impact on the holes in the bread? No matter, it’s good tasting bread, with a great crust, and is a very attractive loaf.
This recipe has been posted all over the Internet and since the folks at Cook’s Illustrated were kind enough to provide the recipe for free on their site I’m going to provide a link directly to them for their Almost No Knead Bread
Variations for the bread abound, but we like this one so much that I’ve never felt the need to change it up. The cranberry-pecan version is quite tempting though!