Comment "This really is an easy, fun, and fast recipe, and you'll be amazed at how great the results are, even for the most inexperienced bread maker." — Chef John
->Ingredients 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees F or 38 degrees C)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup flour and warm water in a large bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
2 Stir beer, remaining flour and salt into the bowl. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and forms a thick sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
3 Scrape all the dough from the bowl with a rubber spatula, and place on a well-floured surface. Generously flour the top of the dough and form into a loaf shape.
4 Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer loaf to the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with flour. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
5 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
6 Place a small loaf pan of warm water on a lower rack to humidify the oven.
7 Slash a long slit in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor. Place the baking sheet on the rack above the pan of warm water in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown.
8 Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
September 16, 2016