I’ve been making the “no-knead” bread lately, because I made it on a whim the other day and my husband waxed enthusiastic about it. Very enthusiastic. Usually, he’s quietly appreciative of my food but this time he gushed. So I’ve been making batches.
(For those not deep enough into foodie culture, “no knead bread” was the hot thing a few years ago. Jim Lahey made it popular (I don’t know if he invented it). You mix up a batter, rather that a dough, with only a bare smidge of yeast. You let it sit for 24 hours (!), punch it, let it rise for 2 hours, and then bake it in a cast-iron dutch oven that’s been preheating for an hour. You get that giant, open crumb inside that artisanal bakeries are so good at, not to mention a crackling crust that is simply impossible to get any other way in a home oven.)
My recipe for this calls for 3 c. of flour, 3/4 c. + 2 T. of water, 1/4 t. of salt and 1/4 t. of yeast, 1 T of vinegar, and…. 1/4 c. +2 T of beer. Here’s the thing. I don’t drink beer. (I don’t drink alcohol, period.) My husband doesn’t drink beer. So every time I make this bread, I wind up with most of a bottle of beer going flat on my counter.
Since one of the tenants of my farm wife philosophy is “waste not, want not”, this bugs the heck out of me. I’ve been hitting the cookbooks for any recipe that calls for most of a bottle of beer, but the only one I’ve found so for is a method for making roux that says you should “stir it for the length of time it takes to drink most of one bottle of beer.” That’s poetic, but not useful.
Help a sister out?