Just a quick update. I baked the no-knead bread again, this time taking the advice of Cook’s Illustrated to add beer to the dough to increase the complexity of flavor. They recommended using lager, such as Budweiser, because the cold fermentation process for lager results in a smoother, more mellow flavor than does the warmer fermentation process that produces ales.
Budweiser being expensive in these parts, and not wanting to go to the store, I looked in the fridge for substitutes. I found a bottle of gueuze, a type of Belgian (lambic) beer which is made using spontaneous fermentation. That means that the brewers don’t introduce the yeast themselves, they let nature take its course. Not unlike the method for levain or sourdough starter. Hmmm, I thought, that’s probably better anyway! Cook’s also advised adding vinegar to the dough, but given the naturally sour flavor of the gueuze, I thought I could skip it. Long story short(er), the bottle of gueuze was opened, and the bread was excellent.
We had some friends over the evening I baked it, and it didn’t last through the night. I was hoping to have some left over for a picnic we had planned for the next day, but when the bread is fresh and the friends are enjoying it, who am I to stop the fun?
Besides, the picnic got rained out and we had this pile of sandwiches in the comfort of our home.
Life could be much worse. Have a good weekend, everybody!