French Loaf

Makes 1 loaf


3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (7 ounces) water at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (3 ounces) Budweiser or mild flavored lager
1 tbsp white vinegar


1) In large bowl, whisk 3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. rapid-rise yeast, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (7 ounces) water at room temp, 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (3 ounces) Budweiser, and 1 tbsp white vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

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

3) About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough using a sieve and make one to three 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit(s) along top of dough using sharp knife. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

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