4 C. white flour (if youíre subbing a 12 oz. beer for a 14.9 oz use 3 C. flour
Leave all other ingredient amounts the same)
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
2 tablespoons molasses
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Because the yeast is rapid rise, there is no need to prep in water before adding. The resulting dough should be firm, yet still sticky due to the presence of molasses. If the dough is cracked or not sticky, add a small amount of water to achieve the correct texture; if the dough is too wet, add a small amount of flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed for approximately ten minutes. This is a particularly messy dough to work with, and you may need to flour your work surface several times during the ten minute period. Let dough rest until it has almost doubled in size, usually 45 minutes to an hour. Pour one can of 14.9 oz. Guinness into a beer glass and drink it while you wait.
Donít punch down the risen dough. Instead gently fold the dough in half several times. Then, with each end, fold the dough into thirds, as if you are folding a letter. Repeat once more. This folding activates the gluten in the bread flour, helping build an internal structure into the loaf that maintains its shape during rising. Pinch shut the seems in the loaf. Lightly cover baking stone with cornmeal and set to rise until it has doubled in size, about one hour. Vegetable oil can be subbed for cornmeal, and a baking sheet can be used instead of a baking stone. If you wish to cook the bread as two loaves, divide dough prior to folding, and fold each individually. Pour one can of 14.9 oz Guinness into a beer glass and drink it while you wait.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Paint the top of the loaf with melted butter, applying with a brush or back of a spoon. Place loaf on top oven rack, and a cookie sheet with several ice cubes on the bottom rack. This will steam the loaf as it bakes, preventing the bread from drying out. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until bread is golden brown and emits a hollow sound when tapped. Best when simply topped with butter.
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