Awesomest Cheddar Chive Garlic Ale Crusty No Knead Buns

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer

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  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ale, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chives minced or 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar


  1. In a large bowl add in the flour, yeast, and salt. You need to make sure the bowl is at least 2 times the size as this will easily double in volume.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add in the chives, garlic and beer.
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon – do NOT use a stand mixer.
  5. Mix it until it’s combined and forms a ‘shaggy’ dough. Just make sure that all the flour is incorporated. It will not be a smooth dough – that’s how it’s supposed to be.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place overnight for at least 12 hours but no more than 24.
  7. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface add the cheese on top and using a floured hand or wooden spoon, gently fold in the cheese then using a bench scraper cut the dough into 8 equal sizes.
  8. Shape each bun into a ball tucking the sides under.
  9. Place the ‘buns’ onto a parchment lined pan that has been lightly dusted with flour.
  10. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise up to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  11. 30 minutes prior to ready to baking, put a rack in the middle of the oven and another on the lowest rack (not bottom) and preheat to 450F.
  12. On the lowest rack place a metal baking pan with a 1” side.
  13. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough balls and mist with water.
  14. Fill a container with 2 cups of ice and enough water to make 3 cups total.
  15. Place the baking pan with the dough balls on it on the middle rack.
  16. Working VERY fast (but safe) dump the ice and ice water into the pan on the lowest rack and shut the door. This causes steam and steam equals a very crusty shell (just like how a dutch oven would produce).
  17. Bake for 15-25 minutes or the bread, when tapped sounds hollow and is crusty to the touch.
  18. Remove from the oven, dump out the buns and place onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


If wanting to make this as a bread loaf do the following:

1. When you’re ready to bake, put the rack in the middle and preheat to 450F.
2. When the oven reaches temp, put your dutch oven pot (cast iron or heavy ceramic {check to see that your ceramic can handle 450F temp first!}) in the oven WITH THE LID on.
3. Let it heat up for 30 minutes.
4. While that’s heating up, add the cheese on top and using a your floured hand or wooden spoon, gently fold in the cheese.
5. Next, use a dough scraper and scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface (or you can flour parchment paper and put it on there). *See note
6. Shape into a ball tucking the sides under. It will be sticky but that’s good.
7. Cover lightly with plastic until the 30 minutes is up.
8. Remove the pot from the oven and plop the ball down in. Or if you transferred it to a floured parchment paper, you can place the whole thing inside (try to remove the excess flour).
9. Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. No peaking!
10. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and using tongs remove the bread and cool on cooling rack.

Don’t have a dutch oven or clay pot? Never fear! Grab your cast iron pan instead!
1. Take a 12″ round cast iron pan (with preferably a 2-3″ side wall) and place that into your 450F degree oven (just like the directions on the site). This pan will go on the middle rack.
2. WHILE you are heating that up, place a metal pan on the lowest shelf/rung in the oven at the same time. I just use an old cake pan that has seen better days.
3. When you remove the VERY HOT skillet from the oven and put your dough in it (have the dough resting on parchment paper so the bottom doesn’t get that ‘black’ color from the pan).
4. AND as soon as you put it in the oven put about 3 cups of ice cubes in the hot baking pan. DO THIS FAST as you want to trap the steam in the oven!
5. This will create steam (just like a dutch oven).
6. After 30-35 minutes check the bread. It should be done but if it’s not cook for 10-15 min more. If at 30 minutes it’s getting dark but not done (will sound hollow when tapped), just tent some foil over top for about 10 minutes.
7. Cool as normal.

If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use the following:

Clay pots with lids, Pizza stone with a bowl to cover the bread, insert from a crockpot, pyrex baking dish with a lid, stainless steel pot with a lid, baking dish covered with aluminum foil, old cast iron dutch oven. Essentially ANYTHING that can withstand the oven heat and time!

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