The Fraunhofer diffraction pattern of a narrow annular slit is recorded holographically to generate a beam that approximates a diffraction-free Bessel beam. The experimental limitations resulting from the annular-slit parameters such as the opening width and the transmission coefficient are discussed. The reconstructed Bessel beam is amplified by two-wave mixing in a photorefractive crystal. Thus the efficient conversion of a relatively large beam with a constant (or Gaussian) intensity distribution into a nondiffracting beam is achieved entirely by direct physical interference. We show that diffraction-free beams reproduced and amplified in this way can be applied to the measurement of the velocity of small objects by the use of the laser Doppler technique. In addition, the advantages of Bessel beams, especially in measuring the velocity of solids, are discussed.