Recipe Book: Beer-Crust Pizza

Everyone knows that pizza and beer are the perfect weekend combo, but what about beer pizza?  A coworker told me about it, so I decided to look up a recipe.  Man oh man, I’m so glad I did!  This is the best homemade crust I’ve ever had.  It’s perfect – not mushy, not hard, just the right balance between fluff and crunch.  I used a basic organic Pilsner beer I found, but next time I want to experiment with different flavors.  Dogfish makes a beer called Midas’ Touch that’s brewed with barley, honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron.  With some sundried tomatoes crush and added to the dough?  Now that sounds banging.

Ingredients:
-2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
-1 1/2 cups semolina (You can just use regular flour, that’s what I did.  Semolina flour is super moist though!)
-2 teaspoons instant yeast
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 ½ teaspoons salt
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 ½ cups room-temperature beer
-pizza toppings (I used local mozzarella and smoked cheddar cheese, homemade tomato & basil sauce, and topped one pizza with pepperoni and the other with tomato and zucchini.  The pepperoni one did get a little soggy because of the oil, so you might have to play around with toppings.)

Directions:
-Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you’ve made a smooth, soft dough.
-Cover the dough, and allow it to rise for 30 minutes, or for up to 2 hours.
-Preheat the oven to 450°F with the pizza stone (if you’re using one) on a lower rack.
-Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 10″ to 12″ round.
-Place the rounds on parchment paper, if you’re going to use a pizza stone. Or place the dough on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. For thin to medium crust, bake the pizzas immediately. For thicker crust, let them rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
-Transfer the pizzas, parchment and all, to the baking stone. Or place the pans in the oven.
-Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, top as desired, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the bottom crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
-Remove from the oven, and serve hot.
(Quick Beer-Crust Pizza)

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