I don’t remember much about that Chinese history class I took in college. I was forced to take it in order fill credit requirements after discovering absolutely nothing else was open, not even ice skating. My brain deleted 4,000 years worth of Chinese history in the time it took to put down my pencil after the final exam. I do however remember the more important things I learned in college, such as how to pour a beer slowly into a tipped glass to avoid all the foam. Remember that? Now forget all about it, or your pizza will suck.
With beer pizza dough you need a flat, room temperature beer. I let one sit out on the counter for a while and then poured it repeatedly back and forth between two cups to speed up the demise of those CO2 bubbles.
TIP: Be sure to pour a little more than needed, as the foam will detract from your perfect 1 cup measurement. Plus you’ll need to sample the flatness. (Try to pretend you are in England, drinking cask ale).
(Makes enough dough for a very large pizza).
- 1 cup flat beer (room temp)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ cups unbleached flour
- 2 ¼ tsp yeast (1 pkg)
This is my first time using a bread machine. The instructions were very clear about just dumping everything inside, in the specific order the ingredients are listed, without even stirring. It was strange, and made me uncomfortable because I imagined lifting the lid and discovering a total mess of bubbling yeast soup.
Somehow the bread machine knew what it was doing, and an hour and a half later, I lifted the lid to find a nice dough where the pile of ingredients had been.
We usually don’t use the entire ball of pizza dough from the store, since we prefer a thinner crust. This recipe makes about the same amount, so we twisted off about a quarter for the freezer.
First, we baked the raw pizza dough before adding toppings at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. (a pizza stone in the oven makes a huge difference). By the way, this was without a doubt the EASIEST pizza dough to stretch. Completely hassle-free, took no time at all.
For toppings, we added caramelized onions, pepperoni (nitrate free), leftover mashed purple potatoes, and a great French cow’s milk cheese called Laguiole. Since the potatoes turned blue after boiling, our pizza ended up looking quite patriotic, despite the French cheese.
Finally, it went back into the oven for about 10 minutes.
Austin suggested taking a small bit of the dough and baking it as a dinner roll test. I pinched off a small piece prior to making the pizza, spritzed it with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and baked it at 400 for 23 minutes.
It came out pretty well, except for the top fissure. Appearance aside, it has an unusual yet nice hoppy tanginess from the beer. As with any bread, it’s best warm with melted butter!