The news is scary right now. With states opening up early in the pandemic and possible shortages on fresh meat, it was the perfect time to make pizza. I am not going to start the debate of what goes on a pizza, but I will say you do not need commercial yeast to make pizza. Sure, sourdough pizza is a thing, and so is pizza with commercial yeast. But beer is nothing more than liquid gold when it comes to pizza making. A good beer is full of yeast and flavor. Which makes an otherwise boring crust, exciting and full of possibilities.
The first time I made Pizza using Beer Crust I used a beer called Clown Shoes. We enjoyed the pizza, but we couldn’t help but think the Mango in the beer added a weird hint that made it just off. We liked the beer, but the pizza crust tasted funny (cause clowns). I’m surprised that it has taken me this long into quarantine to remember that I can make pizza!
You can use any beer you have for this. This might be the perfect use of that weird IPA in the back of your fridge. I admit, I’m not a fan of drinking IPA but I am a fan of using them in cooking. The best beer to use is the beer you have in your fridge. Today I’m using a dark beer. The trouble with dark beer is keeping an eye on the cooking shade of the crust. It is easy to think that it both under cooked and overcooked at the same time.
If you are using a Kitchen Aid Mixer, use the dough hook and let it knead for about 8 minutes. Dough should pull from the sides of the bowl. If you’re making this by hand, knead it until the dough is soft and stretchy, maybe around 8 minutes.
This recipe yields two 15-inch pizzas. If you want a thinner crust, divide dough into 3 parts. So after the dough comes together you have the option of dividing the dough and saving one for later, which is what I did. For freezing- spray a container or plastic bag with baking spray, drop in the dough and put directly in the freezer. Do not allow to rise before putting the dough in the freezer. Leave on the counter to thaw, dump in an oiled bowl covered in cling wrap in a warm place. It will rise a little when thawing.
Let dough rest in an oiled bowl with cling wrap for 2 hours in a warm place. Dough will rise which allows for easier shaping. To shape, sprinkle cornmeal on your work surface then using your hands to press the dough out into desired shape. If the dough is warm, this dough is really easy to shape and does not need a rolling pin. If the dough is cold, you might need a rolling pin. Be sure not to pop any of those little air bubbles.
A hot pizza stone will help create that crispy bottom that New York Pizza is known for. You can also use cast iron to create this effect. The key to this is to really let it get really hot by placing it in a cold oven and then turning the oven up as hot as it goes. Use a pizza peel to move pizza onto and off of pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza peel, shape the dough on parchment paper and use the back of a cookie sheet to slide your pizza onto the pizza stone.
Beer Crust Pizza
- Kitchen Aid
- 4 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 bottle of beer 16 oz
- 1.25 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Course cornmeal or semolina for dusting
- In a bowl of a kitchen aid (or large bowl) add all dry ingredients and whisk together. Then add the beer and mix to combine.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands/side of the bowl.
- If freezing, divide into two balls (3 for thinner crust) and transfer portioned ball(s) into an oiled container. Allow the dough to be used today to rest for 2 hours in an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 500 F with a baking stone. Leave in a minimum of 30 minutes BEFORE starting to shape your pizza.
- Shape pizza when oven and pizza stone are hot, using a dusting of cornmeal or semolina to prevent sticking. Add desired toppings.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked and bubbly.
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