Easy Pizza Crust with Beer

27 07 2009

 

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Back in the late 90s, I had a few-years-long love affair with the bread machine. I’d make a loaf every few days. I bought yeast and flour in bulk. Large cube-like loaves of badly-crusted bread just didn’t bother me. But then one day my bread machine broke, and just like that, I stopped making bread. 

I hardly baked at all, in fact, until a couple of years ago when my husband gave me a stand mixer for Christmas. Suddenly baking became so easy! I loved that I could plop the butter and sugar in the stand mixer, then walk away and scrub the bathtub, or have a glass of wine, or maybe call a friend, and then voila, cookie dough! I started baking with a vengeance, but mostly I made desserts. Until, that is, my life changed once again last year when I tried my hand at making no-knead bread. I’ve got lots of recipes for this stuff that I love, and it’s all so flexible. I mean, it can be morphed into pretty much anything – pizza dough, flat bread, loaves, etc. I make it often, and I really love it.

I set out to make a good-sized batch this weekend, partly to be used for pizza dough because we had some friends over for a pizza par-tay. But, dios mio, I discovered I only had enough yeast for a teeny tiny batch! Then I remembered that I’d seen a recipe for pizza dough that used beer instead of yeast, and we happened to have a bunch of random beer in our fridge. Perfect!

This recipe was so easy, and it worked beautifully. I did a little taste test between the crust made from my regular no-knead recipe (European Peasant Bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day) and the beer batch, and flaming Nora, I think the beer dough made a better crust! It rolled out more easily, and the consistency was a little bit better for grilling. Also, it had a fun, yeasty flavor that complimented the pizza well (because pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and chocolate, right?).

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the final product because our guests arrived and it seemed somehow uncouth to go snapping pictures of the food they were about to eat. I just wasn’t sure of the etiquette regarding guests and food photography. 

Beer Pizza Dough (slightly changed from this recipe)

2 cups white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rye flour (or just do 1 cup whole wheat, as the original recipe instructs)

1 Tbs baking powder

12 oz beer (I used Newcastle, because it was the darkest one we had, but I’m sure that doesn’t make a difference)

Mix everything together. The original recipe says you don’t need to let it rise, but I did for about 3 hours, only because I had extra time.  Divide dough into whatever sized balls you want for your crust. The original recipe also says to pat it into pizza pan, but I was able to roll it out and grill it. So basically, I think you can do whatever you want from this point on! Top with whatever goodies you’d like, bake at 400 for 20 minutes (or use grilled pizza procedures). 

This is definitely going to be my go-to pizza crust from now on.

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