Sounds kind of strange right? I can’t picture an Italian nonna pouring beer into her flour… but then again, why not? I’m always searching for ways to get more flavor out of a dough, so it doesn’t get left in little scrapes on plates at the end of the meal. Dough should be relished – savored even – and looked forward to once you’ve eaten your way toward whatever deliciousness stood in its path. While you won’t pick up on any overt beer flavors in the crust, what the beer imparts is that yeasty, depth of flavor that usually takes an overnight rise to achieve. Don’t use a beer that’s too flavorful, a lager works well. You want it to be light-bodied, and room temperature, as a cold beer will keep the yeast from activating.
Beer-Based Pizza Dough
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons or 10 grams, dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can light beer at room temperature think lager or pale ale
- In a large bowl, mix about ¼ of the can of beer with the yeast and sugar. Whisk until the yeast is dissolved and let it sit a few minutes. Its okay if it doesn’t get foamy. Pour in the rest of the beer, the oil, and stir. Begin adding your flour, one cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stop when the dough gets hard to mix with the spoon and is just slightly sticky.
- Turn out onto a wood board and knead about 4-5 minutes until smooth. Add more flour if if it sticking. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise 1 ½ hours.
- Take the dough from the bowl and place it back on your board. Divide into three equal parts, knead each one a few times, then shape into a ball. Oil a baking sheet, and turn to coat the tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes. At this point you could also refrigerate the dough for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before shaping the pizzas.
- Working with one piece at a time, place the dough on a floured board and using your fingertips, press out into a circle. Pick it up and with your hands made into fists, drape it over them and gently stretch out from the center. Place back on the board and coax it into a circle, stretching it out with your hands from the center to the outsides.
- Top as desired and bake. (See my pizza recipes).