“Acorns were good until bread was found”
“Bread was good, until bread made with beer was found”
-Nickel City Brewing
Beer and bread have always been related. In many ways, they are similar substances. Both take grains and yeast, and use fermentation to create a filling foodstuff. It is only fitting then that we close the circle, and make our dough using beer instead of water. Let’s take a look at making pizza, the Nickel City Brewing way.
When you substitute water for beer, you add a richness of flavor to the dough. The kind of beer you use will make a difference in taste that’s subtle, yet worthwhile. As a rule of thumb, the darker the beer, the more taste is imparted. For our pizza dough, let’s use our Hailstorm Ale, our main session beer. It has cascade hops and a rich flavor from the chocolate malt. It’s a light and drinkable beer with a medium brown color….just perfect for pizza.
Now, pour yourself a pint of beer. It’s about two cups worth, so you’ll have some left over.
The key to any dough is to give the yeast a chance to grow and replicate. This is the magic process which makes bread rise, and beer ferment. Yeast, however, needs a proper environment. Pour a cup of beer into a measuring cup. It’s too cold right now, so let it get to room temperature. Enjoy the rest of the beer. Let’s get the rest of the ingredients together and then pour yourself another one. You deserve it. Here’s what we’re going to need.
2 tablespoons butter
2 ½ cups of bread flour (King Arthur brand if you have it!)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tea spoon Italian seasonings
When the beer gets to room temperature, toss in 2 ½ teaspoons of yeast. Cover it up, and let it sit for a half hour. This gives the yeast a chance to work it’s magic and replicate. Half hour? That’s a chance to pour yourself another beer.
Now combine the ingredients, pour in the beer and yeast, and beat until the dough becomes stiff. If you have a bread machine, let that do all the work. No matter how you do it, you’ve made your dough. Let the dough sit for about an hour. It’ll double in volume, thanks to the yeast going gangbusters.
Is it a good time for another beer? Why not!
Preheat the oven to 350 or so. If you have a pizza stone, and why wouldn’t you? let it heat up.
Once the dough is ready, drag her out upon a surface sprinkled with flour. Roll is out into desired pizza shape. The stickier the dough is, the more flour you’re going to want to use. Toss the dough. Play with it. Make your pizza.
Notice the smell? You can smell the beer inside. Give it a taste. It’s going to be delicious.
Fill with toppings.
Cook until the crust turns a golden color.
Now pour yourself yet another beer, and enjoy it with a great pizza.