As you may or may not know, I’m a fan of beer. I’m a really big fan of wine, but I’ve already put that into a pizza crust. I’ve put beer into bread before, too, but I wanted to use it in a pizza crust, as well. Just you wait — next time, I’ll make a bread with wine in it.
(Maybe. I can’t make any promises. It makes me nervous.)
In any case, the reality of this story is that I’ve made quite a few versions of pizza crust before. It’s kind of on par with my obsession with biscuits. I really branch out, I know. But what makes this particular pizza crust stand out — what makes it really, extra special — is the flavor: That classic yeasty beer bread-like flavor, only in pizza dough form. In other words, it’s fantastic.
The recipe for this crust lends itself well to a darker beer, which is kind of confusing, as it’s the opposite case when it comes to beer breads. So bust out the oatmeal stout for this one and drink the Hefeweizen — though I didn’t read the directions thoroughly enough beforehand and used a wheat beer when making my dough. But all was not lost. Though the flavor wasn’t a one-two punch in the face, there was still a hint of that yeasty flavor in the crust.
My favorite part of this pizza crust? It tastes even better the next day. The flavors, given overnight to relax and have a cold one themselves, double in intensity over time. For fans of cold, leftover pizza like myself (and beer, see above), this is fantastic news.
Beer Pizza Crust
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yields: 2 crusts
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour OR 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups semolina OR 2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (what I used)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups room-temperature beer (the stronger the flavor, the better)
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment and mixed until just combined. Replace paddle attachment with dough hook and knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes (or knead by hand on a lightly floured countertop for about 10 minutes). Form dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove risen dough from bowl and punch down. Divide in half and shape each piece into a 10-12 inch round or 8-by-12 inch rectangle. Place rounds or rectangles onto pizza stones or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. For thin crust, bake pizza immediately. For medium to thick crust, let dough rest for about 30 minutes.
Bake crusts without anything on them for about 5 minutes. Add meat and veggie ingredients and bake another 10 minutes. Add half the cheese and any herbs and bake another 3 minutes, then add remaining cheese and bake until cheese is just melted, about 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.