Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beer Pizza Crust

Pizza may be my favorite food in the whole wide world. It's also the great equalizer when one's considering what to feed a mixed crowd of vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It's rare that anyone is ever disappointed in a pizza no matter what's on top, so serving it to a crowd is usually a no-brainer. 

Sometimes I like to par-cook my homemade pizza crust. It allows me less time in the kitchen when friends and family are over, and it assures a good product. All you do is throw the dough, slide it undressed onto the stone, and cook it for just a few minutes. When it's time to eat, top your par-cooked crusts with sauce and cheese and slide 'em into the oven to crisp up.

Beer Pizza Crust
(makes two 12-inch pizzas)

1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
9–12 ounces of your favorite beer

Pour beer into a microwave-safe glass and heat for 1 minute. Place flour, salt, and honey into a stand mixer, turn it on low, and add the yeast. Slowly add the beer until all the dry flour has been incorporated. You will need between eight and ten ounces of beer. (You will have beer left over.) Mix for 5 minutes 'til dough looks smooth.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece into a ball; place each in its own airtight container with plenty of space for the dough to rise. Set containers out on the countertop. Leave the dough alone for 1 hour. In the meantime, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500° degrees. 

Turn the dough ball out on to a lightly floured pizza peel. Begin to dimple the dough using three fingers. The middle of the dough should look like the surface of a golf ball. Leave a half-inch on the outside undisturbed—this will become the crust. Turn dough over and repeat the process. Pick up the dough and let it stretch over your fists until it is about 12 inches in diameter, or toss it in the air like a pro—your call. Make sure your have enough flour on the peel so that the pizza can slide around and into the oven. You may alternately use a piece of parchment paper instead of flour, which is easier for a beginner. Place raw crust on a sheet of parchment. Spread about 1⁄3 cup of tomato sauce over the crust, and then top with ½ – 1½ cups of cheese. Add  any other topping that you like at this point. Using the pizza peel, slide the raw pizza onto the hot stone and let it cook for about 7 minutes. Remove the pizza once the top starts bubbling and it begins to brown around the edges. The best part: cut and serve.


  1. I love this dough. Made it already a few times for my friends with a mixture of spelt and regular flour and Belgian Leffe blonde beer. We really like the nutty flavor of the dough.

  2. I want to do this. I've been meaning to for a long time.

  3. I can't believe I made pizza from scratch and it was much, much easier than I thought it would be. It turned out great. As for notes...

    The recipe is for three pizzas, not two. There is an asterisk on the ingredient list after the yeast, but no note to go with it? What are the three rubber bands for? I used 8 oz of beer (might be good to know how much of it you can drink before you microwave it). I wasn't sure if I should continue the dough mixing on low. I moved it up a speed after the beer was incorporated because my mixer seemed to be struggling.

    For the first crust, I wasn't sure how much to dimple it out, but by the third, I had a better feel for it. I ended up having a hole in the first because I didn't evenly stretch it. But, I think that's one of those things that takes practice and is probably impossible to teach somebody on paper. I was also wondering how to do this if you don't have a pizza stone?

    Thanks for the great recipe. We all had fun making pizza last night!

  4. Good catch. all that was a result of multiple edits.

  5. My notes on the pizza dough: I even further simplified the recipe. I do not microwave the beer, I just add it to the flour. Note to Bianca, then you can still drink the leftover beer :-) I do not have a stand mixer so I knead everything by hand untill it's a smooth dough. Then I cover the dough with a clean towel (as my grandmother thaught me for bread) and let it rise untill it has doubled in size (or as long as it needs to get my oven hot). I then knead the dough again and divide it into parts. I saw the video on how to throw the crust, but I usually just roll it out. I then top it with home-made tomato sauce, cheese and whatever we feel like at the moment. I think we can make 3 normal of 4-5 smaller pizzas out of the dough.
    As for the baking times, we have only tried this recipe in our wood-fired oven, which we heat up to over 300°C /600 F and keep the fire inside, so it only takes a couple of minutes to bake the pizzas. When the cheese is bubbly on top and the dough has inflated slightly, we consider the pizzas done.

    I am now going to try the beer bread and I'm sure it will be as good as the pizzas.