A few weeks ago we published a blog featuring five things you can add to your pizza dough to create some interesting new flavor profiles. We had some creative items on our list, but my favorite by far was beer. From the moment I first saw the idea, I knew immediately I’d have to try it. Beer now comes in almost any flavor you can think of, from light pilsners to bold hoppy IPAs and even exotic fruit-infused ales. In fact, there are so many different types of brews it was almost problematic... how was I ever going to decide which one to try first?
Starting on the Malty Side
Malting is an important step in beer brewing; it's process applied to barley (or other grains) to prepare the grains for use in brewing. The grains are soaked in water until they begin to sprout and then dried with hot air. Malted barley provides a good amount of flavor to the beer it’s used in, and typically (but not always) malt-centered beer taste more mild when compared to varieties that use hops malt. Because malt centered beers taste more mild, I figured they would be a great starting point when making my first beer crust.
To be sure my love for beer wasn’t influencing my taste buds, I began by making a regular batch of dough, without any beer added. This way, I could taste and compare the two batches to see what the beer added in terms of flavor. Next, I modified the recipe to accommodate the added liquid content the beer would provide so that the dough wouldn’t turn out too wet. To keep things simple, I decided to modify the recipe printed on our Pizzacraft dough rolling mat. Let’s take a look at the recipe:
Beer Pizza Crust
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet active yeast
- 1/2 C. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 C. warm beer
- 2 ½ tsp. kosher salt
- Add water and yeast to mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Place 3 C. of the flour into the mixing bowl along with beer, then mix 30 seconds on low speed until just combined.
- Add salt and continue mixing on low speed for another minute.
- Increase speed to medium and mix 5-6 minutes until dough begins to separate from the bowl.
- Slowly add in the remaining cup of flour while mixing another 1-2 minutes until a smooth texture is achieved.
Note: You may not need the entire remaining cup of flour. Dough is ready when it feels smooth to the touch after a small sprinkling of flour is applied.
After a thorough taste testing by our Pizzacraft staff, we all agreed the beer pizza crust had significantly more flavor. While the added flavor was subtle, probably due to the specific beer I chose, it was definitely noticeable. The breadsticks we made with the beer dough had a fuller and noticeably more malty flavor that everyone enjoyed. Beer-infused pizza dough is certainly something I’d make again, and something I recommend every pizza fan tries at least once!