Beer Pizza Crust Dough

When I first set out to invent a Bloody Mary pizza, I wanted to keep it as true to the beloved beverage as possible, and that meant adding a beer chaser. I already used vodka in the pizza sauce, so that left adding beer to the dough. I found such a recipe online and adapted it as follows.

Not only did it meet my beer requirement, but it ended up being a really tasty dough that was incredibly easy to roll and stretch.

Beer Pizza Crust Dough

1 cup (8 oz) beer at room temperature or warmer (under 100 degrees F)
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

Mix yeast and warm beer in a medium bowl until well combined. Add olive oil, sugar and salt and mix well. Add all flour and stir with a dough whisk, if you have one, or with your hands until the dough forms a shaggy ball. Knead dough (see the method in the Step by Step Details section) until smooth and elastic (may take up to 10 minutes).

Place kneaded dough ball in a large bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour, but it can be left for several hours or even overnight).

When doubled in size, punch the dough or slam the bowl to collapse it. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball (see the method in the Step by Step Details section).

On a well-floured surface, roll each ball with a rolling pin or press with the fingers to the desired thickness/diameter.

To use the rolled out dough, either place it on a pizza peel (lightly coated with flour or cornmeal, to prevent sticking), immediately top the pizza with desired sauce, cheese and toppings and slide onto baking sheet or pizza stone.

See the bonus tips at the end the Step by Step Details section below for directions on pre-baking the crust for easier handling or longer-term storage.

Step by Step Details

Warm the can (or bottle) of beer in a bowl of warm water, if needed, but don’t warm it beyond 100 degrees F. Use any beer you like, or maybe even use up one you don’t like so much.

Mix yeast and warm beer in a medium bowl until well combined. It should foam up a bit after a minute or so.

Add olive oil, sugar and salt and mix well. Add all flour and stir with a dough whisk, if you have one.

If you don’t have a dough whisk, I highly recommend ordering one, but go ahead and use your hands for today.

Mix until the dough forms a shaggy ball, and use your hands to incorporate all remaining flour into the dough.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic (may take up to 10 minutes).

To knead the dough, add just enough flour to your hands to keep them from sticking to the dough. On a floured surface, flatten the dough a bit and fold it in half toward you. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you and then rotate the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). Repeat the process until dough is smooth and elastic. 

Place kneaded dough ball in a large bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour, but it can be left for several hours or even overnight).

When doubled in size, slam the bowl on the counter a couple times to collapse the dough.

Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 4 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball by flattening the ball by hand, pulling one side out a little and tucking it under the ball, then rotating the ball a quarter turn (90 degrees). Repeat the pull-and-tuck process until all four “corners” of the dough have been tucked under.

On a well-floured surface, roll out each dough ball with a rolling pin or press with the fingers to the desired thickness/diameter.

BONUS TIP:

To make the pizza making process easier – and to store pizza crusts for later use – I like to pre-bake my pizza crusts just enough to firm them up a bit. Do this in an oven (anywhere from 375 to 425 F) or on a hot grill.

Note: If using a grill, do not use direct heat under the crust, as it can easily scorch very quickly. Heat the grill using the outside burners and place the rolled-out dough on the grill over the unheated middle burners.

The crusts will form bubbles as they cook, but just jab the bubbles with a fork or knife and they will collapse.

When the crust is a little firmer and the bottom is lightly browned, remove and allow it to cool.

When you top the pizza, the sauce and toppings will go on this smoother, browned side: the “uncooked” side will cook when you bake the pizza.

Store pre-cooked crusts wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer until ready to use.


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