Cooking with beer is after me; I might as well give in.
First off, the main craft beer brand I’m currently supporting at work is putting a strong emphasis on food & beer pairing, so I just orchestrated an event with a former Top Chef contestant where our chefs created and sampled recipes-infused with our beer – you can check out the photos here. I’ve also been playing around with baking with beer and spent grains for my role as “pairing specialist” for Mike’s brewery, Sonnenbrau (recipes to follow, still working on perfecting them!). I guess it is time to put beer in my own food as well.
One of the recipes that was discussed and demoed for the crowd was a pizza crust featuring our flagship Hefeweizen beer.
Now I’m a huge fan of making my own pizza. In fact we hardly ever order from the many options in our Italian neighborhood, so this was right up my alley. Previously, my typical crust of choice for making my favorite pizzas is the whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s, but this may just be my go-to moving forward.
Why? It’s easy, quick and only uses a portion of a bottle of beer, so there are leftovers to wash down the meal! The yeast in the beer also makes the dough extra fluffy, yet crispy at the bottom which my TJ’s crust always seems to lack.
Pyramid Hefeweizen Pizza Crust
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- ½ cup Pyramid Hefeweizen
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (recommended: RapidRise)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour (I used regular white flour and it turned out fine)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl
Preheat oven at 450 degrees F.
Place Pyramid Hefeweizen with water and honey in a sauce pan on low heat. Heat slowly (it should be warm on your wrist, but not hot – that will kill the yeast). Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and allow it to activate, about 10 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add Hefeweizen liquid mixture a little at a time and work into dry ingredients with your hands. Finally add the olive oil and knead dough until smooth.
Place the dough in a bowl with a little olive oil and turn to coat the dough all sides.
Cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size, then punch it down. Divide it in half; each half will make 1 (12-inch) pizza.
Since the dough recipe makes two 12-inch pizzas, I ended up using half the dough to make one pizza and the rest to make pizza twists that I baked ranch dressing into to.
I think this proves you can drink your beer and eat it too.