Pizza 2Pizza and beer, they’re made for each other.

Of course, home made pizza doesn’t count as “home made” if the dough isn’t made from scratch.  Once the dough is made, a proper recipe isn’t necessarily needed.  A good sauce is important, yes, but a lot of pizza is just improvising with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

This makes it a perfect beer food.  The dough is pretty easy to make, and, if you’re not a great chef, toppings allow for a little bit of improvisation to get the creative juices flowing.

This recipe has been copied and adapted from the Portsea Kitchen article.

Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 5 g (1 3/4 tsp) dried yeast
  • 700 g “00″ flour
  • 15 g (1 1/2 tsp) sea salt
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil

Yeast

 

Dough balls

 

Pizza dough

 

 

 

Method:Combine yeast and 100 mL of lukewarm water (don’t use hot water or you’ll kill the yeast) and a pinch of sugar.  Set aside for 5 minutes and allow it to get foamy.  You will notice little bubbles along the edges.Using an electric mixer (if possible), combine flour, salt and olive oil.  If using an electric mixer, set it on low.Add yeast mixture and another 320 mL of water.  Mix everything together for about five minutes.  Dough will be somewhat sticky to the touch.

Pour everything into a glass bowl and cover with a towel.  At this point, the dough needs to be allowed to prove overnight in the fridge.  It should be about double in size when it’s ready.

Once the dough has risen over night, knead and punch it until it’s soft and smooth.  If should be the consistency of what you think pizza dough should be by now.  Some flower may be needed.

Separate the dough into six balls and place a towel over the top.  Leave the dough to sit on a floured surface for about 20-60 minutes until it doubles in size.

Roll out one of the balls, spread your sauce of choice (we like Bolognese personally) and toppings.

Put this all on a pizza stone, shove it into a preheated over and you’re done!  The heat and duration of the oven will  very much depend on what style of pizza you like and the thickness of the crust.  Give it about 15-20 minutes on medium heat and you should be OK.

 

Bonus Tips

  • When baking, weigh your ingredients if at all possible.  Pizza dough is no exception.
  • Get a good quality dried yeast,  store it in the freezer and check your expiration dates.
  • Use sea salt.
  • This is an important one.  Use “00″ flour.  I won’t bore you with the chemistry lesson but in bread and dough making it is all about the gluten. “OO” flour is the right choice.
  • When you combine flour and yeast in the mixer, keep it on low-speed to give the gluten time to develop and the water a chance to work through.
  • It takes doughs and breads as long as it takes to rise.  It is dependent on a variety of factors.  If I am leaving dough in a draft free place to rise, I try to make it in the morning and leave it along until after lunch.  Or better yet, leave it in the fridge to prove over night.
  • The dough will be sticky.

Beer Pairings

This all depends on what your toppings are.  The great thing about pizza is that it’s versatile, so you can do what you want with it.  A lighter pizza may call for a lighter beer, a hardier pizza may call for a hardier beer.

Cooking Beer: Go with the an easy drinking pale ale with low alcohol, there’s a bit of waiting involved and this is a great beer to sit back on.

Eating Beer: As mentioned, it depends on what’s in the topping.