Beer and Pizza
The basic flavor profile of most carbonated, fermented malt beverages includes a sweet component, a contrasting component and the tang from the CO2.
The basic flavor profile of the traditional Neapolitan Pizza includes the bready flavor of the crust, the sweet tang of the tomato sauce, the lactic sharp flavor of the cheese and the herbal accents of the Basil.
Basically, beer and pizza were made for each other. This is how to make the pizza part of this winning combination.
Two packets of bread yeast
1.5 cups warm water (70F+/-)
1.5 cups warm beer (70F+/-)
500 gr all-purpose flour (weigh it)
2TBSP olive oil
1/16 tsp. salt (because who knows what a “pinch” is?)
In a measuring cup able to hold four cups of liquid, pour the beer and water. Open the packets of yeast and, stirring with a fork (a spoon is inefficient for this operation), pour each packet of yeast into the water/beer mix. I also pour in a teaspoon of sugar to give the yeast something to enjoy.
Let this sit and begin fermenting for twice as long as it takes you to read the rest of this posting.
Take a bowl large enough to hold around three cups of stuff and put it on your weighing device (I use an electric scale and set it to “0” with the bowl on it.) and record the weight. Then add enough flour to register 500 gr. (17.5 oz.). I suggest measuring this way because the traditional measuring by “cup full” is about as trustworthy as derivatives trading.
After you have 500 gr. Flour in your bowl, take it off the measuring devise and take it to where you want to make the dough. Make a shallow depression in the flour and pour the beer/water/yeast into the middle of the depression. Actually this is far from depressing.
Now pour the olive oil in the bowl and using that fork you used to mix the yeast up, stir the mixture in the bowl until it forms a slightly sticky ball of stuff. If it is too dry to do that add some of the beer from the bottle of beer you opened to make the yeast happy. If you drank that one open another. Should your additional beer make the mass too damp just add a little more flour until it turns into that slightly sticky ball you wanted in the first place. Now wash your hands.
After washing your hands and taking a swig from the newly opened bottle of beer, pour a small amount of olive oil in one of your clean hands and use it to oil up both hands. Now lift the dough from the bowl and place it on a surface where you are going to “kneed” it… place the dough on a surface and sprinkle a teaspoon of flour over the top surface. Now flip the dough over and do the same to what was the bottom of the dough. Once that is done flatten the dough enough so that you can fold it over on itself. Do this process until you can feel the dough becoming elastic. Let it sit there while you wash your hands again, as well as the bowl.
Next, pour a teaspoon of olive oil into the bowl and place the dough in oiled bowl. Then flip the dough over so that the oiled side is face up and the entire dough is covered with a sheen of oil. Next cover the bowl with a cloth napkin or towel and place in a warm place where the temperature is no less that 70-80F and let it “rise” for a couple of hours.
Once it has “risen” (almost doubled in size) use your fist to punch it down and remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a surface where you can turn it into a thin, round (or rectangular if your pan is not round) shape and follow the instructions that accompany the following pictures…
1 bunch (That’s how they sell it) Basil (Fresh)
1 piece Mozzarella (That’s how they sell it) diced or sliced or shredded
1 can (you decide) tomato sauce (un-flavored)
1) Have everything where you can reach it with ease.
2) Press the dough out into a flat round shape. It is quite elastic so have fun.
3) Use a tablespoon and smear don’t ladle some tomato sauce on the surface of the dough.
4) Scatter the cheese over the sauce… I used a lot of cheese.
5) Strew the Basel over the cheese and sauce.
6) Bake in a 450F oven until it looks more or less like this…
7) While waiting for it to cool… open another beer and enjoy it while you snack on the left-over pieces of cheese. When the pizza is cool enough to eat, open another beer and enjoy a flavor combination that is almost overwhelming.