There’s no denying that we live in a world where fast food keeps us going as we navigate the challenging pathways of the rat race. Some may have time to cook and relax, while others don’t.
And that’s where fast food like pizza comes in.
You may be a pizza enthusiast for convenience, taste, or because you need a break from the kitchen after a long day or week of work.
Let’s talk beer and pizza. Beer and pizza go together like a match made in heaven, but what if you’re not looking to drink the beer but still want to enjoy the flavor when you’re eating your favorite pizza?
You make beer pizza dough! Simple enough to make, beer pizza dough uses beer in place of yeast. The yeast content in the beer helps the dough rise and contributes to a delectable flavor.
And most pizzerias agree that beer in the pizza dough makes the crust a little lighter in texture, which makes for a better nibbling experience when eating your favorite pizza.
One thing is for certain, beer is an excellent stand-in for yeast when you want to make pizza dough but have no yeast on hand. This is true for Roberta’s Pizza Dough recipe as well.
If you’re worried about the implications of a chewy crust filled with beer for the kids, don’t be. It’s entirely family-friendly as the alcohol cooks out during baking.
If you use a lighter flavored beer, you may not notice the taste (this is for those who use beer purely for the yeast content and not for flavor).
If you’re making homemade pizza, you can easily make your own pizza dough using flour, water, baking powder, beer, and a little bit of olive oil in a large bowl.
It’s quick and easy to do, and you can even make a little extra for freezing so that you can use it at a later stage.
Some popular beers used in making pizza dough include pale ale, larger, and wheat beer, as they have a mild flavor. For pizza lovers who prefer a stronger taste, opt for a super hoppy IPA.
Beer Pizza Dough Ingredients
You don’t need much to whip up a good beer pizza dough. The ingredients for beer pizza are simple and very easy to acquire – there’s no hard work required.
You will also find that the recipe is very similar to a traditional pizza dough recipe.
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons of bread flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
- 2 teaspoons (tsp) of salt
- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of baking powder
- 12 oz. room temperature beer of your choice (your favorite beer will do)
- A glug of olive oil for greasing the bowl
Beer Pizza Dough Method
You can make this beer pizza dough in as little as 30 minutes and come out with a soft, airy crust. It works well for both thick crust pizza and thin crust pizza.
There are sufficient ingredients to make two balls, which is just enough for two 12-inch pizzas.
There’s no easier way to make pizza dough balls than to follow our quick and easy pizza dough-making steps.
And here they are:
1. Combine the Main Ingredients
Using a large bowl or medium bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, and flour with a wooden spoon. Pour in the beer slowly while mixing, and keep going until it forms a sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Don’t keep the beer in the fridge before making the dough. It should be at room temperature if you want the best possible results from your dough.
Also, don’t overmix things, as this could put the light texture of the final result at risk.
2. Knead the Dough
Remember that your dough is going to be sticky, so take precautions to prepare a surface so that it doesn’t have sticky flour residue all over it in the end.
Using a flour-covered work surface or a surface covered with parchment paper (cookie sheet), scoop out the dough onto it and knead it.
Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should no longer stick to your hands at this point. You can sprinkle more flour on the counter as required.
Kneading the dough smooths it out and also prepares it for rising.
3. Shape Two Dough Balls
Separate the dough into two balls of equal size and use your hands to form each into a ball shape. This is if you want to make two pizzas. If you wish to make mini pizzas, you can separate the dough into more balls.
4. Let Dough Rest Before the Magic Happens
Your dough needs to rest before you use it. This is when the dough will rise.
Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap – if you don’t have plastic wrap, you can cover each ball with a bowl.
Leave the beer dough to rest for at least 15 minutes. You can leave it to rest for longer (roughly 2 hours).
5. Roll Out the Dough
After the dough has rested, stretch or roll the dough balls to create thin bases, and then transfer them to a well-oiled baking tray or baking sheet.
You can also use a baking peel or pizza stone if you don’t have a sheet. The thinner your rolled-out dough, the thinner and crispier you can expect the crust to be.
Keep in mind that your pizza will need to support the weight of the toppings you add to the pizza.
6. Add the Toppings & Bak
Top your bread with the toppings and pizza sauce of your choice. Make sure you only go to the edge of the dough, as some of the sauce may spill over during cooking.
Some popular toppings include tomato sauce/paste, mushrooms, peppers, and various types of cheeses.
You could whip up mushrooms or creamy sauce to dollop all over your pizza. Now, simply bake them.
7. Choose the Right Baking Temperature
Baking sheets require the oven to be heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with 12 minutes of baking time.
Pizza stones must be placed in the bottom portion of the oven and baked at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 7 minutes.
The only thing that’s left to do is serve it nice and hot with any sides of your choice and thoroughly enjoy it!
A Little Bit of Homemade Pizza Dough Extras
For a bit of extra interest, you can add a mix of dried herbs and cheese to the dough. Some people add a bit of sugar for a little added sweetness.
You should also take your own oven into account when baking.
If your oven has a few quirks, adjust the temperature and cooking time accordingly.
For instance, baking a pizza at a lower heat for longer can save you from burning it and ensure that it cooks through correctly without overcooking the base.
If you don’t want to use both balls of dough, leave the leftover dough in the fridge for a few days – not more than a week.
If you wish to store the dough for longer, simply wrap it well and pop it in the freezer.
What Effect Does Beer Have on Pizza Dough?
Beer has been enhancing pizza dough for many years, it seems. A number of years ago, there was an industry consultant who worked as the director of bakery assistance for the American Institute of Baking called Top “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann.
In his time in that position, he carried out several tests to see the effect of beer on pizza dough.
In online interviews and articles, you will find that Lehmann fondly remembered when pizzerias were buying up the brewing barrel dregs from microbreweries to add to their dough.
According to Lehmann, the main effect pizzerias were after was the taste.
A more malty flavor is the outcome. But that’s not the only reason pizzerias want to add beer to their dough.
You don’t need to use yeast when you add beer to pizza dough. Beer contains yeast, so while the beer adds flavor to the pizza crust, it also provides the yeast required for the dough to rise.
The effect of beer on pizza dough is the same whether you’re using white flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, or otherwise.
Tips For Making Beer Pizza Dough
While following the instructions in our fun recipe for beer dough will undoubtedly result in a delicious batch of pizza dough, there are a few things that can help make your beer pizza dough even better:
- Opt for fresh herbs on the base of the pizza. Fresh basil and similar herbs have a way of bringing out the flavor of the beer even more.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place that is free from drafts. If the room is cold and crafty, the pizza dough may not rise sufficiently, if at all.
- Ensure your beer is at room temperature when adding it to the flour. If you’re grabbing a beer from the fridge, leave it out for about 3 to 4 hours. Why? Because if you use cold beer, the dough will not rise.
- When you measure the beer, it may form a foamy head. Don’t count this part of your measurement. Remove the foam or let it evaporate before you measure the required beer.
- The dough must be left to sit/rest before you try to shape it into dough balls. If it doesn’t, your pizza dough will not have a desirable texture once baked.
Should I Still Use Water in My Pizza Dough Recipe When Using Beer?
No, there’s no need to use water. Instead of the water, simply add beer.
How Do I Know If My Beer Pizza Dough Has Gone Bad?
The good-quality dough will be smooth and somewhat soft yet stretchy.
If the dough has been stored for too long or is bad, it may have a sour smell and a diminished texture.
It may look and feel like fry to the touch and look greyish in appearance.
Making beer dough for pizza is easier than you think and provides a certain amount of convenience.
Without active dry yeast on hand, you can still create a pizza dough that is worthy of any pizza pan (and hungry mouth and tummy, too!). If you’re ready to try making homemade pizza, the recipe above is fun, easy, and fail-proof.
Simply follow the instructions and prepare yourself for a delectable pizza base. In fact, you should probably make a double batch so you’re ready when you get those “more, please!” demands.
For the love of pizza – just give it a try! If you’re ready to start making your own delicious pizza dough, we recommend that you check out Cooked Pizza In 15-20 Minutes At 350.