Today was Superbowl Sunday. It was sunny and warm outside, low fifties for most of the day. The perfect day for outdoor home brewing and charcoal grilling according to Chris. Food-wise we set up a beer pizza crust bar and Chris charcoal grilled a bunch of chicken wings. He also brewed an IPA, after we bottled the Belgian tripel he made a couple of weekends ago. In other words, for our family things were great on the craft beering front.
The weather here in Colorado has been in complete defiance of what the ground hog indicated a few days ago. Instead of snow flurries and freezing temperatures we enjoyed warmth and sunshine every single day. Birds are singing their sweet little hearts away and the wild geese that stay in our town every winter are all over the place. Every larger grassy area and the clear blue skies are dotted with them. When they cross the road (single file, I am not kidding) people literally stop their vehicles and let them take their time.
Back to the Superbowl Sunday food. We decided to set up a simple bar consisting of individual pizza crusts and a variety of toppings. That way everyone could assemble their own little pizzas (one little boy was very excited to make his), put them under the broiler for a few minutes and snack on them throughout the day.
Since Chris was going to grill chicken wings anyway we decided to cook the beer pizza crusts on the grill as well. They really looked like misshapen flat-breads, but we used Chris’ beer pizza crust recipe to make them, so I am sticking to the choice of wording for this post.
The recipe is about as easy as it gets and the flavor of the crust is really good. Chris insists that this is because we use his favorite double zero flour. That and the fact that the beer is warmed up to about 100℉ before being added to the other ingredients. We used a Kolsch style ale, Fate Brewing Co. Laimas Kolsch.
From my perspective, the best part of making these crusts is that outside of a few short minutes of kneading and rolling out the dough, most of the work is done by the stand-up mixer and there is no waiting for the dough to rise. The key to this time saving benefit is using pizza crust yeast (sold at your local grocery store, I am pretty sure).
Usually, when Chris makes us pizzas, he parbakes the crust in the oven and then we either make pizzas right away or we store the crust in the freezer (at the ready for later in the week).
With today’s beer pizza crust dough recipe, you have several options in terms of how you handle things. If you want, you can bake your pizza right away, as soon as you roll out the dough and add your sauce and toppings.
Alternatively, you can parbake the crusts, then cool them off and use them later. If you have any left, freeze them for later use. Or, as we did, ‘pargrill’ the crusts (not a real word, but simply means parbake on your grill with lid closed to maintain the temperature). You can then stack up the grilled pizza crusts and construct a pizza bar. Totally a hit when you have people over.
Here is what our mini pizza bar looked like today.
It included the grilled beer pizza crust stack, olive oil and red sauce, lots of basil, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, goat cheese, blue cheese, arugula, red onions, tiny heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto, salami and anchovies.
With these we were able to create a variety of different pizzas. Very casual way to enjoy the hours before the game and the beautiful weather. Let’s not forget how well pizza and craft beer pair up.
This one below was Chris’ favorite – salami, blue cheese and fresh arugula once out of the oven…
… while I absolutely loved this lemon flavored olive oil, red onion, anchovies, Parmesan and fresh basil combo.
Then more pizzas were made.
Clean up didn’t take that long considering that occasionally I had to take the pizzas to the makeshift ‘shooting’ station I had set up to photograph them. (Bear with me, one of these days I will master this food photography art and maybe even purchase a better lens!)
In the next post, we will share the IPA sauce recipe Chris used to coat the grilled chicken wings we ate during the game.
Recipe for Beer Pizza Crust
- 4 cups flour plus more for dusting (use 00 flour for best results)
- 2 packets pizza crust yeast (must use this type of yeast to make no rise dough)
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 12 oz beer (choose a balanced beer with malty, bready flavor such as Pilsner or Kolsch
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer equipped with the dough hook add 3 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast and the salt.
- Warm up the beer to 100℉.
- Add the beer and mix until all ingredients blend well together.
- Continue mixing and one tbsp at a time begin adding the remaining flour until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl and forms a nice compact ball.
- Prepare a clean floured surface and place the dough on top. Dough should be slightly sticky.
- Knead for about 3 minutes, adding flour as needed.
- Cut into 8 equally sized portions and form them into balls.
- Use rolling pin to form mini pizza crusts.
- At this point you can go ahead and add your toppings and cook your pizzas in a 425℉ oven.
- Alternatively, you can parbake the crusts in a 425℉ oven or grill them making sure that the lid of the grill is closed and the temperature is high enough. Cook each side just until dough sets and begins to turn tan. This may take less than a minute per side. Take out/remove from grill to cool off.
- (Any unused parbaked crusts can be frozen for later use. Use within 2 weeks.)
- Add desired toppings to crusts and broil for about 5-7 minutes making sure broiler is at least 4 inches above the surface of the pizzas. Broiling time depends on how strong your oven's broiler is.
Gotta love anchovies on beer pizza crust paired with a crisp cold Kolsch style lager!