Author Topic: The Beer Dough Experiment  (Read 2644 times)

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Offline brianc

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The Beer Dough Experiment
« on: March 18, 2005, 12:17:26 AM »
I decided to try incorporating beer into my dough as a little experiment.  In order to really see how beer affects the dough, I decided to make it a pretty simple recipe.  Here's what I used:

225 g KA bread flour
5 g Vital wheat gluten
5 g salt
<1 g Yeast (probably about 1/4 t)
70 g Water
75 g Beer (Old Style.  Even though I don't live near Chicago anymore, I'll never stop loving the stuff)

I'm sorry about the metric measurements.  I work in a lab, so I feel most comfortable with grams.  Fortunately, it's pretty easy to convert to oz (divide by 28) for the big stuff.  I'd say 5g of salt is about 2t.  Same with the vital wheat gluten.

After mixing everything together and hand kneading, the dough was dryer than I'm used to.  It wasn't as dry as a thin crust recipe, but since I'm used to making it pretty wet, I wondered how things would turn out.  I decided to stick with the recipe, see how it turned out, and tweak it after I'd baked with it.

I've become a big fan of the two day rise in the refrigerator, so I let it rise for about 44 hours.   In this time, it rose a fair amount, but nothing dramatic.  After bringing it out of the fridge and letting it warm up a bit, I noticed the dough was a little bit sticky in a few places, but pretty dry for the most part.  I didn't have any problems with sticking on my lightly-floured surface.  It was a real pleasure to work with, though.  It didn't stretch out quickly, but it wasn't a tremendous amount of work either.

I placed it on a 14" screen and dressed it with sauce, pepperoni, and 80/20 mozzarella/sharp, and sprinkled on some crushed red pepper and basil.  It was then put into my oven, which was probably at about 510 degrees (it's a cheap apartment unit that only goes up to 500 on the dial, but can be turned a bit more).

After baking for maybe 7-8 minutes, I noticed the cheese and toppings were done, but the dough was still about the same color as before baking.  I gave it another few seconds and decided to pull it out so I didn't burn the toppings.

The taste was pretty good.  There were quite a bit of nicely-sized voids in the crust, and the rim was nice and soft on the inside.  The outside of the crust was pretty crisp all the way around.   Below are two of the photos that turned out somewhat well.

I can't say that I could really place any flavor from the beer.  The crust seemed a bit dryer than I might like, so I think for my second experiment, I'll get rid of the water alltogether, and go with 160 g of beer.

Brian
« Last Edit: March 18, 2005, 12:19:14 AM by brianc »


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 08:04:39 AM »
Hi Brian,

the pizza looks great, the beer you used was it a dark beer ?

Don't worry about using metric measurements, it's the Canadian way, we got slapped with it when I was about 10 years
old, my parents hated it, but now it's a way of life for everyone. However, funny thing, when I'm brewing my beer, I'll measure out my hops in grams, and measure out my beer in liters, but I still use cups and teaspoons for baking, although at pastry school we only used grams, - the most accurate and only way to make a recipe exact twice.  Anyway for pizza I just use cups, etc, and I miss my degrees F in the summer. I just like saying it's hot, look it's 85 degrees ! ... saying it's 33 degrees C just doesn't have the same impact haha  ;D

Pizza pictures are always great, love to see what others make and how they make it .

Mark
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline brianc

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 10:25:32 AM »
the pizza looks great, the beer you used was it a dark beer ?

Thanks!  Old Style is a lager.  It's got a great smooth (still hoppy) flavor that I thought would lend itself nicely to pizza.  In the Chicago area it's dirt cheap, but it's good stuff.  It also works out well with Crepe recipes, although sweeter beers seem to do a bit better.

I know what you're saying about metric temperature.  Since I use metric so much in my life, I've come to like it quite a bit, but I've always thought that Fahrenheit is so much nicer for talking about the weather, especially since there's so much room for change, and winter and summer temperatures can sound so dramatic!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2005, 10:27:31 AM by brianc »

Offline bakerboy

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2005, 10:34:43 AM »
brianc, thats a nice pie.  Even tho i'm a baker, i don't think you can be a baker and not be at LEAST intrigued by brewing beer.  I've never brewed a beer but i have read a couple of books on the subject.  Most recently i've been peeking through The Brewers Companion by Randy Mosher.  My train of thought is:  instead of using beer, why not add some all grain wort as a percentage of the overall hydration of the dough.  Again, i've never tried this but it seems that a liquid made from steeped malted grains might give a dough a special personality.  i'd be interested in your thoughts.
barry 

Offline brianc

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 10:43:03 AM »
My train of thought is:  instead of using beer, why not add some all grain wort as a percentage of the overall hydration of the dough.  Again, i've never tried this but it seems that a liquid made from steeped malted grains might give a dough a special personality.  i'd be interested in your thoughts.

That sounds like it could work out nicely.  Unfortunately, I don't brew (someday!), so I just don't have access.  Perhaps some of the brewers on this site might try that out.  I'd love to hear how it works...

Brian

Offline dinks

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 12:28:09 PM »
BRIAN:
 Good Morning.I read your most interesting experiment with using a 2 day retard. If you do not mind I would like to make mention to you why your crust had a difficult time browning the way you had expected to carmelize.
  You see Brian,that when you retard dough longer than say overnite say 40-48 hours the yeast goes into a dorment state once it reaches say 32 to 34 degrees. As you know the activity slows & more alcohol is then produced. The dough develops more because the friendly bacteria has a chance to feed upon the natural sugars in the flour. Thus more acetic acid is produced.
  Brian, as you know the length of fermentation time is another factor that determines both "FLAVOR & THE COLOR OF BREAD DOUGH".
  If the dough ferments too long, the yeast & the friendly bacteria will consume "ALL" of the sugar in the flour. THEN AS YOU now & experienced KNOW THE DOUGH WILL HAVE A PALE CRUST & A BLAND FLAVOR.(HENCE, YOU NOW KNOW WHY THE CRUST WOULD NOT CARMELIZE).
   Brian, next time consider reducing the instant yeast to .78 of a gram or 1/4 teas. Brian you should also consider the following as well, add about the same amount of sugar or honey if you like & reduce the salt to 1/2 teas. & mix the salt during the last 4 minutes of your mixing time which should not exceed 10 minutes. I hope I was able to offer some insight for your succees.
Have a nice day my friend.
    ~DINKS.

Offline brianc

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 01:03:17 PM »
Dinks,

Thanks for the great reply.  My knowledge of yeast and the fermentation process is very basic, so your insights have really helped me to see what's going on.  I almost always put honey and/or sugar in my doughs, but since I really wanted to see the effect of the beer, I left them out.  The thought did cross my mind that there wouldn't be enough sugars for the yeast/bacteria.  I was also expecting a pale crust, but maybe not as pale as my result (when I get home, I'll try to remember to attach another photo of the rim, which was shockingly pale).

I'm going to take your recommendations into account for my next batch.  The amount of yeast I used (about 1/4 t) was about what you recommended, so I'm going to leave that the same.  I will be adding some honey to the dough and maybe a pinch or two of sugar.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to wart from the brewing process like bakerboy suggested, but I'm going to try a heavier beer.  Unfortunately, the Czech and German beers available here all taste nothing like their true European versions, so I'll have to see what else I can find.

I'll post the recipe from the next test batch later on tonight probably.

Brian

Offline brianc

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Re: The Beer Dough Experiment
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2005, 08:44:10 PM »
So I made a new batch on Friday night.  Here's the updated recipe:

225 g   KA Bread Flour
5 g      Vital Wheat Gluten
10 g    Sugar
5 g      Salt
.75g    Yeast (about 1/2 t)
160 g   Beer

The result was excellent.  The crust browned a bit more and definitely more moist.  It really brought out the flavor of the toppings.  I didn't get a chance to try a heavier beer, and I really didn't notice anything that I would attribute to the beer, but I'm definitely pleased at how it turned out.


 

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