Author Topic: Using beer in your pizza dough  (Read 138057 times)

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Offline TomN

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Using beer in your pizza dough
« on: January 24, 2012, 08:04:07 PM »
I visited a Pizzeria today (01/24/2012) that is using Pendleton Mondako Flour Pre-Mix. However, instead of using water, they are using beer. I did not get to try the pizza (as I did not have enough time) but it caught my attention and made me want to try it. I asked the owner about this and he said that you have to use a lighter color beer (just not a dark beer). Beer makes the dough lighter in texture (so I am told). Also, they change the beer each month to create interest and variety for their customers. They have used:  Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA, a Hefeweizen beer, etc.

I was curious if anyone has tried this and are there any DO's or DON'Ts that you recommend in this type of dough making process? Finally, is this for real or is this just a marketing novelty? THANK YOU as always.

TomN
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 11:40:17 AM by TomN »


buceriasdon

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 08:17:56 PM »
Check out :    http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14086.0.html
Beer lends a different flavor profile to a baked crust, quite pleasant.
Don

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 08:58:08 PM »
buceriasdon (Don),

Thanks for the link. I noticed a few dark beers were used and one Hefeweizen. I was curious what beer you used? Also, I would like to know what beer other people have used.

Also, any other links with more cooking instructions and details you (or anyone) can recommend would be appreciated. Thank again

TomN

buceriasdon

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 07:33:13 AM »
Tom, I used Nergra Modelo, what some refer to as a Vienna style lager. My later experiments included some lighter Mexican beers and in my own humble opinion prefered the darker beer. I just weigh out the required amount and allow it to come to room temp or a quick zap in the microwave. In any case I find the taste to be quite subtle but perceptable when compared to using water. Nothing earth moving. Yes, I think changing beer brands month to month is a bit of marketing strategy. Try it and see what you think, that's the best answer I can give you.
Don

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 09:17:47 AM »
I use beer all the time in the dough. It is my go to liquid for dough making. Unlike Don, I prefer the lighter beers, I like the ipa's the most. In my experience I feel like they make a slightly stretchier end crust, which I like. Dark beers have made a denser, tougher end product. To me, the best thing about using beer in the crust is olafactory, in nature. When baking, it smells awesome, makes your house smell awesome, and you taste is dramatically affected by your sense of smell. I've been to commercial pizza places that use beer, but it never is as good as at home, and I think it is because of the smell of the baking process.

Those are my thoughts, good luck, have fun experimenting!

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 11:22:42 AM »
Thank you Cosgrojo for the reply and good comments. The owner of the Pizzeria was very emphatic about NOT using a dark beer. Only lighter colored beers. (Although he has used a pretty thick Hefeweizen at times) I will give the beer instead of water a try. I can't wait to smell the pizza cooking. Part of the fun on any meal. Thanks again.

TomN

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 01:21:26 PM »
Also, any other links with more cooking instructions and details you (or anyone) can recommend would be appreciated. Thank again

Tom,

Over the years, there have been quite a few posts on the use of beer, including some referencing Tom Lehmann posts. If you do an Advanced forum search and/or a Google forum search, you should get quite a few hits. You might also do an archive search on the subject at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewforum.php?f=6. If you use the name Lehmann in the search box, along with beer, you should be able to find Tom's posts on the subject.

Peter

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 03:23:13 PM »
Tom- pizza making is an extremely personal experience. Everybody loves pizza, but nobody loves pizza the way you love pizza. We all strive for something different. Some, like me, have no idea what they are searching for, just love the search. Try everything you can think of, and everything that other people do as well. You never know when the light bulb is going to flash on, and you discover something you weren't even looking for.

I think even my bad pizzas are good pizzas, because I had fun making the bad pizza.  Try the dark beer as well, maybe you like it more. Give it a shot, never stop trying new things. I rarely make the same dough twice unless I'm making it for visitors, then I go to a tried and true method.

Good luck.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 03:35:12 PM »
Everybody loves pizza

You obviously have not met my wife...
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage


Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 09:05:45 PM »
LOL

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 05:50:01 AM »
Craig... Let's not jump to conclusions now... ;)

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 04:08:50 PM »
Tom, I use beer quite a bit in my experimentation. My ongoing recipe thread can be found here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13389.0.html

IMO, there are two approaches:
1) You either get rid of some alcohol content so the yeast don't die in the dough, OR
2) You overshoot the amount of yeast, proofing it ahead of time so it can grow in a high alcohol environment.

It's easier to substitute "some" of the liquid with beer, because the final dough is not as toxic to the yeast. It's much more difficult to substitute 100% of the liquid and still get good yeast activity.

There is also a spray-dried beer powder on the market under the name of "beer buds". This can be added directly to the dough or your sauce and does not contain any liquid.

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2012, 03:30:55 AM »
DNA Dan,

Thank you for the reply. The way the restaurant owner talked, it was all Beer instead of water and to use a lighter colored beer. However, there was never any mention that it could affect the yeast in the dough rising process. Again. i appreciate your reply, as i never considered what Beer could do to yeast.  Finally, when it is all said and done, do you really think there is that much of a flavor improvement with the beer????

TomN

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 01:59:41 AM »
Quote
You either get rid of some alcohol content so the yeast don't die in the dough

Although not credentialed in yeast specifically, I do have extensive experience and knowledge in beer yeast, of which, bakers yeast is a great great grandchild.  Yes, beer was first.  I would estimate that the alcohol tolerance of baker's yeast is about 12% alcohol, most beer is around 4 to 6 percent (most, but not all, by any means).  So using a standard strength beer as the total liquid is definitely feasible.  I haven't tried using beer in pizza (my wife has in bread) and it sounds like an interesting idea.  One thing to watch out for, in any culinary use of beer, is bittering hops.  Stay away from any beer style known for its bitter, like pale ale or American styles of ales.  The hop used to bitter the beer will not be reduced by cooking and if the beer is concentrated, as in a sauce reduction, it will overpower.

Personally, I would start with something like a commercial German or American lager in the 4 to 6 percent alcohol range, stay away from Malt Liquor (high alcohol but low hop) or Sam Adams lagers (average alcohol but high hop). As to the color of the beer, if you don't mind it coloring the dough, it should be fine for a black lager style.  Many black lagers are not strongly flavored and a brewer can easily color a beer black without a heavy influence on flavor.  Draft style stouts, with their roasty flavor and relatively low alcohol (stay away from "export stouts" because of alcohol) and usually low hop levels may be very interesting.

Just my two cents...

Ron

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 03:41:12 AM »
As an amateur of pizza making, I ask every Pizzeria owner that I come into contact with for their pizza making advice. Some are willing to share info with you, since most people will not take the time to make pizza at home even if they know how to do it. In a conversation with with a pizzeria owner that owns 4 locations of pizzerias and has been making pizza for over 30 years, he gave me this advice. "What sets pizza apart from each pizzeria is dough and sauce". Not so much the cheese and certainly not the toppings. Thus everyone has access to the same red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.... (Please no comments about your favorite brand of pepperoni, sausage, etc... you know what i am trying to paraphrase here) So, he shared with me his dough and beer recipe. This pizzeria owner adds 60 percent beer and 40 percent water. For beer he uses Red Hook ESB.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:22:11 AM by TomN »

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2012, 03:52:17 AM »
With this is in mind. i made my dough tonight.

2 cups of Pendleton POWER Flour
2 cups of Pendelton MONDAKO Flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt

I add these all together in a large metal bowl. (Most Pizzerias use either one or the other. i am mixing the two flours, since I have a 25 LB bag and a 32 lb bag that I need to use up before expiration dates.)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:08:23 AM by TomN »

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2012, 03:54:32 AM »
1 1/2 teaspoons of Quick Rise yeast
1 Tablespoon of white sugar
4.8 ounces of warm water
Mix all together and let set for 5 mins

7.2 ounces of Red Hook ESB (extra special bitter) Beer set aside by itself
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:14:56 AM by TomN »


Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2012, 03:58:12 AM »
Mix warm Water, Yeast, and Sugar blend into flour

Add a Tablespoon of Olive Oil to flour and continue to mix

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2012, 04:00:47 AM »
Mix in the Red Hook ESB (Extra Special Bitter) Beer into the flour

I do not use a mixing hook. I mix and kneed the dough by hand since I am making a smaller batch for home use and not in a restaurant setting that might need to use 50 lbs of flour per day.  (I mix, then kneed for about 5 to 10 mins, until it becomes one big dough ball.)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 02:05:12 PM by TomN »

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2012, 04:01:59 AM »
I then cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator over night for 24 hours or more.

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 04:02:49 AM »
After the dough ball rises over night, I will cut the dough into 3 equal sections and then 3 dough balls. Before i use the individual dough ball that I press out by hand, i let it reach room temperature first.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:11:26 AM by TomN »

buceriasdon

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 09:02:10 AM »
Tom, I look forward to your review of the finished pie.
Don

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2012, 10:25:01 AM »
Red Hook ESB has an IBU rating of 28 (or so... the consensus on the internet).  IBU stands for International Bitterness Units and is an analysis of the bitter hop Alpha Acids dissolved into the beer during the boil phase of its production.  A rating of 28 is moderate. For comparison, Budweiser regular is 11 to 12 IBU and Ruination (by Stone Brewing) is about 100 IBU.  The 28 IBU in Red Hook ESB is about as high a bitterness as I would recommend for cooking, and, seeing that is diluted 40% with water, it should make for an interesting flavor contribution without contributing too much bitterness.

Red Hook ESB has an alcohol percentage by 5.8 ABV (Alcohol By Volume as opposed to ABW Alcohol By Weight) which puts it into the standard strength beer category on the upper end of the scale.  Plenty low enough not to interfere with the Baker's Yeast (which can handle up to 12%).

Red Hook ESB is usually moderately priced as craft beer goes but is not considered one of the finer brews.  Actually Red Hook is owned by Anheuser Busch and the Widmer brothers who together have a 50.2% stake in the brewery.  This removes the company from the realm of "Craft Brewery" to many beer connoisseurs.  The beer is considered a "gateway" craft beer in the snob circles, one which introduces people to flavorful beer without being too strongly flavored in any one characteristic.  It is readily available in most areas because of A.B.'s distribution system.

Now that that's out of the way... its an interesting selection for pizza, as drinking the beer with pizza would be one of my recommendations.  I personally prefer a lager with pizza, such as Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen, or a German pills like Warsteiner.  My second choice would be a pale ale such as Sierra Nevada, Bell's Two Hearted, Sweetwater 420, etc.  I would not, however recommend any of these beers for making the dough, they are all too bitter.  So if one wanted a beer to make the dough with and drink with the pizza...Red Hook would actually work well.

I think it would be a cool hook to serve the same beer with the pizza as it was made from.  It would be a neat special at a pizzeria to order a pizza made with beer and get the same beer at one price (10 inch Red Hook pizza with one topping and a Red Hook ESB for $8.99).

Ron

Offline TomN

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2012, 02:26:15 PM »
This morning, I push down the dough and and shape it some more. Then I transfer the dough out of the bowl and into a gallon size plastic freezer bag and let it continue to cold rise. Later in the day, when the dough rises more, I will make 3 smaller dough balls out of this one big dough ball. (I am using a 14" pizza screen to cook it on and I like the dough to be a THIN crust pizza, other wise i would only make 2 dough balls)  When I am ready to use each dough ball, i let them come up to room temperature, then I hand press then into my pizza shape.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 03:04:53 AM by TomN »

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: Using beer in your pizza dough
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2012, 06:00:00 PM »
Ron- I don't think that the bitterness of the beer would be a detracting characteristic in the finished dough. Having used an extensive number of different liquids for dough, the bigger the flavor profile, the better. The flour profoundly mutes the flavored of the liquid being used, and in the case of beer, I think you would be hard pressed to be able to tell the difference between different beers. The type of beer (in my experience) effects the particular aroma, and texture of the the dough, but not so much the flavor.

Btw, the idea of pairing the drink with the dough liquid is my inspiration for beer dough. It is the concept of the restaurant that I one day want to open. I was hoping noone else would think of it before I could get my financial world in order! Damn you meatballs! Lol