Author Topic: Beer Crust?  (Read 8179 times)

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Offline Giovanni

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Beer Crust?
« on: September 13, 2004, 12:40:55 PM »
I was researching over at Correll Concepts and found this recipe for Beer Crust:
http://correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/05_Dough-making/16_dough_recipe.htm

Anyone ever try it? When i read it i light went off in my head... every time i eat at my favorite pizza place (Giovanni's) i think, man this crust almost tastes like it has beer in it. The yeasty flavor is very potent (but good), unlike any pizza chain crust. I'm thinking about giving this a try.

EDIT (2/1/2013): For an alternative Correll link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20040623200337/http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/05_Dough-making/16_dough_recipe.htm
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:16:27 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2004, 01:39:19 PM »
Giovanni,

I haven't tried that specific recipe but I have made a beer-based crust following the recipe posted below.  Before making the pizza, I did some research to see what was really in beer and how it might affect a dough.  What I found is that beer is mostly water, but it also contains yeast, reducing sugars, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, lactic and other organic and inorganic acids, alcohol, and carbon dioxide, all of which appear to be compatible--and possibly even complementary--to the various ingredients used to make pizza doughs.   My experience using the beer is that it will result in a nice flavor in the crust, but the beer flavor per se will not be detectable.  A drawback of using beer, of course, is that it considerably more expensive than water, even the fancy bottled waters.  

Here is the recipe I used, along with the notes I prepared after having made a pizza using the beer-based dough.   I liked the pizza quite a bit.  The recipe calls for producing two dough balls.  I made one for immediate use and refrigerated the other and used it a day or so later (see the notes below).


Hearty Beer-Based Pizza Dough Recipe

1 1/4 c. warm beer (115 degrees F)
1 t. sugar or honey
1/4 t. instant yeast
3/4 t. olive oil
1 c. bread flour
1c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
1/4 c. yellow corn meal
2 t. sea salt

Mix the bread flour, all-purpose flour, cake flour, corn meal, and the instant yeast in the bowl of a food processor.  Combine the warm beer, sugar (or honey), and olive oil in a container.  Gradually add the yeast-beer mixture and process, using the "pulse" switch, until a rough dough ball is formed, about 1 minute or so.  Let the dough ball rest in the bowl of the food processor for about 5-15 minutes (autolyse).  Add the sea salt and continue to process for about another 45 seconds, at normal operating speed (using the "on" switch), or until the dough ball is smooth and fairly elastic and passes the windowpane test (you should be able to flatten a small piece of the dough and stretch it in all directions and see light through it).  The dough will not be quite as elastic as one using only white flours, because of the presence of the corn meal.  Place the dough ball in a container, cover and let rise at room temperature (70-75 degrees F) until about doubled in volume, around 4 hours.  Punch down the dough and divide into 2 equal dough portions.  Let rise again until doubled again, about 2 hours.  When ready to make pizzas, shape each dough ball into a round about 1/4-inch thick.  If the dough resists shaping, let it rest for about 5 minutes to allow the gluten to relax, and then continue to shape into a round.  The dough should be elastic but not quite as elastic as a dough that does not contain corn meal.  Consequently, care should be taken that the dough does not tear while being stretched, turned and shaped into a round.  Top each pizza round as desired and bake on a pizza stone that has been preheated for 1 hour at the highest oven temperature possible, usually 500-550 degrees F for a home oven.

(Peter's Note: This is an interesting dough recipe for several reasons.  First, it makes use of beer instead of water; second, it makes use of three different white flours: bread flour, all-purpose flour and cake flour--that provide a degree of softness to the dough; and, third, it calls for corn meal as well.  The beer will add coloration to the dough (usually an amber color if a lager beer is used), and the corn meal will add to the coloration as well and also add a degree of coarseness to the dough that would not exist if only white flours were used.   The oil and honey, if used, provide for increased extensibility of the dough.  When the crust is baked, it will be chewy (with added chewiness being added because of the use of the corn meal), crispy and with a hearty flavor.  Because of the use of sugar (or honey) and olive oil in the dough and the effects of caramelization and the Maillard reactions during baking, the baked dough will be golden brown in color.  There will be no evidence of the beer in the finished product, although the crust will be flavorful.  There is no reason why the recipe cannot be followed using a stand mixer instead of a food processor (using pretty much the standard techniques), or making the dough by hand.  As with many dough recipes, a period of refrigeration at almost any stage along the process of making the dough will also be beneficial.  For example, refrigerating the dough for 24 hours after kneading and then letting it rise until double in volume--which will require several hours if a small amount of yeast is used--will produce a more malleable dough that is easier to handle and shape into a round, and it will result in a somewhat lighter, softer and more bread-like crust, but still with good chewiness, crispness and flavor.)  

Peter  

« Last Edit: September 13, 2004, 01:50:45 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2004, 02:11:49 PM »
I have not as of yet made a beer dough, however I do make beer bread all the time and the beer taste is quite pronounced, so I would be very suprised to find that it is not detectable in a pizza crust.

As for the using of beer instead of bottled water. I am not sure were you purchase your beer or water, but the expensive bottles of water that I see in every convinience store and gas station are equal if not more expensive that the cost of the same amount of beer.

I am definately going to try the beer in my dough as soon as I get a chance now that it has been mentioned. I am glad you thought to bring up the topic. ;D ;D
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Offline Giovanni

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2004, 02:14:30 PM »
Interesting... i think i will try it and see what happens. The crust at the pizza place i mentioned didnt have a beer flavor but it reminded me of beer in some way which is why i suspect beer being their 'secret' ingredient.

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2004, 02:17:08 PM »
My experience with beer breads has lead me to use Ales, Ports, and ver dark lagers. These create a wonderful taste in the bread. Even if you are not a fan of drinking dark beer.
I do not recommend ever using a light beer for any recipe. Although I also drink light beer I would not cook with it. ;D
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Offline Giovanni

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2004, 02:50:57 PM »
Thanks for the tip, i was going to buy coors light because it's the lightest beer i know of. I will try a darker lager for my first try and see what happens.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2004, 04:38:05 PM »
My taste buds aren't as good as they used to be, but I wouldn't have been able to tell that there was any beer in the dough if I hadn't put it there myself.  The flavor was quite nice, but I wouldn't have guessed beer as the cause.  Also, when I was researching the use of beer in a pizza dough, I had read not to expect to detect the beer flavor per se in the crust, so I wasn't zeroing in on that aspect as closely as I might have.  I am not much of a beer drinker, but I do like a nice microbrew once in a while, and I believe it was a Louisiana Abita amber beer with a clear golden color that I used in the beer doughs I made.  Even on sale, a six-pack ran around $5-$6, which I think is more than most bottled waters, even the pricier ones where I buy my supply.  I remember wondering whether I wanted to "waste" a nice bottle of the Abita beer on a pizza dough, but I went ahead anyway in the name of science ;D.  But, I do agree with Foccaciaman that a darker beer is perhaps a better choice than a lighter beer, since it is more likely to add flavor components to the crust, whatever they are.  

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2004, 09:04:33 PM »
When I first started, I used beer all the time.  My goal was to get additional taste from the dough since I wasn't worried about controlling the ingredients at the time.  I tried Coors light, mexican beers and micro-brewed ales.  As with Pete-zza, I never tasted beer per se.  But it did help the taste back then.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2004, 09:05:48 PM by giotto »

Offline Giovanni

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2004, 09:22:09 AM »
Giotto:

In your opinion what beer gave the best flavor?

Offline giotto

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2004, 01:38:12 PM »
Giovanni:

Well, it's sort of like Pete-zza said above, they share so many of the same ingredients.  However, the hops and carbs can be significantly different (Coors light is only 3.2 carbs or something like that).  So to maximize taste and keep the carbs down, I really liked the middle ground, which was the mexican beers (Corona can be light and you can buy big bottles for $2) or Amstel light, or if you like cascade hops, golden ales can be good.  As with wine when cooking, I wouldn't use a beer that I didn't like; but like sherry wine, I wouldn't purchase something extravagent either.  Even Coors light will make a subtle difference in taste.  

You'll be surprised too that you don't need to use the full 60% of flour weight for beer-- you can mix the beer in with water to keep additional ingredients down and get good results.  Down the road, you might want to try the same with milk if you have not already (try 2 TBL of milk with 5 oz of water for 2 cups plus 1 TBL of flour, or 10 oz, of flour). Hope this helps.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2004, 02:22:08 PM »
Giovanni,

I remembered a while back seeing a comment that was made to Tom Lehmann at PMQ about using Guinness beer in pizza dough (as well as wine in general).  I thought you and others might be interested and managed to find the exchange and have cut and pasted it (with minor editing) as follows:

 "I did a batch of dough using Guinness 2 weeks ago, and it came out pretty good.  It  actually seemed to rise slower than my regular dough though.

Chris

Chris;
What a waste of Guinness! The horrible thought of not drinking it to enjoy it really disturbs me to no end. Well....with that said, yep, the addition of some wine or beer (stout in your case) to the dough will affect the flavor to some extent. The reason why you may have seen it actually slow down the yeast action might be because you used too much of it. Baker's yeast, the kind that you're using only has a tolerance for about 11% alcohol. As you approach that level the yeast begins to slow down. Just a guess. The only issue that I've ever seen was when a competitor got wind of what I was doing and startes a smear campaign to convince customers that it was not in the best interest of their children to be feeding them pizza crust made with ALCOHOL. Oh what a dreadful thought! Lets not forget that a byproduct of normal yeast fermentation is ALCOHOL. I guess there is a difference if we create it in the dough or add it to the dough. In any case, we had to get the finished crust analyzed for residual alcohol content. As you might have expected, it was essentially the same as a regular crust due to the fact that the alcohol is highly volitol and was evaporated off during baking.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor"

Peter



Offline giotto

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2004, 01:06:28 AM »
Pete-zza:

You noticed that I never recommended Mackeson's triple stout, Stockyard's Oatmeal Stout, Gordon Biersch's triple stout, or even something the Monk's brewed up like Wittekerke's Belgium white beer... Like I said, it will make a difference; but treat it like a sherry when you're cooking, and mix it with water to save anything worth drinking (including milk).
« Last Edit: September 15, 2004, 01:09:09 AM by giotto »

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Beer Crust?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2004, 02:09:49 PM »
Giotto:
You are making me want to go and get a beer right now. MMMMMMM

Since I cannot resist I must add these beers to the previously mentioned (although I could just type endlessly on the beers that I love). :)
Murpy's Irish Stout
Moose Drool Brown Ale
Boddingtons English Pub Ale (I recommend this to all that like ales, about $8 a four pack of pints. Spendy but worth the price) ;D ;D
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Offline Jevla

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Re: Beer Crust?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2011, 07:57:38 PM »
Widmer Bros. Hefeweisen works best for me. Replaces all water in your recipe!


Offline stevehollx

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Re: Beer Crust?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 11:06:19 AM »
Another option, if anyone is a homebrewer, is to use unhopped wort (unfermented beer).  It has more sugar, and no hops, so you get the Malliard reactions from the roasted grain, and is probably a cleaner substitute for water than fermented beer is.

A fair amount of homebrewers make spent grain bread, where they use wort and spent grain to make bread.  The one time I tried it, it came out pretty dense, though my baking skills have improved since then.

Offline Guts

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Re: Beer Crust?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 09:55:48 AM »
I have made many pizzas using beer I prefer to use malt liquor maybe even Guinness a full-bodied flavorful beer
Guts/AKA/Kim
"Vegetarian - old Indian word for bad fisherman"