This beer lovers’ pie starts with a no-fail pizza dough that’s flavour-boosted with brown ale. While the dough rises, use some of the remaining brew to make a rich, velvety (but simple) tomato sauce. Crown it with our suggested pizza toppings — salami, mushrooms and olives — or your favourites. And don’t forget the cheese!
125 g spicy salami (12 to 14 slices), divided (see tips)
125 g white or cremini mushrooms (about 8 medium), thinly sliced, divided
12 to 14 black or green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, divided
Directions for the Beer Pizza Dough
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, warm brown ale over medium-low heat just until an instant-read thermometer reads between 100°F and 115°F. Add oil and immediately pour over flour mixture. Using a fork, a dough whisk or your hands, mix until the dough forms a sticky and somewhat shaggy ball. (It should feel tacky but not stick to your hands. If it does, add more flour, 2 tsp/10 mL at a time, and mix until it doesn’t. Alternatively, if dough is too dry, add more warmed beer, 2 tsp/10 mL at a time, and mix until dough is tacky but doesn’t stick to your hands.) Cover bowl with a tea towel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and reshape into a ball, about 30 seconds. Wash bowl and dry well with a towel. Rub inside generously with olive oil. Add dough ball and turn to coat all over with oil. Cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Press down dough to deflate. Divide into 2 balls. Place on flour-dusted work surface, cover with a clean tea towel and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes more (see tips).
Directions for the Beer Tomato Sauce
While dough is rising for 2 hours, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until darkened to brick red, about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in brown ale and cook, stirring constantly, until blended and smooth, about 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes, oregano, basil and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and saucy, about 30 minutes. Taste and add more sugar or salt, if desired.
Directions for the Pizza Toppings
1. About 30 minutes before you begin making your pizza, place a baking sheet on the centre rack in the oven and preheat to 500°F.
2. On lightly floured work surface, stretch or roll out 1 ball of Beer Pizza Dough into a 12-inch circle. Slide onto a piece of parchment paper.
3. Leaving a 1-inch border around edge of dough, spread with 1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 180 mL) Beer Tomato Sauce. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella. Top with half each of the salami, mushrooms and olives.
4. Remove preheated baking sheet from oven. Slide pizza and parchment paper onto baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, using another sheet of parchment paper, make second pizza with remaining dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and set aside.
5. Rotate baking sheet and bake until underside of crust is well browned and crispy, about 2 minutes.
6. Transfer pizza to a cutting board and let stand for 2 minutes. Slice with a pizza cutter. Bake second pizza as directed.
Humidity and other factors can affect flour’s volume. That means that the same measuring cup can contain slightly more or less flour on different days. And this can change the texture of the dough (too much creates a drier, less delightfully chewy crust). Weighing your flour on a kitchen scale can help you get exactly the right amount for the ideal texture.
This recipe makes about 3 cups (750 mL) of Beer Tomato Sauce, which is plenty for 5 or 6 pizzas. Leftovers freeze well: Transfer sauce to freezer bags, press out the air, seal the bags and freeze flat for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight before using. Once thawed, the sauce will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
You can skip the second rise if you like, and roll out the dough right after dividing it in half. Your pizza crusts may be more oblong than round, but they will be just as delicious.
For a tasty vegetarian pizza, switch to plant-based salami or pepperoni.