Appetizers
January 9, 2013
Toast National Pizza Week (and big game) with beer dough

PRINT_5x7_300dpi_NewOrleansPizza_LowAngle_1296.jpg.jpg.jpg.jpg.jpg Here's a toast (and a twist) to National Pizza Week! (Yes, it's pizza week, now through Saturday.) Instead of beer and pizza, how about putting the beer IN the pizza?

Pizza expert Mark Bello of New York City's Pizza a Casa Pizza School (www.pizzaschool.com) perfected this recipe for The Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Pizza, of course, is a popular pick for Super Bowl parties. The Big Game is Feb. 3 in New Orleans. So, Bello offers a twist on the classic Italian Margherita pizza with a spicy New Orleans' Big Game Pizza.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager infused pizza crust

Makes: Two crusts

3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting

1 packet instant (highly active) yeast or bread machine yeast

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 (12 ounce) bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, warmed up to 120 to 130 degrees F.

1. Warm the beer bottle in a bowl of very warm (not boiling water) or by running it under hot water from the tap. A thermometer insures success; if you don't have one handy, the beer should feel very warm (not too hot) to the touch.

2. In a 5-quart or larger bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt and oil.

3. Add beer to flour mixture, and stir with a fork until the dough is lumpy. Then, continue to work the dough with your hands. The dough will now still be a little sticky, so gradually add flour as you knead to the point that the finished dough should be just slightly tacky and elastic. (To knead, press down on the dough, push, fold, repeat.) To tell when the dough is done, periodically poke it and when the dough gently springs back after you poke it, it is done. Don't worry if it is not perfectly smooth - don't overknead it!

4. Your finished dough, if you have a scale, will weigh right around 2 pounds (30 to 34 ounces). Break dough into two equal pieces.

5. Ball each piece up and place each in a separate airtight container lightly greased with olive oil. Each container needs to be at least a quart in size to allow for each dough ball to double in size (deli quart containers work great for this).

6. Set dough aside to rise in a warm location, about 70 to 80 degrees F. is good. After dough has doubled in size (about 1 to 2 hours), gently remove from container and stretch to fit on a lightly greased 12- or 14-inch cookie sheet, pizza pan or pizza screen.

7. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Top the pizzas as desired. Bake in a 500-degree F. preheated oven until crust and toppings are to desired doneness (about 10 to 15 minutes).

8. Out of the oven, allow a few minutes to cool. Then cut, serve and enjoy.

(Note: The dough can be frozen for later use.)

For Bello's New Orleans Big Game Pizza: Stir 1 tablespoon of your favorite Louisiana hot sauce into 1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce. Spread over stretched crust. Top with 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella. Top cheese with 1/2 cup EACH of diced yellow bell pepper and red onion. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan over top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in 500-degree oven. Before serving, slice 6 fresh basil leaves into fine strands and scatter over top.

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