Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beer and Herb Pizza Crust

When we're stuck inside due to inclement weather (like today's all-day thunderstorm), I love to make bread.

Today's project:  homemade pizza.  Really easy, really good and can be customized to your ingredients on hand.

1 cup beer (I used light beer, right out of the fridge.  Guinness may be a little intense for this application.)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup for kneading
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Layer the ingredients into the baking pan of your bread machine (all but the 1/4 cup flour) in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Select the Dough setting on the machine and press Start.

After about 5 minutes of mixing, check to see that the dough has formed a smooth ball.  There should be no hunks of flour lurking in the corners.  If the dough is too dry, another tablespoon of beer to the pan.  Repeat, if necessary.

Remove the dough when the cycle is complete.  It will be sticky.  Scatter the remaining flour onto your board and knead the dough for a moment.  You should have a lovely, pliable orb.

Spray a perforated pizza pan with Pam, as well as your hands!  Plop the dough onto the pan and spread it out.  Make sure the edges are slightly raised.  Cover with damp tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Spray/brush the crust with olive oil and pre-bake it for seven minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.  Sauce and top at will.  I used about one cup of store-bought pasta sauce, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, turkey pepperoni on half and seasoned, paper-thin zucchini on the other half.

Slide the pizza back into the oven to bake for another 15-17 minutes.  (I like mine on the well-done side.)  Slice it up and enjoy!
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