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A pizza topped with cheese and tomato made with a pizza beer dough

Beer Pizza Dough

Some days you just want to kick back with a beer and a slice of pizza. But hey, why not combine both? Enter beer pizza dough. 

Using beer in pizza dough is not as wild as it sounds. Beer actually plays a functional role; beer hydrates the flour instead of water — and it simultaneously provides a source of malt (sugar) to feed the dough’s growth. This extra food helps speed up the proofing process and adds a healthy colour to the crust. 

You can start this recipe in the morning and have dough balls ready to go for lunch, or start at lunchtime and be ready for dinner! Whatever your plans, it’s a fun recipe for anyone who enjoys a spot of experimentation in the kitchen!

Ooni Ambassador Nicola Jackson-Jones helped bring this recipe to life, adapting Dan Lepard’s iconic Guardian recipe for the high temperatures of wood-fired ovens. She cuts the oil and adds light beer or lager for a gentle malty flavour.  It’s down to you which beer you choose — but as she puts it, “Save your craft IPA to enjoy with a fresh-baked slice!”

As for toppings, that’s your choice. Nic recommends making a simple Margherita pizza, but the dough’s rich flavour will stand up to richer ingredients — like pepperoni, jalapenos and ‘nduja — perfectly well. 

Nic discovered her love for pizza with the Ooni 3 pellet oven; the rest is history! After quitting her office job, she opened Two Cents Pizza in Lancashire, England. Three years down the line, she’s busy working on converting a food truck, running a pizza school and slinging Detroit slices and Neapolitans for the people of Ormskirk! 

Notes: This recipe blends strong bread flour and plain (all-purpose flour). If you can’t source plain (all-purpose flour), you can use 100% strong bread flour. Why blend these two flours? Because the bread flour provides strength, while the plain flour reduces the overall protein content, which is helpful for the relatively short proof time.

Time
4 to 5 hours total 

Yield 
Makes 3 12-inch dough balls

Equipment 
Ooni pizza oven
stand mixer with dough hook (optional)

Ingredients 
400 grams strong bread flour
100 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
330 millilitres beer/ lager (room temperature)
3.5g instant-dry yeast (usually sold in 7g packets, so if you don’t have micro scales simply half the packet)
15g fine sea salt

Method
In a large bowl, mix the strong bread flour and plain flour together, then add the yeast. Pour all the beer slowly into the dry ingredients and either mix by hand, or mix on a low setting in your stand mixer with dough attachment. When the dough has just started to come together, add the salt and continue to knead.

If the dough feels a bit dry, add  a small amount of water (a teaspoon at a time) until the dough feels soft and a little sticky. After 10 minutes of kneading, the dough should be soft and smooth. Lift up the dough and check for elasticity. If it rips easily, continue kneading for a few minutes to give the gluten more time to develop. 

If you’ve been kneading for more than 20 minutes and the dough still feels sticky, perform a series of four stretch-and-folds. Wet your hands slightly; then, use your thumb, index finger and middle finger (down to the second knuckle) to hold the edge of the dough at the one o’clock position.Then, pull the edge out a bit (stretch) and fold it over the top of the dough, past the centre and release. Rotate the bowl a bit less than a quarter turn and repeat for a total of four folds. Flip the dough over (so that the seam side is down and the smooth side is up), return it to the bowl, cover it and let it rest. Repeat this process every 10-20 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. 

Once you’re happy with your dough, transfer it to an oiled bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap. Then, let it rest for 30 minutes. 

Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into three equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and make sure that the tops of the balls are smooth. You can find out how to do that here. Place the balls into a container with enough room for the dough to double in size. Cover and leave to proof at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. 

When you’re ready to cook, fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 400-500°C on the stone baking board inside. Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the centre out to the edge using the pads of your fingers. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch base. Learn how to easily stretch your dough here

Add your preferred sauce and toppings, then launch the pizza into the oven. Cook for 60-90 seconds, turning the pizza every 20 seconds or so to ensure an even bake. Remove, transfer the cooked pizza to a serving board, garnish as you wish, cut into eight slices and serve!

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