I am not a beer drinker. I have never acquired a taste for a cold beer (or really any alcohol for that matter). Whenever I join my husband on tours of breweries (which I do enjoy) I either pass during the sampling part of the tour or I take as tiny a sip as I can, because I already know by the smell that I won't like it. Though I don't like the taste, I LOVE cooking with beer/alcohol. Whether its adding it to baked goods (I make a mean chocolate stout cupcake) or adding to beef stew, beer can add an additional depth to your flavor that even the most staunch non-beer drinker can enjoy.
I could say something about why I used Guinness in this recipe and why it has a superior flavor compared with other beers (I do like it better than a light beer dough), but the simple truth is that I forgot to pick up a bottle of beer from Trader Joe's (if you didn't already know, you can take single beers from 6-packs, or mix-and-match your own) and didn't realize it until I was home. Thankfully, there happened to be a couple bottles of Guinness left from the last time I made beef (well, buffalo actually) stew.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 1/2 cup bread flour (makes a crunchier crust, can use AP flour instead which gives a chewier crust, or you can do half and half. )
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsb active yeast
1/2-3/4 cup Guinness
This recipe, as is, makes large 1 rectangular thin crust pizza or two medium sized round pizzas. The recipe can be easily doubled. We don't have a pizza stone anymore, so the majority of our pizzas are made on the biggest cookie sheet we have.
Step 2: Mix
If you're using a bread machine, which I am, put your liquids (beer and olive oil) in first.
Then add your flours, salt, sugar, and last, yeast.
Set your bread machine to the pizza dough setting and check it within 5 minutes to make sure everything is mixing as it should. We have yet to buy a brand new bread machine and usually pick up used ones whenever one dies. The current one has finally started having problems mixing, so I like to check in and make sure everything is going as it should. If it's not, I use a spatula to push down the flour so the mixing hand can get it. After that, I leave it alone until its done (or prep your toppings).
After the bread machine is done (mine takes 55 minutes) , transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
A faster, yet more involved method:
If you don't have a bread machine or want to make the dough quicker, you can use a stand mixer (which I sadly, have yet to get) fitted with the paddle or dough hook attachment. Warm the beer to around 110 degrees and then combine with the yeast and sugar. Let sit a few minutes until the yeast starts to foam, around 5 minutes, and then add your other ingredients and let mix on low-med setting until a ball starts to form. Make sure you check the sides and push down any flour that rides up. After you have the dough well mixed, remove to a floured surface and gently knead your dough until it forms a smooth ball, adding additional flour as needed. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover for 30-60 minutes.
Step 3: Cook
Preheat your oven to 425 and line a sheet pan with tinfoil (and oil it) or parchment paper. I've seen a lot of recipes that say to heat your oven at 450, I've found this leads to increased chances of burning the bottom of your crust.
Roll out your dough to your preferred thickness. We like a thinner crust so I tend to roll it out as thin as I can get it.
Bake for 5-10 minutes and then remove from oven. If it looks a bit puffy/thicker than you wanted, don't be worried. After the final baking the crust will flatten out and will be thin and crispy.
Add your toppings of choice and return to the oven for another 20-25 (or until the cheese is cooked to your preference---I like it a little broiled on top).