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This homemade pizza featuring beer pizza dough is sure to satisfy any Friday night pizza craving! It’s perfect for pizza night, a casual dinner with friends or game day party. You can even make this beer pizza crust without yeast!
Give this artisanal-style thin crust pizza even more personality with a mix of creative toppings. Go for fresh basil, brie cheese, Italian salami, prosciutto and whatever fresh veggies are ripe in your garden or at your grocer.
This recipe comes via Lisa Hutchinson, the Chef/Owner of the Passionate Cook’s Essentials and Bistro in Uxbridge Ontario, a stop on the York-Durham Heritage Railway, that’s a fun day trip from Toronto.
She whipped up this recipe for Lisa’s Dynamite Beer Pizza Dough in the open kitchen of her shop and generously shared the recipe so we could make it at home.
Why We Love This Beer Pizza Dough
- This thin-crust beer pizza dough is perfectly crispy on the bottom yet light and airy on top. The edges puff up and get wonderfully charred in the oven.
- It’s healthier than most store-bought and frozen pizzas as it features real, wholesome ingredients. It’s got no added sugar, unhealthy fats, excess sodium. artificial preservatives or additives like cellulose, a wood and plant fiber used to prevent cheese from clumping.
- No soggy middle in this pizza dough.
- It’s super easy to make and foolproof.
- There are no complicated ingredients so you don’t need to scour the grocery store aisles for obscure items.
- If you don’t have yeast, you can substitute baking powder and it’s still delicious!
- A beer pizza crust is really versatile and complements a wide variety of savoury toppings. You can easily substitute pepperoni or salami for prosciutto or go vegetarian by swapping in mushrooms or your fave veggies.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Beer Pizza Dough
Beer – Beer contributes a subtle nutty flavour to the dough and also acts as a slight leavening agent.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Oil is needed to add elasticity to the dough. Be sure to use an oil that is light tasting and not too grassy.
White All-Purpose Flour – While finely milled 00 flour is a key ingredient for authentic Neapolitan pizza, it needs to be cooked at a high temperature (800-900 degrees) in a wood-fired oven. It’s also best suited for small pizzas as it has a very soft centre.
For this beer pizza dough, the best flour to use is All-Purpose White Flour. It has a higher gluten content than cake flour and produces a crust that’s chewy without being rubbery.
Salt – Enhances the flavour of the other ingredients, adding depth and complexity.
Active Dry Yeast – This helps the pizza dough rise so that the raised edges get slightly charred while cooking. If you don’t have yeast, you can substitute baking powder and still have a delicious beer pizza dough. I used Instant Dry Yeast.
Sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness and assists in activating the yeast.
Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce
San Marzano Tomatoes – Use San Marzano canned tomatoes for making the sauce. This variety of plum tomato, the tomato of choice for pizza makers, hails from the Sarno River valley near Mount Vesuvius. It’s sweeter, meatier and has less seeds than other varieties of tomatoes. They are absolutely worth the extra money.
Garlic – Adds a pungent sweetness that complements the tomatoes.
Oregano – Italian oregano has a bold and earthy flavour that’s a classic for seasoning pizza and pasta sauces. It’s quite different than Greek or Mexican oregano as it’s a hybrid between marjoram and oregano so is slightly sweeter and less pungent.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil adds flavour and velvety texture to the sauce.
Best Kind of Beer to Use in Pizza Dough
For my beer dough pizza crust, I used a Major Small session ale brewed by Muddy York Brewing Company. With 30 IBUs, this craft beer is brewed using earthy hops and biscuity malts which added a depth of flavour to the crust.
Another good option is Mill St. Organic, a European-style pilsner that’s crisp and refreshing. Or Miller High Life, it’s got lots of carbonation.
While you can experiment with different types of craft beers, I recommend choosing a beer that’s light in body. They have an effervescence that adds a bit of lift so the crust will rise beautifully.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Beer Pizza Dough
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact quantities and method.
1. Begin by making the tomato sauce. In a bowl, add canned San Marzano tomatoes and using a spoon or your hands, squish the tomatoes so they’re almost completely crushed.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (crushed fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and crumbled oregano). Set aside for the flavours to develop while you’re making the dough.
3. If using a pizza stone to bake your pizza, place it 8 inches (20 cm) from the broiler and heat for 30 minutes at 500°F (260°C). Then turn to broil and heat for 10 minutes. If you’re using a baking sheet or pizza pan, you don’t need to preheat the pan.
4. Heat beer in the microwave (or stovetop) until warm but not hot. It should be 100-110°F ( 38-43°C). Place yeast, sugar and beer in a bowl and mix. Let sit until it starts to foam, about five minutes. Stir in the olive oil.
5. Mix flour and salt together. Then, add the beer mixture.
6. Mix until the dough forms a ball. The dough will be soft and sticky.
7. Turn it out onto a well-floured surface and knead a few times until you have a smooth ball that isn’t sticky. Add more flour if necessary, working it in as needed.
8. After making the dough, divide the ball in half, coat it with olive oil and let rise covered with a clean cloth in a warm place for about an hour.
9. Place the risen dough on a floured surface and roll out in a circle to your desired thinness.
10. If you’re using pizza stone to cook the pizza, transfer the pizza dough to a pizza peel and add the tomato sauce and thinly sliced toppings.
11. Using a quick, jerking motion, transfer the pizza with topping onto the pizza stone.
12. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes until the crust and toppings are golden brown and slightly charred.
13. If you’re using a pizza pan or baking sheet, apply the toppings to the pizza in the pan. Preheat the oven to 425 °F and bake the pizzas for 12 to 15 minutes each.
14. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
How to Make Beer Crust Pizza with No Yeast
No yeast? No worries! You can also make this dough without any yeast at all. While the dough won’t be quite as airy as its yeast counterpart, it will still be crispy and delicious.
Here’s how to do it:
- Substitute an equal amount of baking powder for the yeast.
- Add the baking powder to the flour and the salt. Then add the beer and olive oil. Mix.
- To be sure the beer will add enough lift to the dough, choose a beer with lots of carbonation. You want a beer that’s got some effervescence rather than flatness.
- Check out this list of bubbly beers including Miller High Life – described as the Champagne of Beers – is a pale lager that works well.
Insider Tips on Making Pizza at Home
- Chef Lisa also recommends using San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce. They’re meatier and more flavourful than regular canned tomatoes.
- San Marzano tomatoes typically come in 28 ounce cans. This recipe will use only half a can so freeze the rest of the tomatoes for up to three months. Or use them in our recipe for Spanish Salt Cod Stew – Bacalao a la Vizcaina.
- Lisa’s next tip is to use a pizza stone for baking your pizza. I invested in a 14-inch Emile Henry pizza stone from France. While slightly more expensive than other brands, it offers the advantages of being lighter, dishwasher-safe and scratch resistant.
- To use a pizza stone on a grill, place it on the grill and turn on the heat to 500 F. Leave it to heat for 30 minutes with the lid closed. Then, transfer the pizza from the peel to the pizza stone, close the lid and bake until done.
Variations of Toppings
- Swap in pepperoni, salami or Nduja (a spicy spreadable salami from Calabria Italy) for prosciutto.
- If you have extra Brie, use it up with some apple, walnuts and fig jam for an Apple Brie Pizza.
- Be sure to slice all toppings quite thinly as this pizza cooks quickly in a hot oven.
- Go vegetarian with a traditional Marguerita pizza of tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and finish with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Swap in some kalamata olives. Their briny, salty flavour goes well with creamy brie cheese.
- Drizzle each slice with some hot chile oil.
- No basil? Sprinkle the cooked pizza with coarsely chopped arugula.
- If you’re looking for a low-carb pizza crust option, try this recipe for a low-carb pizza dough made with mozzarella cheese and almond flour.
- For pizza in a hurry, here’s a handy recipe for making pizza with store-bought pizza dough.
- For an Italian-themed meal, pair your pizza with Mini Caprese Salad Skewers, Tomato Gazpacho soup, fresh purslane salad and a Campari and Orange Cocktail.
- This artisanal-style pizza pairs nicely with a lightly sweet but slightly tart Apple Cider Mojito or a summery, non-alcoholic Fresh Mango Strawberry Lemonade.
- The creaminess of the brie, saltiness of the parmesan and fat of the prosciutto present lots of opportunities for creative wine and pizza pairings with rosé, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris wines.
- It’s also delicious with a craft beer such as a citrusy saison or light lager.
- If you have leftover beer, use it in our recipe for Beer and Balsamic Grilled Steak.
- I also love serving pizza with a hot pepper infused oil and creamy Apple Jicama Slaw.
Beer Pizza Dough with Brie, Basil and Prosciutto
- Pizza Stone, Baking Sheet or Pizza Pan
- 14 ounces San Marzano tomatoes 825 ml
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt 15 ml
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Dough
- 2.5 cups white flour 625 ml
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast 8 grams or one package
- 1 teaspoon salt 5 ml
- 1 teaspoon sugar 15 ml
- 1 cup very warm craft beer (not too hot or you will kill the yeast - 100 F) 250 ml
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil 30 ml
- 4 ounces prosciutto or salami or pepperoni
- 4 ounces brie cheese or fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup parmesan grated
- 1/2 cup fresh basil packed
- In a bowl add tomatoes and using a spoon or your hands, squish the tomatoes so they are almost crushed but still have meaty pieces intact.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (oregano, olive oil, salt and crushed garlic) and set aside for the flavours to develop while you are making the dough. Note: The sauce is enough for 2 pizzas.
- Place yeast, sugar and beer in a bowl and mix together, let sit until it starts to foam about 5 mins. Add the olive oil.
- Mix flour and salt together, then stir in beer mixture .
- Mix together until the dough forms a nice ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Continue to work in the flour until you have a smooth ball that isn’t sticky. The dough should be very soft but you can add up to .5 cup more flour if needed.
- After making the dough, divide the dough in half, coat with olive oil and and then let rise covered with a clean cloth for about an hour
- Place a pizza stone 8 inches (20 cm) from the broiler and heat for 30 minutes at 500°F (260°C).
- Then turn to broil and heat for 10 minutes.
- If you're using a baking pan and not a pizza stone, preheat the oven to 425°F
- While the oven is preheating, place dough on floured surface and roll out to your desired thinness.
- Transfer to a floured pizza peel and add sauce and toppings. Using a quick, jerking motion, transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Broil 3 to 4 minutes until crust and toppings are golden and slightly charred.
- If you're not using a pizza stone place the dough directly on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil and add the toppings. Bake at 425°F for 12 to 15 minutes until crust and toppings are golden and slightly charred.
- Cut into wedges and serve.
- Substitute an equal amount of baking powder for the yeast.
- Add the baking powder to the flour and the salt, then add the beer and olive oil. Mix.
- To be sure the beer will add enough lift to the dough, choose a lager with elevated carbonation such as Miller High Life.
Originally published in 2017, this recipe was substantially updated, retested and rephotographed with additional process shots in 2021.
The Passionate Cook Essentials and Bistro: This fascinating kitchen supply shop, cooking school and bistro is a must-visit for every food lover. Visit the Passionate Cook website for more recipes, a list of classes and cooking tips. It is located at 68 Brock St W Uxbridge Ontario
York-Durham Heritage Railway: The York-Durham Heritage Railway is a 1950s heritage excursion train operating along a 20-kilometre route between the towns of Stouffville and Uxbridge, home to the Second Wedge Brewing Co. and The Passionate Cooks Essentials.
Ontario Tourism: Discover more culinary adventures, maps, accommodation advice and more on the official Ontario Tourism marketing website.
Discover Uxbridge: You’re going to be tempted to move to Uxbridge, known as the Trail Capital of Canada, once you’ve sampled its culinary offerings.
Other Day Trips from Toronto: Amazing Things to Do in Kawartha Lakes
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.