The greatest triumphs come from the dark pit of failure. Case in point, a homebrew misfire became this delicious pizza dough. Lord knows we weren’t going to drink it. If you don’t want to purposely whiff on a batch of Saison, a store-bought bottle will work just fine.
This makes two decent-sized pizzas, but you can also split it into 7” pizzas or double the recipe if you’ve got the time and patience (the dough needs to rest for a few hours or overnight before cooking). Our biggest tip here is to grate the cheese off the block yourself and avoid the bagged stuff, which comes with anti-clumping agents that can sometimes inhibit what top scientists call Melty Cheese Action.
So there you have it, despair turned alchemy-like into cheesy joy. It won’t eliminate football-based sorrow entirely, but it will smother it under cheese and tomato sauce until you don’t care. It certainly worked for us the last few Bears seasons.
Makes two 14” pizzas
1.25 ounces active dry yeast
14.88 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more to shape
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup bottle-conditioned saison
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to brush
1.25 ounces (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) raw honey
Cornmeal, to dust
1 1/2 cups shredded block mozzarella
3/4 cup pizza sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Chopped basil, to top
Crushed red pepper, to top
- Agitate the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle and pour the beer into a small pan. Heat the beer to 100F and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Turn the mixer to the lowest stir setting and slowly add the beer/yeast, olive oil, and honey.
- When all the ingredients are mixed, increase the setting to low and knead for 8 minutes, until the dough comes together and stops sticking to the bowl. (Tip: If it’s still sticking, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. Conversely, if it’s flaking apart, add a tablespoon of the leftover beer or water at a time until the dough works itself into shape.) .
- Turn out the dough into an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400F, along with a baking stone or pizza pan.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking. Split into two even segments and roll into balls. Pat out into 6” discs, then stretch into 14” circles.
- Place the dough on the stone or pan and bake 3 minutes, until it begins to rise.
- Remove and top with the tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, any thin-sliced cured meats you couldn’t help yourself from adding. Brush the edges with olive oil.
- Return to the oven and bake 12-14 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted. Add the basil and red pepper and cook another minute.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into slices (or squares if you’re feeling Midwestern) and serve.
Recipe adapted from Eat Street (Running Press, 2016), by John Carruthers, John Scholl, and Jesse Valenciana.