Friday, November 4, 2011

Pizza and — What Else? — Beer

Hi Janet, Hi Rachel

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, Christmas is just a stone’s throw beyond that. Nothing screams fall in New England more than pizza.

Ok, you got me... pizza screams nothing of fall in New England. But hey, this is a great recipe and I even remembered to take pictures!

Fresh Pizza Dough
This recipe is from a book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, given to me by my very good friend and second-mother, Julie “Miss Sunshine” Wallace. Her son and I were great friends in college, often finding ourselves at the Wallace house on the weekends to get away from the evil dorm food. Miss Sunshine always had homemade meals, fantastic cookies, and of course fresh bread! She still makes recipes from this book and I’m so glad she passed the good word onto me... this recipe is directly from the pages, even though I make a half batch rather than the full amount listed. Enjoy!

(this is the half-batch version)
1 ⅓ cups lukewarm Water
2 ¼ teaspoons Granulated Yeast (we buy one of those jars in the bread aisle
2 ¼ teaspoons Salt
1 ½ teaspoons Sugar
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 ¼ cup all purpose Flour


Combine all the ingredients except for the flour; you can use a bowl or a plastic container with lid. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time... you can use a stand mixer, but a spoon in the plastic container works just as well (oh you may need to add more water or flour depending on how the dough feels in the moment). Cover your dough (but not air tight) and allow to rest for about 2 hours. You can certainly use the dough immediately after the rise, but it works better if you chill it down in the fridge.

When you’re ready to use the dough, preheat your oven to 525* F (You just keep your pizza stone in the oven ALL the time, right? I mean for just might as well, because you should be using it all the time... RIGHT?!?!?!). Prepare all of your toppings... for our pizza we had green peppers, garlic, and chorizo sausage in addition to the “normal” marinara and cheese.

Pull off half of the dough and shape it into a ball by pulling on the top of the round and tucking it under to the bottom, turning the round 90 degrees after each pull and tuck (no this isn’t plastic surgery). Roll the dough onto a floured flat surface... in order to get the pizza onto the pizza stone, you’ll need to then get the dough to a pizza peel covered with corn meal (you can use the underside of a flat sheet pan as well). Move quickly so the dough doesn’t get stuck to the pizza peel... sauce, toppings, cheese, and GO! Shake the pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Check and continue baking if required. Let the pizza cool for a bit and serve...preferably with a fantastic this one.

Brown Porter
The city where I work is right next to a military base, which serves as a teaching college for American officers, as well as for officers from our allied countries. We are very good friends with the British family, who traded some of my IIPA beers (from my last post) for some English bottles... I think I made out the best of the deal! The Fuller’s Porter, pictured, was among the bottles I received, which according to the officer and his wife, was special ordered from the UK. I may have shared my Brown Porter recipe before, but it’s something I make time and time again, and continually improve in every new brewing experience. This really does remind my of New England Fall, so I think it’s time for another round -

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.013
IBUs: between 25-30
ABV: 5%

9 ½ lbs base malt, preferably British Continental (Marris Otter, for example)
1 lb Brown Malt
1 lb Crystal 40
½ lb Chocolate Malt
East Kent Golding hops - 25 IBUs at 60 min, and then a little flavor around 5 or 10 min
I use WLP013 or WY1028, but any British yeast will do depending on your tastes

Mash at 154*, sparge and lauter per the norm, boil, cool, ferment at 67*, keg and condition. I’m a big fan of little to no additional carbonation for these types of beers... 1 to 1 ½ volumes of CO2 at most for my tastes!

Some variations ideas (because you shouldn’t just do my recipe... make it your own!!):
Play with the amount of Chocolate Malt; I like to taste the Brown malt, so I use less Choc! Maybe substitute Fuggles for the EKG hops. Try adding a bit of Cocoa Powder, making a Chocolate Porter. Or try adding Pumpkin Spice mix

If you sub a yeast strain (which I highly recommend trying), make sure to compensate the attenuation rate of the yeast with the mash temperature. For example, if your yeast doesn’t attenuate as much, you need to make a more fermentable wort (mash temp needs to be lower).



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