(WWTI) – Happy Monday, let’s end this — typically stressful — day with something delicious, it’s International Beer and Pizza Day.
If you’re a connoisseur of food pairings then, chances are, you’ve had a glass of beer with a slice of pizza. Pizza and beer are said to pair so well because they enhance or contrast each other’s flavors.
Beer — one of the oldest drinks produced by mankind — is brewed from cereal grains, which contain starch sugars that produce ethanol and carbonation during the fermentation process. Beer drinking dates as far back as 5000 B.C. in Iran and was recorded in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia before spreading worldwide.
Pizza dough is derived from cereal grains ground up together to make flour. The origin of pizza can be traced to ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks; however, the modern birthplace of pizza is a Greek settlement in Italy founded in 600 B.C. Originally pizza was an inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly; a favorite of the working poor in the ancient city and was introduced in other parts of the world as immigrants spread to Europe and the United States.
- 3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 12 ounces beer (a light flavor, like a pilsner), room temperature
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, slowly pour the beer into the flour mixture while stirring. Once a sticky dough forms, stop stirring. Lightly oil your hands and continue to knead the dough with your hands until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Very lightly dust your work surface with flour.
- Oil your hands with olive oil and place the dough on your work surface. Knead it until it comes together and is elastic. If it starts to stick, sprinkle the dough with more flour.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, knead each dough ball again, this time until they’re smooth. Drizzle the dough with oil. Rest for 1-2 hours, until the gluten has relaxed and the dough is easy to roll out.
- When you are ready to make your pizza, preheat your oven with a pizza stone or steel on the highest rack to 500 F. Roll out the dough until it’s about 12-inches in diameter, dock the dough using a fork to try to pop air bubbles in the dough. Then, top with your favorite toppings, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. You can also bake on a baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone.
Happy International Beer and Pizza Day!