Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Beer Dinner – Pizza & Amber Ales

Nicole, Tibor and Dennis came over for a evening of amber ales and tasty food.  For the menu, Dennis brought over a fresh fruit tray for an appetizer, we made grilled pizzas, and Nicole and Tibor brought over Watergate Salad and 7 Layer Cookie Bars.  Everything was very good and the Amber Ales went well with everything.  I served two homebrewed Amber Ales – Peregrine and Citra Ace.  There was a split decision on these two and I will probably end up entering both into competitions.  We choose Widmer’s Drop Top Amber Ale as the best of the evening – all were good – Drop Top is a bit sweeter and went with the food very well.
For the commercial beers we sampled the following:
North Coast – Red Seal (5.5% ABV and 42 IBU)
Odell – Levity Amber Ale (5.1% ABV and 24 IBU)
Widmer – Drop Top Amber Ale (5.3% ABV and 18 IBU)
Alaskan – Amber (5.3% ABV and 18 IBU)
Full Sail – Amber (5.5% ABV and 31 IBU)
Red Seal -
Levity -

1 12-ounce bottle or can brown ale, room temperature (I used an Amber Ale)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast
21/2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
11/2 teaspoons salt

Whisk together the ale, oil and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pulse together bread flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. With the motor running, add the ale mixture to the food processor. Pulse until the dough comes together, then process for 30 seconds. (You can also use a stand mixer or make the dough by hand. If using a stand mixer, mix the dough for 4-5 minutes with a dough hook; by hand, knead the dough about 10 minutes.) The dough should be smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Very generously coat a pizza peel, unrimmed baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Gather your pizza toppings together and put on a baking sheet or plate for easy transport. You’ll also want a large metal spatula or tongs. 2.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut dough in half (or desired size). Roll and stretch one piece of dough into desired size and shape and transfer to the prepared peel or baking sheet. Head out to the grill.
3. Clean the grate of your grill. Using a single, quick motion, transfer the dough to the grill. Top with sauce and desired toppings; close the grill top. Grill the pizza until the underside is brown and crispy and the cheese is melted, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the peel or baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and toppings.

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