The Fresh Loaf

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Adapting bread rec. into pizza dough rec.

Lcremin86's picture

Adapting bread rec. into pizza dough rec.

I want to turn my boyfriends favorite bread recipe into a pizza dough. It's the "beer bread with cheddar" recipe from the bread lovers bread machine cookbook. It goes a little something like this:

8 ounces flat beer

3.5 cups bread flour

3/4 cups shredded cheddar

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1.25 tsp SAF yeast.

-Obviously we're going to replace the bread flour with APF but do you think the recipe will stand up to a pizza dough? The dough recipe in the book calls for more liquid (I know the cheese sorta counts as a liquid and would match the measurement of the extra in the dough recipe) and some of the extra liquid is olive oil. Will omitting this destroy the dough? What I'm trying to get at here is can you essentially take any bread loaf recipe and turn it into a pizza dough?


wassisname's picture

First, a quote:  “Our current pizza revival, with all the attitude, manifestos, and “secrets”… is amusing.  Just start with good bread dough and a very hot baking stone, and you will end up with a great pizza.”  (Tartine Bread, Chad Robertson, p. 95)

So, my tummy is already rumbling over the possibilities of beer and cheddar pizza.  If I was going to try it I would stick with the bread flour; sounds like that’s what you’re used to and bread flours are usually stronger than AP flours.  Looks like a pretty straightforward dough so it's hard to imagine anything disastrous coming from using it for pizza crust.  The rest is a matter of taste, what sort of toppings you’re planning and just plain, old seeing what works for you, but I would reduce the sugar a bit, take most of the cheese out of the dough and use it on top of the pizza, and add a little olive oil to the dough.  With the cheddar on top I would forgo the usual sauce and maybe try… mixing a little chili powder and olive oil and brushing that over the crust… maybe some diced chiles… maybe jalapenos, even… maybe a very thin smear of BBQ sauce… maybe some crumbled bacon…  Sorry, I’ve derailed and I’m getting hungry and need to stop.  I’d love to see how this turns out.  Good luck!


leslie c's picture
leslie c

I don't know why it wouldn't work. I usually use APF for my pizza doughs but I've read something recently that has made me decide I'm going to start going half bread flour and half APF and see if it makes a difference. Unlike Marcus, I'd leave the cheese in the recipe. If you've made pizza doughs in the past, you'll know the approximate consistency you're looking for--the softness, the moistness. So just add flour and beer until it seems about right--and I agree with Marcus about the olive oil. As for the sugar--I probably wouldn't put in so much, but I guess I don't know what type of flavor the sugar is bringing to the bread. I usually put honey in my pizza doughs and I like that hint of sweet. 

I would also use cheddar on the pizza, as Marcus suggested, but not BBQ sauce:) Marcus--you have interesting pizza tastes!!:) A tomato sauce. 

Ooh, please tell me how this turns out. I'd love to try it. 

JimZ's picture

That is a good question. My answer is yes from the opposite side. I took my pizza dough recipe I been making for 35yrs and almost just as long ago used that recipe to make my Seeded Italian Bread.No reason why you can not do the reverse

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Care the share it with me us?


Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

As a pizza freak I will tell you that I have done this many many times.  Leave the cheese in!  I make a cheese bread that I made into pizza dough. Killer stuff.  

With chunks  or shredded cheese in the dough keep in mind that it may melt some on the bottom so you get a bit of that burn't cheese taste.   I just love that burnt cheese like the cheese that oozes out of a good grilled cheese sandwich and burns a bit of a cheese puddle attached to the bread.

Any way in that thought you may want to put it on parchment paper to keep it from sticking to pans or oven floor.

If you know and love that burnt cheese that I was talking about... To force the issue put down parchment paper, sprinkle on some cheese, cover with dough, make your pizza and bake.  Keep an eye on the bottom for dark brown and not black on the cheese.


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I made a pizza dough last Sunday that was ~20% (baker's %) Parmigiano-Reggiano. I could barely taste the cheese because the pizza toppings masked/overwhelmed it. I regret not using a cheaper cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano (the real stuff) is $26/lb!

Lcremin86's picture

Thanks guys! I'm going to try and combine a basic pizza dough recipe with the beer/cheese bread. The dough recipe calls for way less sugar so that was a given. My idea for toppings WAS either a bbq chicken or buffalo chicken. Still haven't decided you. I'm going to make it this saturday and i will definitely let you know how it turns out. Thanks for all the help!

JimZ's picture

I was asked to share my pizzadough/seeded Italian bread recipe. It is very simple. I will out the mixing and kneading instr. Making it a day ahead of time and putting in the fridge over night is a plus. It works well making it the same day.

3 cupps APF, or bread flour

1 cup liquid(non clorinated water, beer, butter milk, etc.) heated to the temp for the yeast you are using

1 pack instant yeast or rapid(follow instr. on liquid temp) or 2 1/4 instant yeast

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs honey

1 tsp Kosher salt.

just mix and knead like you normally do and that is that.

A couple of weeks ago I made a double batch of dough. Half the dough made a loaf of Italian Seed bread and with the other half I made a  Sicilian Pan Pizza after I was done making the bread. I made the dough the same day as baking. I never tried putting photos up before, but I'll give it a try.

I like the idea of using my different yeast bread and sour dough recipe to make pizza. I never thought of it. Thanks for the idea-JimZ

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Having used it for 35 years, I thought you might have a super-secret ingredient or method.

Guess not!

Some things don't need futzing.

It's not too different from mine, expect I use sourdough (prefermenting 50% of the flour).

JimZ's picture

Some things I futzing, some things I do not futzing, LOL. The super-secrete ing. is love of bread making-JimZ

Lcremin86's picture

So it's the morning after my first homemade pizza attempt. Yes, i've never made a pizza dough before and decided to try something a little more advanced than intermediate. It turned out awesome. 

3.5 Cups bread flour

1 cup flat beer

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp SAF yeast

(3 tbsp water to moisten the dough while it mixed)


I made the dough in my bread machine then punched it down and let sit in a oiled bowl covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes i removed the damp towel and sealed the bowl with saran wrap and placed in the fridge until i was ready to use it. I had gotten all the ingredients ready before hand (cooked and shredded chicken and chopped the veggies) this way i could have a few glasses of wine and just throw it together when we were ready to eat without incident. I let the dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling out onto a baking sheet. Topped with BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, chopped green bell pepper and red onions, and more shredded cheddar cheese. Baked at 450 until crust was golden brown (about 20-25 minutes). The crust was dense, chewy, and sweet and really stood up to the toppings. My boyfriend said it was "the best pizza i've ever eaten" he had also consumed a few beers so i'm not gonna let it go to my head too much. :) Very happy it turned out well. If only i had made the barbeque sauce, then i could truly say it was from scratch!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)


If you like the flavour of beer in bread, try Hanseata's Pain à la Bière - Alsatian Beer Bread.

If you really, really like the flavour of beer in bread, try reducing (simmering to evaporate water and, thereby, concentrating flavour) 4 beers into the volume of 1 beer.

If you really, really, really like the flavour of beer in bread, one flavour elevates it to ambrosia: extra virgin olive oil.

BBQ sauce on a pizza? Indeed!