Meet the Bierhall Pizza

Bierhall 010

I love bierhalls. Sitting at a big wooden table, drinking giant mugs of beer, and eating pretzels and sausages with tons of mustard is one of the best ways in the world to spend a lazy afternoon. But if you’re trying to recreate that at home, you’re either going to spend all day rolling and twisting pretzels, or you’ll have to go with store bought. And cooking up a bunch of brats while you’re trying to roll pretzels is also a lot to ask. So how do you turn pretzels and brats into party food at home? The Bierhall Pizza.

The crust on this thing is 100% standard pretzel dough; the main difference here is that it’s not going to get boiled first before baking (I don’t have a pot big enough for a pizza at home, maybe you do…). Good crisp exterior with spongy soft interior, you’ll be surprised how delicious this crust comes out. This recipe is good for two medium pizzas with 8 slices each – just think of all the pretzels you’re NOT rolling out and twisting up. But while making a pretzel pizza sounds cool by itself, the real beauty of this pizza lies in the toppings.

You’re gonna top this thing with bratwurst, cheese, onions, pickles, and mustard. You smell what I’m stepping in yet? We’re taking all the delicious things you’d get (separately) at a bierhall, and putting them together into one epic pie. Believe me, you may not be able to stop eating this (especially if there’s beer involved).

Dough

1 1/2 cups warm (~112 degrees F) water

1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast

4 1/2 cups flour

3 ounces unsalted butter, melted

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T water

 

Topping Mix

1 lb bratwurst or other sausage

1 sweet onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz. beer

1 c cheddar grated

1 c smoked gouda grated

slightly more than 1/2 c pickles diced, juice squeezed out

1/4 c whole grain mustard (Plus about 4 extra tablespoons for “pizza sauce”)

1 T hot sauce

1 t salt

– Mix the water, sugar and salt in bowl, then add yeast (no need to mix the yeast in, just sort of sprinkle it on top). Let that sit for 5-10 minutes; it should look nice and foamy.

– Add the flour and butter, mix until everything is incorporated, then knead for about 7 minutes, or until your dough is totally cohesive. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a dry dish towel, and let proof for one hour in a relatively warm place.

– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

– Heat a skillet to medium/med-high heat. Crumble your bratwurst in, and cook until golden brown. Once brown, add 2 oz of beer to deglaze, and remove from heat when the beer has evaporated. Empty into a mixing bowl, and set aside.

– Return the pan to the heat, and add the onions and garlic. Cook until browning and crisping, then add the rest of the beer, reduce heat to low, and cover loosely with foil. Let that cook until most of the liquid is gone (about 30 minutes), then add that to your mixing bowl.

– Let your mix cool. While that’s happening, if you’ve reached an hour on your dough, you can start on that. Lightly flour your work surface, split your dough into two, and roll each one out into a nice thin circle. It should flop over the sides of your pizza pan a bit. Take those floppy edges, and roll them a couple times, then press and seal.

– Once the mix has cooled enough to not melt the cheese, add the pickles, cheese, mustard, hot sauce, and salt, and mix well.

– Spoon a couple tablespoons of mustard onto each pie, and spread to the edge. Top each with half the mixture.

– If you’re feeling really fancy, you can score the edges of your crust at this point. If you’re not feeling fancy, you can skip that.

– Brush the egg wash on the crust of the pies.

– Toss those pies in the oven, and cook about 16 minutes, or until nice and brown (like a pretzel!) on the crust.

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