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Nancy Puts Beer IN Her Pizza

She’s at it again.  Nancy Leson swears you can have good-to-go pizza crust in just one hour.  Of course I think she’s delusional but I’m too diplomatic to say it.

Oh, wait – no I’m not.

Nancy’s talking about Cook’s Illustrated’s hack using beer and vinegar in their One Hour Pizza recipe.  Here, take a look.

Cook’s Illustrated Quick Pizza Dough (makes two 11-1/2-inch pizzas) 1 1/3 cup (7 1/3 ounces) bread flour ½ cup (3 ounces) semolina flour 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast 2 teaspoons sugar ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) warm water (115 degrees) ¼ cup (2 ounces) mild lager 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt Vegetable oil spray All-purpose flour Adjust oven rack 4 to 5 inches from broiler element, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. While oven heats, process bread flour, semolina flour, yeast, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 seconds. With processor running, slowly pour warm water, lager, vinegar, and oil through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand for 10 minutes. Add salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and gently knead until smooth, about 15 seconds. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into smooth ball. Spray 11-inch circle in center of large sheet of parchment paper with oil spray. Place 1 ball of dough in center of parchment. Spray top of dough with oil spray. Using rolling pin, roll dough into 10-inch circle. Cover with second sheet of parchment. Using rolling pin and your hands, continue to roll and press dough into 11 ½-inch circle. Set aside and repeat rolling with second ball of dough (if making two pizzas). Let dough stand at room temperature until slight puffy, 30 minutes. When dough has rested for 20 minutes, heat broiler for 10 minutes. Remove top piece of parchment from 1 disk of dough and dust top of dough lightly with all-purpose flour. Using your hands or pastry brush, spread flour evenly over dough, brushing off any excess. Liberally dust pizza peel with all-purpose flour (alternately, you may use an overturned rimmed baking sheet). Flip dough onto peel, parchment side up. Carefully remove parchment and discard. Top pizza first with about ½ cup tomato sauce, then with cheese — and other toppings, as desired. Slide pizza carefully onto stone and return oven to 500 degrees. Bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through baking. Transfer pizza to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat process for second pizza.

Also in this week’s FfT , Nance tell’s how husband Mac, a Windy City native, has taken to using her Rosemary Olive roll dough for his Chi-caaaaaa-go style pizza aka Pizza Pot Pie.

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Mac's personal-sized Chicago style pies

“Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.” – Amy Neftzger

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.