Beer and Pizza

Post I of III on vegan and gluten-free beer

Pizza and beer…well, for me, I’d like root or birch beer to drink with pizza, not the hard stuff.  However, beer-braised onions are one of the summer grilling season’s delights that I miss terribly.  This recipe would be a tonne of fun to make on the grill, but, alas, no outdoor grill for Q.  Nevertheless, there was about a cup and a half of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF blend to be used, and use it I would in a savoury application.

 Pesto Beer Pizza

Modified from Jennie Shapter, “Tomato and Prosciutto Pizza,” in Bread Machine: How to Prepare and Bake the Perfect Loaf (London: Hermes House, 2002), 108-9.

1 cup water, warm
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup sticky rice flour
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal (for rolling)

In a large measuring cup, combine the yeast, water, and sugar.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and xanthan gum.
Once the yeast has foamed, whisk in the ground flaxseed.  Add the oil and vinegar, then pour this on top of the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn over once.  Cover and let rise for 35 minutes, or until doubled in size, in a warm, draft-free place.

Beer-Braised Onions

4 large white onions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
12 ounces vegan, gluten-free beer (I used Redbridge)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat.  Chop onions into half-moons.  Add onions, stir around to break up, cover and cook until barely translucent.  Add the beer and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium and cook uncovered until most of the beer has evaporated, about 20-30 minutes.  Tip from my dad when he makes beer-braised onions on the grill: later in the cooking interval, push the bulk of the onions to the side in order to evaporate the beer over the heat.


1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
1/4 cup soaking water, reserved
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon King Arthur Flour pizza seasoning
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

In a blender or food processor, blitz all ingredients until uniformly combined.

Other Toppings

1 cup vegan pesto (I used basil walnut pesto that I had in the freezer)
2 roasted beets, peeled and sliced

Assembly, once the onions are mostly cooked and the dough has almost risen:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and move a rack to the lowest possible setting.  Measure a piece of parchment to fit a rimmed baking sheet, then use the parchment to roll the dough.  Sprinkle cornmeal on the parchment.  Place the dough on the parchment and use the heels of your hands to stretch it to about a third smaller than the full size of the baking sheet.  

Roll it with a rolling pin to make it fit the pan.  Lift up the whole parchment assemblage and place it in the pan.

Spread the pesto on the pizza, leaving a margin of crust if you so desire.

Dollop the cheeze on top of the pesto, then use the back of a spoon to press it into a layer over the pesto.  Since the cheeze is sticky, it will drag the pesto, hence I recommend dolloping it first.

Slice the beets and arrange across the cheeze.

Bake for five minutes on the lowest rack.  By this point, the onions should be soft and brownish and beginning to dry out (or sober up!).  Top with as many onions as you deem delicious (probably not the entire batch, though).  

Return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until crust has browned, cheeze and pesto have dried out a bit, and onions have browned on top.  Remove from the oven and move to a rack to cool.  Cut with kitchen shears to serve.

MMM!  The bite of the Redbridge in the onions--!

My playlist this weekend has been classic Goth rock and a few random artists since I seem to gravitate to what I listened to in 2008-9 when big changes are afoot:  Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, Cake, Depeche Mode, DIIV, Dropkick Murphys, Electric Wizard, Flogging Molly, Jack’s Mannequin, Joy Division, Clan of Xymox, Cocteau Twins, The Birthday Massacre, The Birthday Party, The Cure, The White Stripes, Virgin Prunes, and American Head Charge.

On the lack of cheeze-stretch factor with vegan cheeze: vegans just grow accustomed to eating non-stretchy things…so they won’t need stretchy pants?!

In pace,


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