Last week my business travels took me to Boston. I was very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a private tour of the Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon is a working brewery that also has a large bar that you can visit and order up the breweries latest suds. To accompany your beer, they serve soft pretzels that are made to order. The pretzels have a wonderful fermented flavor, and I immediately needed to find out the “how’s & why’s”. Turns out the brewery uses some of the spent grains from the brewing process in their recipe for the pretzel dough. Ah ha … this got the wheels turning.
I started with Nancy Silvertons’s The Mozza Cookbook dough recipe as a base and went to work like a made scientist juggling beakers of potions. Three versions later, I stumbled upon a magic mix that yielded a spectacular dough. The end result has a crunch to the outer crust, a rich, dense chewy texture, and an amazing deep flavor of toasted grains, soft caramel, with malty aroma.
The dough is wetter then most and will take a bit of effort to make. It also will take a bit more time to cook in your Forno Bravo oven. I averaged about 3.5 minutes with the hearth between 650 – 700 and the dome right around 850. Be prepared and patient when working with the dough; your hands will get sticky with this one, but I think you will enjoy the rewards. I’ll be so bold to recommend you pair this with your favorite ice cold beer.
Yield: 6 dough balls
18 ounces warm water
4 ounces IPA beer, room temperature
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
32 ounces unbleached bread flour
4 ounces dark rye flour
2 tablespoons barley, toasted, ground
1 tablespoon wheat germ
2 tablespoons barley malt
1 ounce sea salt
Olive oil for greasing the bowl
In a small sauté pan over low heat, add the barley. Every couple minutes, gently toss the barley through out the pan to ensure even cooking. Once barley is toasted and beginning to yield a darker golden color and toasted aromas are present, about 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. Once the barley has cooled, grind into a small course size with a spice grinder.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, rye flour, wheat germ, beer and remaining water. Mix with your hands until all the liquid has been absorbed, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
In a separate small mixing bowl, add the barley, yeast, and 9 ounces of the warm water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, combine the yeast-barley mixture with the flour mixture. Add the barley malt and salt. Kneed the dough until all ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough should be wet and sticky. Cover and set aside in a warm place to proof.
After 1 hour or once the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough and fold the “corners” back into itself twice. Cover and let rest for an additional 3-4 hours. You can let the dough proof longer to develop deeper flavors.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, form the dough balls and let set for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to cooking. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.
For my first pizza with this dough, I also used Nancy’s fennel sausage, panna and scallions recipe.
4 ounces fennel sausage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 ounce mozzarella, torn into ½ pieces
3 scallions, cut on an extreme bias
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fennel pollen
Pinch kosher salt
Hope you enjoy. Until next week, feast well.