Sweet, Smoky, and Spicy Pizza on a Bock Beer Crust

Let me start, once again, by thanking all of you who voted for me to move on to Round 5 of Project Food Blog!  I am amazed to have made it this far, humbled by all the kind and encouraging comments, and so grateful for all your support!  Thank you all so much.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

This week the challenge is titled Recipe Remix:

One recipe, 100 variations! We’re challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? You’ll be asked to put your own spin on Pizza.

I could have gone a million different directions with this challenge, from non-traditional bases to exotic toppings, but after a lot of thought I decided to make a traditional pizza, and in fact it is MY ultimate pizza.  If I am going to have pizza, I want to have the finest pizza I can with all my favorite toppings.


Pizza is one of those things that is either done very well or done very badly.  I don’t waste my time on bad pizza.  Honestly, there is no excuse for gummy crust, plastic cheese, and manufactured toppings when fresh, wholesome ingredients are available.  With that in mind I went on a little shopping spree for toppings, and I’m ashamed to admit I went a little overboard – about $50 overboard! – on toppings and exotic cheeses, but trust me when I say it was totally worth it!

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

As I said, this is my ultimate pizza.  Of course, you can add whatever toppings you like, these just happen to be my favorites and let me tell you why.  For me this pizza has the perfect balance of smokey, spicy, sweet, and savory all on a crisp and chewy crust.  The secret of this pizza is not loading it down with toppings and cheese.  Each topping packs a lot of flavor so a little goes a long way.  My rule of thumb is to add enough so each slice gets a little of the love!  This is also a good place to break out some good cheeses, none of that ready-shredded business.  Last, and by no means least, is the crust.   My crust is made with a Texas beer, Shiner Bock.  A lot of pizza recipes have you proof your crust for a day or two in the fridge to develop flavor.  Using beer rather than water gives you that long proofed flavor with out the actual long proof.  Like I said, this is my ultimate pizza, and so far no one who has tried it has complained!

Sweet, Smoky, and Spicy Pizza on a Bock Beer Crust Yield 4 medium or 2 large pizzas

For the Bock Beer Crust:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons instant yeast)
1 1/2 cups Shiner Bock, or any bock, beer
1/4 cup water
Olive oil for brushing

For the herb sprinkle:
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme

For the cheese blend:
2  – 6 ounce Fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
1 cup smoked young cacioavallo, or smoked provolone, grated
1 cup fontina fontal, grated
1/2 cup grana padano stravecchio, or Parmesan

For the toppings:
2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup caramelized onions
4 strips Candied Bacon, cut into 1″ pieces (recipe follows)
3 ounces hard Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced and browned
4 – 1/2″ slices of fresh pineapple, grilled and cut into 1″ pieces
Fresh basil for garnish

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment, combine the flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl proof the yeast, if using active dry, in 1/2 cup of beer.  Once foamy, about ten minutes, add it to the dry mixture along with the remaining cup of beer and the olive oil.

Mix on low speed for three minutes.  The dough should be fairly sticky but form a smooth ball.  If the dough seems dry add the water one tablespoon at a time until no dry flour remains.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth ball.  Place in a greased bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 500 F with a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven for thirty minutes before you are ready to bake.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Once fermented turn the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board.  Gently press the dough to degas then divide into four equal pieces.  Round the pieces and let rest, covered, for ten minutes.  (You can place any dough you don’t need in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months at this time.)

Once rested form the pizza crust to your desired size and thickness by picking up the dough and gently stretching in a circle.  Transfer the dough round on a semolina dusted square of parchment on a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet.  Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with the herb mixture.

Bake for two minutes, then remove the crust from the oven, discard the parchment.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of tomato sauce evenly over the pizza, then spread 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions over the sauce.  Add 4 or 5 slices of the fresh mozzarella, 1/4 cup each browned mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grilled pineapple chunks.  Next add 1/4 cup each of the smoked young cacioavallo and fontina fontal.  Add 5 or 6 pieces each of the chorizo and candied bacon.  Finish with freshly grated grana padano stravecchio.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Bake the pizza for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is crust is brown.  Garnish with fresh torn basil, if desired.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza


Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Simple Tomato Sauce     Yield 2 cups
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 – 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 large red onion, peeled and cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced fine
Salt to taste

In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter until it foams.  Add the tomatoes, garlic and onion and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Remove and discard the onion and simmer, stirring often, for another hour.  Taste the sauce and season with salt as desired.

Candied Bacon   Yield 6 strips

6 strips thick cut, smoked bacon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Heat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack on top.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

In a small bowl mix the spices with the brown sugar.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Place the bacon strips on the wire rack about an inch apart.   Top each slice of bacon with the spice mixture.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbling.  Cool on the rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Chorizo, Candied Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Mushroom Pizza

© 2010 – 2014, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • I wish my plane in seven hours was taking me to your house instead of home. I am totally making that pizza crust…. Yum! You have my vote!!!!

  • Not much left to say except that you’ve left me no choice but to copy this recipe to make for hubby. Loving your ultimate pizza and can already taste the flavor explosions between the candied bacon, pineapple and fontina. Good Luck in packing your cooler !

  • When I saw you tweeting about candied bacon, I was hoping that would be on the pizza. Oh my, it does look pretty ultimate indeed!

  • It is 7:42 am and I am ready to head to the kitchen and start making this Amazing. Incredible. Can’t wait to try out that crust and the candied bacon. [email protected]

  • Oh holy heaven. This looks amazing. Amazing.

    I really think I have nothing else to say. I’m speechless.


  • Wow, that is one fantastic looking pizza! It is 9 in the morning but I want some. You got my vote for this one.

  • omg this is one of the best pizza entries I’ve seen yet!

  • Looks amazingly good. Beautiful job.

  • Looks delicious! What a great, hearty pizza with a twist!

  • I love how you use beer in the crust for a shortcut to good flavor. Will have to try that next time I make pizza!

  • Loved all the flavors especially the candied bacon and grana padano! YUMM great job Kelly!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New black

    Your pizzerrrr looks amazing!!!!

  • Definitely looks like the ultimate pizza! Yum!! 🙂

  • This look like a NY slice… full of oozing cheese and lots of meat. I love “fancy” pizzas as much as the next foodie, but this is the kind of pizza that brings me back to my childhood in NJ. Love it!

  • I often add a bit of beer to those “no knead” bread recipes that were all the rage a while back. You are right, the yeasty quality of the beer makes up for the lack of depth that comes from quick cook styles. I also LOVE that you went traditional. Afterall pizza needs to satisfy and yours certainly does. GREG

  • THIS is the one I want to eat. like the whole thing. right now. in my belly. yum.

  • I’ve seen a fair number of unique and even exquisite entries for this pizza part of the contest but I must say…this is THE pizza I would want to serve my friends while watching a movie or football game. So hearty yet unique from the beer in the crust to the combination of ingredients. I’m not much of a red sauce fan anymore but this could bring me back into the fold; yes it could. Yes, YUM.

  • Love it! Looks so delish…and anyone who uses Texas’s own Shiner Bock just makes me love them even more! Can’t wait to vote for you tomorrow!!

  • Hellllloooooo pizza!!!! WHy is this not om my table right now. Look at that crust. Yum yum!!

  • Fantastic! How can you miss with candied bacon!

  • Your pizza sounds absolutely fabulous! My mouth is watering.

  • What an amazing pizza! The bacon puts its over the top. I am SO hungry right now and wish I had a slice. Good luck with this challenge!

  • That is serious looking pizza! I don’t think I could stop myself from eating it all!

  • I have never tried beer bock crust before and looks lovely, yummy! Thanks for sharing.

  • beer! what a wonderful rising enhancer. Beer and yeast go perfectly well together. Good idea!

  • A beer-based pizza crust? Now that sounds too awesome for words… I mean, I love having beer with my pizza, so beer in my pizza can’t possibly be a bad idea. 🙂
    Good luck. You’ve got my vote!

  • Wow… That is one AMAZING looking pizza! I’m on a quest for the perfect pizza dough, so I will definitely be adding yours to my list. Now I’m seriously craving some pizza for lunch, too.

  • This pizza sounds and looks the most delicious of all that I have seen so far! I love your topping choices especially that candied bacon. Yum! You have my vote!

  • You had me at Shiner Bock beer crust. Now I REALLY don’t want the soup I had planned for lunch!

  • That looks unbelievable!

  • I think a lot of people went a little crazy with this challenge, but I love your pizza because even though it’s extraordinary, it’s still “normal.” I need to find an excuse to make pizza so I can try your crust…it looks amazing! Great job on the challenge — you’re halfway to the money! You’ve got my vote this round. 🙂

  • Wow.This would be anyone’s ultimate pizza! All of those delicious meats and cheeses. Yum. I can just imagine it’s decadence. Nicely done. And your photos are lovely as always. I voted for you, yet again!

    Best of luck! Hope to see us both in round 6! =)

  • Oh. My. Goodness.

  • Good lordy, this pizza is exactly what I want after the end of a long week.

  • …candied bacon. Why have I *never* thought of that? Caramelized onions and candied bacon sound so, so, so good. You’re a genius with pizza toppings. Glad you moved on to the next round!

  • I’d totally spend $50 on that pizza! Way to go.

  • I want this entire pizza! You’ve got my vote!

  • A beer crust sounds SO awesome!! I agree with you that no matter how many amazing sounding pizzas are on a menu, I most always stick with pepperoni. It’s what I think of and generally want when it comes to pizza 🙂

  • Yummy!!!!

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  • That looks delicious and worth every cent of the $50. Very interesting beer crust.

  • Kim in MD

    That is one gorgeous pizza! I have never heard of using beer in pizza crust. This is definately a “must try” recipe! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Bacon, caramelized onions and bock beer crust, oh, my! Mouth watering photos. I’m voting for you now and hoping to see us both in the next round. -Katy

  • Found your blog via Project Food Blog – LOVE this recipe – it looks delicious!!

  • Holy crap!!! This looks totally and completely amazing. Though, honestly, you had me at “bock beer crust.” 🙂

  • Its a bit complicated but it looks well worth it. I’m going to try this recipe, and you’ve got my vote as well.

  • Great idea to put bock in your pizza dough. I make pizza almost weekly and I’m going to give that a try next time! Cheers.

  • That crust is just awesome!!! Loving this one!

  • OH MY WORD that is the best pizza I have ever seen in my life. Seriously! Candied Bacon?! I can’t get over the pure deliciousness of your pizza. YOU ARE AMAZING! I’m voting for you right now.

  • I love the beer crust. My roommates would just about die if they got a hold of it.

  • Good God this looks good.

  • I have been putting dry rub on bacon for years, but I have never though to put bacon on my pizza or beer in my crust–THANKS! I am starving now…

  • Seriously loving the sound of that crust!

  • Martin Findley

    Seriously, love the recipe, can you tell me where I can go and get a printable copy?

  • I shouldn’t be reading these right before dinner! This looks fabulous!

  • Beautiful pizza – this totally sounds like something that I could make over and over again and enjoy every time. 🙂

  • love the fact there is beer in your crust – so creative! your pizza looks mouth-watering and you’ve got one of my votes. good luck and i hope to see you in Round 6!

  • That looks dangerously delicious. Fantastic job with this challenge- voted!

  • The candied bacon must have made this pizza. I have had it once before and it didn’t disappoint!


  • That looks mighty tasty. Great combination of ingredients.

  • It’s the crust that will make or break your pizza. Your’s sounds like one to try. Good luck in the competition!

  • Bravo for making the pizza of your dreams! Your approach brought a smile to my face and I love all the cheese, pork products, and the lovely finishes of pineapple and basil. Oh, and the beer crust? Brilliant! Good luck in the next round! ^_^

  • LOVE the idea of a bock beer crust! Def a winner. 😉

  • This could not look more delicious. You totally got my vote for it. And I’m sure it’s going to get you through to the next round.

  • I’ve never had a crust like this before, but it sounds delicious and looks so good!

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