Pizza & Hard Cider: Part X

This marks the 10th official pizza and cider post on PricklyCider.com. Most of these contain 4 homemade sourdough pizza and cider pairings so that is almost 40 pizza options. These pizzas range from veggie to meat lovers, classic to experimental, but they are all packed with flavors and paired with great hard ciders. Many of these ciders you can make because the recipes are listed on my recipe page. For the posts on pizza, just search the site for pizza and prepare to be inspired. As I’ve recently noted, we have been migrating towards a pescatarian diet. Since shellfish are some of my favorite seafood, this pizza grouping contains a couple shellfish offerings including BBQ Scallop and Shrimp Fra Diavolo. I have also broadened my pizza dough styles. One change is that I’m adding eggs to the dough, which gives it a richer flavor and requires more flour so it has more bulk. I have also started using high gluten bread flour to give my crust more stretch and chew. I have sometimes added gluten to my breads in the past but I like having the strong bread flour around for my baking. It produces better breads and pizza dough that has more stretch.

As always, here is my basic sourdough crust recipe. I adapt it by using different flours, adding nuts, spices, fruit or other adjuncts, and even processing it differently by bulking it up, letting it rise, or adding some sweeteners, like honey. The possibilities are like the pizza toppings, endless. This is the base recipe I use.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

Servings: 10-12 Inch Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 210-230 Grams Sourdough Starter
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
  • 1  Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Organic All-Purpose Flour (of Strong Bread)
  • Water as Required

Steps:

  • Mix starter, oil, salt, and flour in a large mixing bowl by hand.  
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes.  If too dry, add teaspoon of water.  This dough should be relatively dry.  
  • Cover and let set for 1 hour.  
  • Use or freeze.  If freezing, set the dough in the refrigerator the day before you plan to use it and on the counter 1-2 hours before you use it.  

Here are my three standard crusts depending on thickness and crunch.

  • Egg Crust: Add 2 large eggs, substitute bread flour for the AP flour, and use 1 cup instead of 1/2. Kneed it fir 10-15 minutes and let the dough sit for 8 hours before freezing or using. It creates a fluffier and chewy crust great for heartier pizzas.
  • Crumpet Crust: Add 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda to this crust along with 2 ounces of water. This creates a bulkier crust that has pretzel flavors. It’s great for heartier pizzas. Add additional flour to maintain the consistency.
  • Cracker Crust: Replace the regular flour with semolina flour, which creates a thinner and cracker-like crust. I have also found the replacing the all-purpose flour with rye flour will create a thinner crispy style crust.
  • Standard Crust: Make as outlined above for a medium thickness with some crunch and some chew.

Here is a list of the last 4 pizzas that we have made as well as the hard ciders we paired with them. For reference, we homemake most of the ingredients as well as use organic so I don’t specifically call this out. You can find many of these ingredients at your local grocery or specialty shop if you don’t want to make the sauces or other topping. If you aren’t ready to make hard cider, you can usually find commercial options that make great substitutes.


Sweet Potato Enchilada Pizza with Flamin’ Hops Cider

  • Standard Sourdough with Jalapeño Extract
  • Enchilada Sauce, Tomato Based
  • Zucchini, Roasted
  • Sweet Potato, Roasted
  • Mild Cheddar, Shredded
  • Cilantro, Chopped
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sweet Potato Enchilada Pizza
  • Flamin’ Hops Cider: Bottle and glass.

Our favorite Mexican restaurant has a vegetarian enchilada that my wife loves. It’s a sweet potato enchilada that uses poblanos and a red sauce to bring some heat. We decided this would make a great pizza by replacing the tortilla with a pizza crust. I made my standard crust but added some homemade jalapeño extract. Dice up a jalapeño and add it to the crust if you don’t have any extract. the standard crust will be medium thickness and the jalapeño will pair well with this slightly spicy pizza. To keep the spicy theme going, I paired it with my Flamin’ Hops Cider, which uses hops and Carolina Reapers to create and earthy yet spicy cider that reinforces the spice in the enchilada sauce. The sweetness of the sweet potato balances the heat in way that the fat from pork would. It’s just a much healthier version. If you don’t see yourself as a vegetarian, give this pizza and hard cider combo a try. You might become a new convert.


Egg Shakshuka Pizza & Flora Dora Cider

  • Egg Sourdough Crust (see crust option above)
  • Homemade Shakshuka Sauce
  • Eggs (4-6)
  • Provolone Cheese, Grated
  • Cilantro, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Egg Shakshuka Pizza
  • Flora Dora Cider Mistelle

Egg Shakshuka Pizza was inspired by my decision to add a couple eggs to my pizza dough. I use eggs in my cinnamon roll recipe and thought they would be a good addition for a pizza. That set us upon a path for selecting an egg themed pizza. We have used used eggs on various pizzas over the years and I always enjoy them. We thought of egg shakshuka, which is an egg poached on a tomato base. That sounded like a pizza just missing the crust! I probably put one too many eggs but I would argue there is no such thing as one too many eggs on anything. If you are like me and prefer your egg whites fully cooked, I recommend finishing this pizza on broil for the last minute. This will brown up the top similar to the above photo. I usually break my yokes just to reduce the messiness but a slightly running yoke is never a bad thing either.

This pizza was paired with my Flora Dora Cider. It’s a cider mistelle made with cider, organic gin, lime, raspberries, and juniper. It’s refreshing and gives this pizza a breakfast vibe. Everyone loves breakfast for dinner and everyone loves pizza. Paired with a Flora Dora Cider, you can’t go wrong.


Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pizza with Red Pear-Sweet Apple Cider

  • Egg Sourdough Crust with Fresh Oregano
  • Fra Diavolo Sauce
  • Shrimp, Sautéed with Garlic and Chopped
  • Provolone Cheese, Sliced
  • Fresh Oregano, Chopped
  • Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pizza
  • Red Pear-Sweet Apple Cider

Our next pizza was another egg crust but I added some fresh chopped oregano to the dough as I was feeling we needed an Italian themed pizza. I know, you are thinking all pizza is Italian but, I was feeling a non-traditional Italian pizza. My wife came to the rescue with a Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipe. She made a Fra Diavolo sauce for the base and we added chopped shrimp that she had sautéed with garlic. We topped with some cheese and fresh chopped oregano and you have an Italian masterpiece on a pizza! The dough is pillowy, crunchy, and chewy topped with spicy shrimp and tomato. That spicy calls for a touch of sweetness, which means Red Pear-Sweet Apple is the perfect cider. It has a touch of sweetness from the pears while also having some astringency and acid. Its the perfect balance to this seafood dish with hearty notes that would leave either a white or red wine lacking.


BBQ Scallop Pizza & Blue Flame Cider

  • Egg Sourdough Crust with Fresh Basil
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Bay Scallops
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Roasted Roma Tomato
  • Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • Basil, Torn

  • Barbecue Scallop Pizza
  • Blue Flame Cider

I was yearning for some BBQ but, you might recall that we are avoiding red meat and focusing on fish for our protein source. Now you might think BBQ shrimp but, we had just made a Shrimp Fra Diavolo pizza so I suggested BBQ scallops. We used bay scallops, which are already bite sized. We sautéed these with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and laid them on another egg pizza crust that was covered with a spicy homemade BBQ sauce. The crust also had fresh chopped basil mixed into it. We added some roasted red peppers and tomatoes and covered it all with cheese and fresh chopped basil. Given the BBQ sauce was sweet with a little heat, I elected to pair it with my latest spicy cider, Blue Flame. Blue flame is a beautiful blue color but, don’t let the color fool you. It’s flaming hot. The pizza’s fluffy and chewy dough along with the sweetness of the sauce creates the perfect balance for this spicy hard cider. If you don’t enjoy heat, I’d recommend a blueberry cider or reducing the number or type of peppers used in making Blue Flame. The blueberry adds nice astringency and some tartness but the heat builds over time. Enjoy sweet-heat in this perfect combination.


You might remember that I cook my pizzas at 500F (260C) on a pizza steel. This allows me to get a nice crunch and chew combination. It also means the pizzas cook rather quickly. You don’t need a steel or stone but if you have a sourdough starter, they make a great additional to the kitchen for all your bread baking needs. If you haven’t tried hard cider, I strongly encourage you to pair it with your next pizza. You might enjoy it enough to try making it. My book explores my cider journey and while it is focused on how to make hard cider, it also covers apples, cider history, and food. However, check out the recipe “My First Cider” located in my recipes section if you want to take a first step along your own cider journey.

I hope this post inspires you to make your own pizza and cider pairings. If you enjoy reading about cider and how to make, follow me.

If you are wondering, I’m not going to sell your information or bombard you with requests to buy things. It’s simply a way for me to get you copies of my blogs on weekly basis and respond if you have questions you want to ask me. As always, stay safe and drink cider!


Here are some of my other pizza posts on PricklyCider.com

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