Spent Grain Pizza Dough Recipe

Few things on the planet pair better with a glass of ice-cold beer, than a hot, fresh pizza. Sure, there’s tons of potential for fancy food pairings with beer, and we love that, but sometimes you just need a nice hot slice to go with your brew.

Now that I have you thinking about pizza and beer, how about we talk about incorporating your spent grain from your brewing into a delicious and easy to make pizza crust! Sound good? Of course, it does. Just like Mom always said, waste not, want not; so, let us turn those perfectly good grains, into perfectly good pizza.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 ½ cup Pizza flour (AP flour works fine too)
  • ½ cup warm water (Alternatively, you can use ¼ cup beer and ¼ water warmed to about 110 degrees)
  • ¾ cup wet spent grains (typically the lighter grains work best, but caramel malts can provide a rich flavor as well. Dark roast malts are great to use with pumpernickel or rye flour, recipes)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons Dry active yeast (You can throw a tablespoon of trub in there for flavor as well, but we need the bread yeast to create an ample amount of bubbles in our crust since this will be a heavier dough. Do not skip the bread yeast, ya hear?
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar or liquid malt extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Olive Oil

How to Make the Dough

In the bowl of a standing mixer, gently mix the yeast into water (or water and beer mixture) and sugar (or liquid malt) just to combine. Let sit for five minutes and it should start to bubble and smell delightful. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can also use a whisk to gently stir the mixture in a large bowl.

Add the rest of your ingredients to the bowl and knead with a dough hook for 8-10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can use a regular medium-sized bowl, simply mix the dough by hand in the bowl, and transfer it to a clean, floured work surface for kneading.)

After the dough is combined, turn it on a surface that it will not stick to. Add a good splash of olive oil to your mixing bowl. Place the dough back in the bowl and turn to coat in olive oil.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest in a warm spot for 2 hours.

After that long, boring 2-hour rise, punch that dough like it owes you money and let rise again for 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel (just trust me here). In the meantime, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.

Remove dough from the bowl after the 30-minute rise and place it on to a sheet pan for a square pizza, or a round pan for a pizza that is also round. Using your hands, manipulate the dough to stretch it evenly over the sheet pan surface. Then, finish with sauce, cheese, and whatever other toppings your hungry heart might desire.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is evenly browned on the bottom. Use something other than your naked, fleshy fingers to lift the edges of the crust, and inspect for “doneness”. Some like it crispy, some like it soft, that is none of my business.

Once your Glorious pizza is done to your liking, pull it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Cut, Serve and enjoy with a tell glass of your favorite homebrew!

Cheers to you, homebrewer (and a pizza chef)!