I’ve also discovered that it’s a tasty late night treat when you need sobering up from a hard day’s graft at the GBBF and everywhere decent is shut. Rudgate Ruby Mild won the much coveted Supreme Champion gong-somewhat contentiously, judging by some of the mutterings overheard. I don’t think it was a fix (as some were postulating) but there is something of a recent history of rewarding very average beers-Alton’s Pride, anyone?
Rudgate Ruby Mild is ok, but not exceptional as a Mild, let alone in comparison with the myriad of other beers. Just my opinion, of course. Amongst the punters there actually seemed more excitement over the appearance of Fuller’s Vintage Ale in cask form. There was a horde of them all heading tantivy for their third shots-which left me free to enjoy the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere. I think that was the beginning of the end as it seems to have been all downhill from there. It certainly has been a long day.
Anyway, the secret to the perfect beerhound cheese pizza is preparation. The base is crucial. I like to use Wright’s speciality bread mixes to get a quick, consistent, result. Time and time again, I find myself returning to their Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato variety. Garlic & Rosemary is a viable alternative, but stay away from the Wholemeal and Sunflower varieties.
Simply mix it with 300ml of warm water, roll the resulting dough into a ball and leave to air for a couple of minutes. Knead and stretch and then leave again. Put in a mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm for about 40 mins. This will give you time to get your other ingredients ready and, in my case, time to choose my nightcap. Whisky and pizza don’t mix-I’ve tried it, but some calling was drawing me to the newly arrived Brewdog Tokyo-the perfect accompaniment.
When the dough has doubled (or more) in size, you will have enough to make two large pizzas and a small bread. On pizza 1, I went for a first tier of Canadian Extra Mature followed by a healthy sprinkling of grated Grana Padano. This was topped off by Feta, Parmesan shavings and Garlic Roule. Chunks of fresh pineapple and a touch of oregano sealed the deal.
For variety, on Pizza 2, I tried Feta, Parmesan, Red Leicester, Farmhouse Lancashire, red onions and some basil. Then it was simply a case of putting them in the oven at gas mark 7.5 for 12 mins-swapping them over halfway through. And then sit back and enjoy. The Brewdog really added to the experience. Or was that just me being totally pissed? At 18.2% you expect it to pack a punch and it does, although the aroma wasn’t as pungent as I was expecting. I got plenty of cherry and fruit sweetness before I nodded off. My second swig made me think of chocolate with a bitter finish. Good stuff-I think-hopefully it will have cauterised the damage done to the top of my mouth by that bloody hot cheese. Or was it the garlic?
Time for bed, I reckon.