I think I have finally made the perfect pizza dough! It’s super easy, consists of just a few ingredients and can be made and stored ahead of time. I’ve made and eaten a lot of pizza in my day, and if I don’t like a pizza, it’s usually due to the crust not being quite right. I like a thin, crispy, yeasty flavored crust that cooks quickly. This recipe fits the bill for the perfect pizza dough! Some key pointers when making pizza is to roll your pizza dough very thin, make your pizzas on a pizza peel coated with cornmeal before sliding onto pizza stone, place all ingredients right to the edge of the crust, and use a pre heated pizza stone in the oven on high heat (450 degrees). I always use fresh ingredients like fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, basil, roasted red bell peppers, caramelized onions, and local meats and vegetables. This dough can also be used for grilled pizzas…more to come on that. I guarantee you will love this perfect pizza dough. Another thing I like to do is to add fresh herbs to the dough, like rosemary. Your friends and family will love it! So now that you have this recipe make pizzas! You won’t regret it.
Perfect Pizza Dough
from the kitchen of the Wyofoodjunkie
4 cups flour
2 packets (1/4 oz each) Rapid Rise Yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Stir to combine flour and yeast in a large bowl. In a separate medium size bowl whisk to combine the water, sugar, oil, and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a sticky ball forms. Do not over mix. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 min or until almost doubled in size. Remove dough from bowl onto floured work surface. Knead just a few times until dough is smooth place back into a bowl that has been lightly oiled with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. This dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days and in the freezer for up to two months.
Beer and yoga come together at Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. in Cheyenne, Wyoming! I love beer and I love yoga. So you can imagine that I get a little excited when the two come together. And why not? Beer and yoga are amazing! Recently, while visiting Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. in Cheyenne, Wyoming I saw a post on their chalkboard that caught my eye. They had posted a couple dates for something called Detox/Retox with Little Lotus Yoga Studio in Cheyenne. The description read this: “Why beer and yoga? Well, it is fun, it gets people to try yoga who otherwise might not, meet new friends who also like beer and are interested in yoga and to build community around small business. Never done yoga? No problem! No need to be flexible, no need to have a yoga mat, no experience necessary…bring a friend, an open mind and the courage to try something new.” Wow! This sounded great. So I immediately texted a friend who I knew would love to join me and we signed up! I’m so glad we did. Our class took place right in the brewery, the class and instructor was so fun and friendly and we got to try some delicious hand crafted beer before, during and after the class. Freedom’s Edge has so many beers to choose from. They had everything from a light raspberry pilsner to a deep vanilla porter. They’ve been in business since 2012 and are well on their way to becoming a very successful brewery in Wyoming. The brewery is located in an older downtown building equipped with garage doors that can be opened up with good weather. It was a beautiful day the day of our yoga session so they rolled the doors up. The yoga class was appropriate for all levels and included a fun music play list. Before class, we received a token we could redeem for a pint of our choice. I chose the 1890 IPA. A hoppy, light and refreshing IPA that was a perfect ending to an uplifting yoga class. I think it’s fun when people come up with ideas like a beer and yoga class. I love when communities and business come together. Another beer and yoga class will be in my future for sure. You should join me!
I have decided that the best pizza in Wyoming is in Centennial, Wyoming at the Beartree Tavern and Cafe. Now, I haven’t eaten all the pizza in Wyoming, but I am pretty sure having eaten pizza from the Beartree numerous times, it ranks in the top 3. Centennial is a small town at the base of the Snowy Range mountains 30 miles west of Laramie. We travel through there any time we go skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, camping and backpacking. Whenever we venture out to do any of these things we almost always make a stop at the Beartree Tavern and we always eat the pizza. Our two favorite pizzas to order are the green chili and the pepperoni with banana peppers. The crust is handmade, thin, crispy and delicious. It has that yeasty, beer flavor that I love in a pizza crust. The red sauce is tangy, with a touch of spice. Many people will tell you that their favorite pizza is the green chili pizza. It’s amazing. Instead of red sauce they layer their homemade green chili with mozzarella and any of your favorite toppings. We like to add chicken and artichokes. It’s a special kind of pizza for sure. The best pizza in Wyoming.
There is a small restaurant up front and a bar in back. The atmosphere is so cozy! It’s like you are in someone’s home. Many luscious green plants, a wood stove, a pool table and art all over the walls. They also have a sunny, private side room you can reserve for large parties. They have outdoor seating, a stage area and a roof top deck. In the summer it is a fantastic stop for lunch and dinner. They often have musical guests and events throughout the summer. You could make it a day just hanging out in their backyard space. They offer many beers on tap and generous wine pours that my girlfriends and I really enjoy! They have a large menu of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and of course the pizza, all served by a friendly and regular staff. Read about the history of the Beartree by clicking here.
So if you are in the Laramie area, taking a drive to the Snowies, or just looking for a great pizza, consider the Beartree Tavern and Cafe. I guarantee you’ll love it. I’ve never had a bad experience or a bad pizza. Like I said, I am pretty sure it is the best pizza in Wyoming.
Food and beer pairing you ask? Attending food and wine pairings is something I’ve had the opportunity to do many times in my life. Only until recently have I attended food and beer pairings. I had often wondered if beer was that complex. Can it honestly be paired with food to enhance the flavors and enjoyment of the beer? It sure can!
We are very fortunate here in Laramie to have Altitude Chophouse and Brewery. They often have special events that the public can attend. One of my favorites is food and beer pairings that they have with guest breweries. Last month I was very excited to see that they were going to bring in Blacktooth Brewing from Sheridan, Wyoming. They have been making unique and delicious craft beer for over 5 years. A representative from their brewery along with Altitude’s head brewer, Jessie, collaborated with chef Justin Sanchez of Laramie to bring a southwest food and beer pairing that knocked my socks off!
The menu consisted of 5 courses paired with one 4 ounce pour from each brewery. Here’s how the night went down. I’ve listed the food with the beers paired below. The first beer noted under all the courses was from Blacktooth, the second from Altitude.
Soft and Airy Tamales with Chimichurri Sauce
Hot Streak IPA
Green Chili with House Made Tortillas
Caught Looking American Blonde Ale
The Three Cabelleros Unfiltered Mexican Lager
El Pastor Taco with House Made Corn Tortilla
Big Red American Double Red Ale
Anniversary Ale American Barley Wine
Crisp Pork Belly, Mango and Mole Spiced Turtle Beans
1516 Barrel Aged American Double IPA
The Bear Necessities Session IPA
Horchata Creme Brulee
Black Eagle Baltic Porter
Whistle While You Work H&S Coffee Stout
My favorite pairing was the pork belly and Blacktooth’s 1516 Barrel Aged American Double IPA. The rich, and smooth taste of the IPA really brought out the sweet and spicy flavors in the mole sauce. That, combined with pork and beans and I was in heaven! The dessert course was the icing on the cake. Chef Sanchez made a creme brulee out of horchata, a Latin American milky drink made from ground almonds. It was perfect for brulee. So creamy and delicious. It was paired with Altitude’s H+S Coffee Stout made with local H+S coffee. Coffee beer has become something I seek out when I go to new breweries. It may sound like a weird combination but you’d be surprised. Try it!
If you travel to Laramie or Sheridan Wyoming make stops at Altitude and Blacktooth breweries. There’s something for everyone. I hope you get the chance to attend a food and beer pairing. Beers these days are complex and unique. There are so many flavors that can be added to beer that can make it very special. I’ll think twice now when I go out for a meal. Maybe my dish would be better with a beer along side rather than a glass of wine. All I know is that I am continually excited to see what Wyoming brew masters are up to. They keep getting more creative. That makes me a happy beer drinker!
If you are looking for the best happy hour in Laramie, Wyoming, look no further. Laramie’s best happy hour is at O’Dwyer’s Public House. I love happy hour. So do my friends. By the end of the week we are all ready to meet up, have a cold one and hash out the trials of the week. Why is O’Dwyer’s the best happy hour? Well first of all, it lasts for three hours, 3pm-6pm every day! That’s right, every day. They have over 10 delicious beers on tap and offer their beer and wine for 1/2 price! It’s a cozy atmosphere and their staff and service are excellent. In the winter, they always have a fire in the wood stove that adds to the warm atmosphere. Even though it is right across the street from the University of Wyoming dormitories, it isn’t necessarily a college bar. People of all ages like to hang out there and we always recognize some usual patrons.
One of my favorite snacks at O’Dwyer’s is their homemade Pub Chips. They are fresh cut, fried potato chips served with malt vinegar. They are light, salty, hot and delicious. Sprinkle them with malt vinegar and you are hooked! It’s a great appetizer to share with the group and they will be gone in seconds!
O’Dwyer’s also offers other daily specials. For instance, on Thursday after 7pm, they offer $2 DOUBLE well drinks. Doubles for $2! That’s insanely cheap. On Saturdays you can get 1/2 price mimosas from 9am-1pm. They also serve breakfast on the weekends!
So if you are looking for a different place to meet a friend for happy hour or don’t want to go all the way downtown for a drink, stop by O’Dwyer’s. For me it is Laramie’s best happy hour by far. You won’t be sorry!
O’Dwyer’s Public House
1622 E Grand Ave
Call (307) 742-3900
Specials board at O’Dwyer’s