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1⁄2 cup (120 ml) beer, such as lager or pilsner, at room temperature (see Notes)

2 tablespoons mild honey 

1 (1⁄4-ounce/7-g) packet active dry yeast

3 cups plus 6 tablespoons (455 g) bread flour, plus more for stretching the dough

1⁄3 cup (40 g) whole-wheat flour

1  tablespoon kosher salt 

2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl

In a small bowl, combine the beer and honey with 1 cup (240 ml) room temperature water. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until it starts to foam, 5 to 10 minutes. 

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread and whole- wheat flours and the salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add the oil, then the yeast mixture, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be pretty sticky; it should stick to your hands and the counter and leave behind a sticky trail. (If you think the dough is a bit too wet, it is probably just perfect. See Notes.) Gather the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl; turn it over to coat it with the oil. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. 

Gently punch down the dough, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise again in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 48 hours.

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured counter and knead gently for a few minutes. You will know when you have kneaded the dough enough when it passes the “windowpane test”—take a small piece of dough off the mass, and gently stretch it out until it is paper-thin and translucent. If your dough tears before you can do this, your dough needs to be kneaded more. Divide the dough into four equal balls, about 8 ounces (225 g) each—the size of large tangerines. Roll each ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. If not using the dough immediately, wrap the dough balls individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks.
To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator one day before use or leave on the counter at room temperature for a couple of hours. If using right away, lightly dust the dough with flour and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent the dough from drying out. Let the dough come to room temperature for about 1 hour before making your pizza. 

Before baking the pizza, be sure to preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) and warm the pizza stone in it for at least 30 minutes.

Notes: When you are pouring the beer into the measuring cup, it will foam a great deal, so let the foam subside before adding more liquid to get to the right volume. If the dough is too wet, add a bit of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, try adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get to the right consistency. It may be hard to know at first if your dough is a perfect consistency, but you'll figure this out within making it just a handful of times. 


For the Merguez: 

1⁄2  teaspoon cumin seeds 

1⁄2  teaspoon coriander seeds

1⁄2  teaspoon fennel seeds

1  pound (455 g) ground lamb

2  tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnishing

2 garlic cloves, minced 11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon paprika 

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

For the herbed yogurt: 

1  cup (240 ml) plain strained or Greek yogurt

2  teaspoons chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons chopped mint 2 teaspoons chopped dill 2 teaspoons harissa

1  tablespoon finely chopped Preserved Lemons (recipe below), rind and flesh 

2  teaspoons brine from Preserved Lemons, plus more as needed

For the crunchy salad: 

4 cups (80 g) arugula 

1 cup (145 g) halved cherry tomatoes

2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced

2 to 3 radishes, thinly sliced

1⁄4 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Large handful mixed herbs, such as parsley, mint, cilantro, and dill

1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below), plus more as needed

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper 

For serving:
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon 

Pita  or Pizza Dough

Make the Merguez:
In a small pan, toast the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds over medium-low heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or a mortar, and process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, combine the ground spices with the lamb, cilantro, garlic, salt, paprika, and cayenne and mix with your hands until thoroughly incorporated. Form the mixture into golf ball–size meatballs and place on a shallow baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking. If not using right away, the meatballs can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. (If planning to make the Merguez Pizza on page 125, set aside 1 to 2 uncooked meatballs for that purpose.) 

While the meatballs are in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Roast the meatballs until cooked through and the centers are no longer pink, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. 

Make the herbed yogurt sauce:
While the merguez cooks, in a 1-quart (1-L) deli container, stir together the yogurt, cilantro, mint, dill, harissa, and preserved lemon rind and flesh until combined.

Add 2 teaspoons preserved lemon brine. Using an immersion blender, process the mixture until smooth and only the tiniest green flecks remain. If the sauce needs to be looser, add another teaspoon of the brine and blend to combine. Set aside. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Make the crunchy salad:
In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, onion, and herbs until combined. Right before serving, dress with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, spread the yogurt sauce on four plates, then arrange the meatballs and salad on top. Garnish with a pinch of flaky salt.

If you like, you can stuff the salad, the meatballs (slightly flatten them first), and the sauce into pitas, and enjoy as a sandwich.

Note: You can also make homemade pita using Pizza Dough. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet inside the oven and heat the oven to 500°F (260°C) for at least 30 minutes before baking. Roll out an 8-ounce (225-g) ball of dough to an 8-inch (20-cm) circle. Place the dough on the hot pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

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