Vegan Pizza

The great thing about pizza is that it’s pretty much vegan already.  The only animal products are those that people choose to use as toppings.  I’ve been making the same pizza dough for years–it’s very flexible in the sense that it can be started the night before for a well fermented fragrant dough, or started an hour before (like tonight) for a reasonably quick dinner.

For one pizza, combine 2/3 cup warm water with about 1/2-1 tsp yeast for long fermentation (3+hours) or 2 tsp yeast for quick.  Add 1/2 tsp salt, a bit of oil (less for thin crust, more for thick–anywhere from none to a few tablespoons).  Add 1 1/2-2 cups of all purpose or bread flour and combine (I use a dough hook in a mixer).  I like to start with 1 1/2 and add more until the dough is slightly sticky but comes together in a ball.

Knead a bit longer than you think you have to.  This is, of course, much easier in a mixer.  I will leave the mixer on around 7-8 minutes.   Form into a ball, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place (for quick) or room temperature (for slow) until you’re ready to form the pizza.

While you’re waiting, you can get your toppings ready.  Any tomato sauce will do–canned is fine.   When I have time I like to make by own.  I use some high quality tomato puree, olive oil, a bit of garlic, salt and pepper.

I’ve mostly used Follow your Heart brand mozzarella, but Daiya cheese has recently become available in my local co-op.  Daiya will actually stretch, but both taste good.

Let your imagination run wild for toppings, although don’t overdo it.  2-3 will be more manageable than a huge pile.   Tonight I used veg pepperoni, kalamata olives, and fresh jalapenos.  I put the pepperoni under the cheese for better texture.

When you’re ready for form your pizza, bring the dough into a ball and flatten to a disc.  The key at this point is go slow and let the dough take the lead.  Flatten to 8 inches, wait 30 seconds, flatten to 10, wait, etc.  This will lead to a much more uniform pizza with no risk of tears or thick and thin spots.  You can flatten onto a well floured pizza peel if you have a pizza stone, or directly onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.

pizza before baking

Before putting in the oven, I like to sprinkle with a little sea salt, some fresh pepper, and a light drizzle of olive oil.

I preheat my oven as hot as it will go, around 550.  The pizza goes in for 10-15 min, until the crust is brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted.  Let sit for a few minutes after taking out of the oven before cutting.

You can have home-made pizza for not much longer than it takes to order and wait for delivery, something like 90 mins.  Sometimes I’ll start the dough and then head to the grocery store for the cheese and toppings while it’s rising.

Feel free to substitute up to 1/3 of the flour for whole wheat.  Experiment with adding herbs/garlic to the crust, or making a stuffed crust by dividing the dough in 2, rolling out very thin, and filling with salted/herbed crumbled tofu with some soy milk to bring it together.

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One Response to Vegan Pizza

  1. TheChicVegan says:

    I loved your vegan chocolate croissants post. Please keep posting! :)

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