Pizza is another simple vegan dish that is easily customized. You can certainly order vegan pizza at a pizza place (at a minimum order any pizza without meat and cheese, or go to a place that has vegan pizza such as Lupis or Mellow Mushroom). But a home made pizza is even better and really not that hard to make. The key is making a great crust.
Baking and Ovens: There are many methods and no single correct one. If you have a brick pizza oven, then awesome. If not, use your home oven. You want the oven very hot, near or above 500 degrees F. For this reason, you may find better results with a pizza stone that is heated up. or a pizza steel plate. I use a steel plate.
You can use a flat baking sheet and also an outdoor grill. If you use a baking sheet or pan, make sure it is well oiled.
Tip: If you are using a baking sheet or pan, you can form the dough right on the sheet.
Peels: The peel is the name of the flat utensil that you use to move the dough and pizza. You can use wood and metal ones. Some people will use both. The key for loading and unloading from the peel to the oven is that the peel must be very slippery with either flour, corn meal, and/or oil. I find it best to use a LOT of flour. If the dough sticks, it is a problem. To get the pizza off the stone or steel plate, you want to use a metal peel.
Tip: You can use the large metal peel as your rolling surface.
- I cup warm water
- 2.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tblsp sugar
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbls olive oil
Make sure water is not too hot (will kill the yeast) but warm. Add yeast and sugar and gently stir. Let stand for 5 minutes. You should see bubbles from the yeast (if not, your yeast is bad or the water temp was not right).
Place the flour, salt, olive oil and the yeast mix in a food processor ( you can use a large bowl and hand mix). Using dough hook, combine at low speed for 1 minute. Then medium speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add in flour to get a nice ball that is not too sticky. If the dough is dry, add in warm water by the teaspoon.
Remove ball from processor. Place into a well oiled bowl and allow to rise for 1-2 hours. It will double in size so make sure the bowl is large enough. When ready to use, punch it down to remove the larger air pockets and remove from bowl to a floured rolling area. You can also save the dough in the frig for a couple days, or freeze it in sealed bags for a month.
Divide up the ball based on the sizes of the pizza. The ball will make one large pizza, or divide into two for smaller pizzas, or divide into 4 for four individual pizzas. Note, smaller pizzas are easier to handle!
Shaping the pie
Spread out the dough onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin and your hands, stretch it out to the basic shape. No need to throw or anything fancy. Do not overwork the dough as it will make it more chewy. Make it as thin as you want. Too thin is harder to handle when loading and unloading the pie on the peel.
Here you can get creative. Do not overload the pizza with toppings as it will not allow the crust to cook properly.
- Marinara Sauce
- Vegan Pesto
- Olive Oil
- Mushrooms *
- White Onions *
- Potato *
- Tempeh or Tofurkey Sausage
- Green Peppers *
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Garlic Cloves (chopped)
- Broccoli *
- Vegan Mozzarella
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
* Harder veggies may not cook well before the crust is done so may need to be cooked prior to topping.
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic powder or finely chopped garlic
- Olive oil
Cooking: Spread marinara sauce on the dough. Place your toppings on the dough. Add seasonings and drizzle with olive oil and make sure to coat the edges with oil. Place in oven. Cook for 6-10 minutes. This will all depend on the thickness of the crust, the toppings, and the temperature of your oven. So really just keep an eye on it and pull it out when the crust is starting to brown.
Let sit for a few minutes, then slice and serve.