vegan pizza day!!! part 1

I love pizza, and yet somehow I didn’t know Vegan Pizza Day even existed. Until last night, when I found out it’s TODAY. I made enough dough for four pizzas, and so far I have made (and eaten) one.

Image

I was so excited when I found this Time Life cookbook. The pizza recipe actually makes a pizza just like some of the stuff I had in Italy. So, to begin:

Image

3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt. Way in the background in the blue bowl, in my liquid measuring cup I have 2 packets of yeast, a pinch of sugar and 1/2 cup lukewarm water. I always put the measuring cup in a bowl of hot water, just to make sure it stays warm. Of course, it’s about 90 out, so probably no worry of that today.

Image

After the yeast does its thing, pour mixture into the flour & salt, add another cup of lukewarm water and 1/4 cup olive oil*. Mix it with a fork or your fingers until you can gather it into a rough ball.

Image

Like this. Kinda looks like Jabba the Hut, but we’ll make him pretty. Knead for 10-15 minutes, until…

Image Image

the dough become smooth, shiny and elastic. Lightly dust with flour and place in a large clean bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, you’ll want to get started on the sauce. Ideally, the sauce should cook for an hour.

Image Image

This is where I stray from the recipe a little, because I just start throwing in spices and things without measuring. It’s very simple, though. Saute approximately 1 cup of chopped onion in olive oil until they become soft. Then add about 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped. It’s best if you wait to cook the garlic for 10 minutes after cutting, but more on that in another post.
Then I added some spices: oregano, basil, a couple bay leaves, salt, pepper, onion powder. I like to let them cook in the oil for a minute or two so the oil becomes infused with all that flavor. At least that’s my hope. I added one 12oz can of tomato paste to that, but I am not putting sauce on all four of my pizzas. I’m not sure if 12oz would be enough for four. Anyway, fill that tomato paste can with water and add it to the paste, stir it all in until you get a sauce. Add water a little at a time until you get the thickness you want. Add about 2 tsp of sugar to cut the acidity, unless you want heartburn. Let it come to a boil, then turn the heat down low. Let it cook about 10 minutes, then taste it and more spices if needed. Let it cook over low heat for another 50 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 500.

Image

Now your dough should be ready. According to the cookbook, dividing the dough into four balls will get you four 10″ pizzas. At 10″ you’ll have a “regular” thickness for the crust, but I like to stretch mine to 12″ for extra thin crust. Lightly sprinkle some corn flour on your baking sheet. I usually start by rolling my dough on a floured surface, then when it gets manageable I toss it onto the pan and finish stretching it with my fingers.

Image Image

Now spoon on some of your delicious sauce, and spread it around. I like mine all the way out to the very edge of the crust.

Image Image

You can see in the picture the sauce is spread a little thin on the near edge, we’ll return to that in a minute. Add your toppings. I wanted to keep it simple, so I’ve just got mushrooms and onions and drizzled a little olive oil over it, then the daiya cheese.

Image

Pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown on the bottom.

Image Image

Nom. The sauce burned on that spot where it was too thin. That was not my favorite part of the pizza, but i did still eat the whole thing. I’ll post my second pizza later tonight.

*For an oil free crust on a strict fasting day, just replace the oil with warm water.