Pizza was one of the first things I made when first becoming Vegan. I didn't want to deal with mixing flour or rolling dough because I am ultimately the lazy type and need all my recipes to be simple, fast or easy. My life revolves around convenience so I would buy the ready made dough from the refrigerator section or the frozen section from Trader Joe's (because that's where I do 90% of my shopping. I mention them so much I wish they would sponsor me lol. Then I would top it with ready-made vegan cheese and a whole bunch of other toppings. And well, it tasted ok. Pretty good actually compared to the Vegan pizzas I had from actual restaurants. But I knew it could taste better.
Well, I want to say that as far as far as pizzas go, I have grown up and upgraded a little.... or a lot! Making your own dough and cheese is so worth it. But instead of spending 35 minutes to prep, assemble and cook your pizza plan on spending more like 2 hours for the whole delio.
So here it is, the upgraded pizza. It is literally the best Vegan pizza I've had since becoming Vegan (and I've had a few) and from now on I'll be making most of my pizzas at home. This recipe is so good. Most of the ingredients are from scratch except I did use vegan chicken. Scroll down to see.
Please excuse the inconsistencies in the photos. Some were taken on my professional camera and some my iphone.
Total Time Prep & Cook: about 2 hours
Makes 2 10" pizzas
Ingredients for Cheese:
-1/4 cup cashews ( I used roasted and salted)
-1 tsp maple syrup
-1 tsp lemon juice
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-2 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch
-2 1/2 tbsp corn starch
-1/2 - 1 tsp salt (start with 1/2 and add more to taste)
-1/3 cup coconut oil (refined or the kind where the coconut flavor is taken out)
-1 1/2 cup water
Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
-2 cups white all purpose flour (I actually used about1 3/4 cups white flour and about 1/4 cup or less of bread flour for some added chewiness but 2 cups total were used)
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 tbsp active dry yeast
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/2 - 2 cups warm water
Pizza Toppings -- **Use whatever toppings you like but here is what I used**
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- Handful of mushrooms
-Few slices of onions
-Few slices of sliced tomato
-Vegan chicken (optional -- just a few slices)
-Some chopped garlic (optional - if you're a garlic lover)
-Few sprinkles of chopped spinach
- Few pieces of fresh basil
Step 1: Make the cheese sauce
Step 2: Make the pizza dough while waiting for cheese sauce to chill
1. Soak cashews for 15 minutes in boiling water and drain when done soaking 2. Add soaked cashews and all the ingredients into blend and blend until smooth 3. In a sauce pan over low to medium heat, bring to boil stirring constantly. It will thicken into a delicious saucey cheese. 4. Transfar into several glass containers or small jars and refridgerate 1 hour or more until cooled
Pizza Dough: 5. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Add the water in slowly. You may not need 2 cups of water. If the dough is too sticky add more flour. If too dry add small amounts of water at a time until desired consistenty.
6. Knead the dough for several minutes then cover with wet towel or saran wrap and let it sit in a warm place for an hour to rise.
7. When the dough is done rising, take it out and give it a quick knead on a floured surface if the dough is too soft (kneading it will help it to become more stretchy) . If you like the softness of the dough you don't have to knead it. Stretch it out and shape it into desired shape.
8. I like to let my dough rest for another 15-20 minutes or longer because I like seeing the crust bubble and rise but this isn't required. You can proceed to add tomato sauce, globs of cheese and all the toppings you'd like.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375-425 depending on your oven. My oven is old and loves to burn things so I baked at 375 watching it constantly.
10. At the last 3-5 minutes of baking I took the pizza out and added some chopped spinach. It looked dry so I sprayed it with some cooking oil and popped it back in the oven.
11. Pizza didn't have the char marks on the cheese I wanted so I broiled it for 1-2 minutes at the end. This did over cook my crust slightly so I suggest doing this a few minutes sooner or only broiling for 1 minute.
12. Add a few fresh pieces of basil. You can cut the pizza right away or wait a few minutes.
Serving Suggestions: Brush on some garlic vegan butter or just vegan butter onto the crust before serving. Serve it with ranch or your favorite sauce. Or sparingly sprinkle some olive tapenade for some extra bites of flavor like I did. Enjoy!
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