Recipe: Vegan Pizza

I really like pizza and eat it a lot. As it is veganuary I thought it would be a good idea to share my pizza recipe. Once you’ve got down the dough recipe you’ll be making it all the time. It doesn’t take that much time to make, though there is some time waiting for the dough to prove.

Pizza dough

Makes two 10″ pizza bases

350g organic strong white flour

250g warm water

10g yeast

teaspoon coconut palm sugar / brown sugar

pinch of salt

tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Begin by dissolving the sugar in the water. Then add the yeast. Wait until the yeast forms a head, this may take longer if your kitchen is cold. I tend to preheat the oven to help the yeast along. If you skip this step you won’t be able to make decent dough. Chances are your yeast is dead if there is no sign of activity after 10 minutes.

Sift the flour and combine in a medium bowl with the salt. Make a well and add the oil. Slowly add the yeasty water and combine as you go, ensuring you scrape down the sides. Once all of the water has been added you ought to be left with a dough that is not too wet or stiff. Add water / flour accordingly to get the right consistency. The dough should be pliable, and shouldn’t be too sticky to the touch. All the ingredients should be combined into one.

Flour your proving bowl / very lightly oil another bowl if you do not have a proving bowl and set to the side.

Now for the kneading. Again, you can’t skip on this part. You need to knead for 10 minutes. Flour your worktop. Get stuck in and activate that gluten. I don’t use any fancy technique to knead but rather knock it and bash it about.  The dough ought to become soft and have a silky pliable look to it by the end. Lightly coat the dough in oil and place in the proving-bowl. Leave for one hour / until the dough doubles in size. The time this takes again will be affected by the temperate of the room.

Whilst you are waiting for the dough to rise make the tomato sauce (see below).

Knock the dough back and knead for two minutes. Cover as before and leave for an hour. Sometimes I’m too ‘hangry’ to do this stage. It won’t look as good on Instagram but it’s still pretty tasty.

After however long you wait – divide the dough into two and roll out. Lightly oil your pizza base (those 1 cal sprays are good for this) and dust with flour.

Tomato Sauce

Makes approximately five cups of sauce, which is enough for about 10 pizzas (we often use it as a base for other recipes throughout the week). You can use more or less tomatoes depending on how much sauce you want. I tend to make a lot so I can use it for pasta. If you do not have fresh tomatoes, one tin will be more than enough for two pizzas.

12 tomatoes – halved

Tablespoon tomato puree

Dash extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

basil – two teaspoons dried / handful of fresh

Teaspoon lemon juice

Add everything into a saucepan. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes shed their skins. This can take around 20 minutes. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender in the pan.

 

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Toppings:

I like to keep my pizzas really simple. I’ve never been a massive fan of cheese, even in my carnist days, so sadly I can’t recommend any vegan cheeses. Ellie was a cheese fiend, but as a vegan prefers to go cheeseless rather than use a vegan alternative. I top my pizza with nutritional yeast and olives . Rarely I’ll use faux-meat like salami.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to the maximum temperature and assemble your pizza including any additional vegan cheese or vegetables. If you’re using vegetables with a high water content it’s a good idea to slice and pre-cook them for five minutes.

Make sure your oven is piping hot before putting your pizza in. You’ll only need to cook it for five minutes or so. However, as ovens vary this is just a guide. As you need the pizza to be as hot as possible it may be better to cook one pizza at a time, unless you’ll able to get both on the top shelf. Once out of the oven, add pesto and a crack of pepper. Romeo done.

Check out this vegan guide to London for suggestions for eating pizza out and about.