Vegan Pizza + Vegan Parmesan

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Make-ahead pizza dough:

Yields: 2 lb. dough: enough for 8 cracker-thin crusts, 4 Neapolitan-style crusts, or 1 Sicilian-style crust plus some leftover

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry yeast (fast-rising or active dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 19 oz. (4-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Optional: wheat flour and/or cornmeal (see notes below)

Directions:

Pour the water into a 3-quart bowl or large, lidded plastic food container. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the oil, salt, yeast, and sugar. Don’t worry about dissolving all of the ingredients; just stir well to combine. Don’t bother “proofing” the yeast, either—it shouldn’t fail if used before its expiration date.

Add the flour and mix until uniformly moist. The dough will be quite wet; no kneading is necessary. (Personally, I used 3 3/4 cups AP flour, 1/4 cup wheat flour, and 1/4 cup cornmeal in my dough- and I really liked the resulting texture.)

Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap or partially cover the plastic container (leave the lid open a crack to let gases escape). Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The dough will fully expand and may even begin to collapse within this time.

Do not punch down this dough—it will collapse on its own and later shrink while it chills in the refrigerator; it will never regain its height, and that’s OK.

Refrigerate the dough, loosely covered, for at least 3 hours before using.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. After 2 days, tightly cover the dough in its bowl with plastic wrap to keep the surface of the dough from drying out. You can also freeze the dough in well-wrapped 1/2-lb. balls for up to 3 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Variations
  • Whole-wheat dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) whole-wheat flour for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 2 Tbs. additional water.
  • Cornmeal dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 1 Tbs. additional olive oil.

Pizza: 

Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees. Gather any toppings you would like, including sautéed veggies, fresh veggies, sauce, pesto, marinara, cheese, etc. (I used thinly-sliced potatoes, vegetarian sausage, and sundried tomatoes, pesto, marinara, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and basil.)

Roll out dough- I made 4 large-ish personal pizzas. Keep dough from sticking with a dusting made from a combination of flour and cornmeal.

Place doughs on pans (ideally, ones with holes in the bottom to allow dough to get crispy, but really whatever works) and pre-bake for about 5 minutes– until it’s not sticky anymore.

Add sauce/ toppings (keeping it light so it doesn’t weigh down dough) and bake until dough is golden brown– about 10-15 minutes.

Bonus Vegan Parmesan Recipe

This is the best fake-cheese ever. It tastes nutty like real parmesan, and only takes about 3 minutes to make. But you need a food processor or blender, and probably a trip to Whole Foods for the nutritional yeast.
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
 
Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.
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