Mmmm, pizza. Most people love it and can’t imagine it without cheese. Personally, I’ve always been more about the other toppings, especially the veggies, and a really good crust. The cheese is for salty goodness and to hold everything together.
I heard last week that Daiya vegan cheese is now being stocked at Planet Organic in Halifax. Well, it may be being shipped there but by the time I got to the store last Friday at 3:30 it was all gone. I am sure there will be more and I want to try this vegan sensation, but for now I am quite happy with Earth Island mozzarella type cheese alternative (called Follow Your Heart in the US). It melts quite well at high heat, but most importantly it tastes good and holds all the veggies onto the crust.
Friday is usually pizza day in our house. I make my own crust, in my breadmaker. I put the ingredients in in the morning and set the timer to have dough ready when I get home from work. I shape the crusts on metal pizza pans and bake for about 8-10 minutes at 400-450° F, until the edges start to turn brown.
Then I take the crusts off the pan and cover with all the goodies: a simple homemade tomato sauce, veggie pepperoni or Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes. Cover with a layer of vegan cheese, sprinkle with oregano and bake at 450°F on a pizza stone until the cheese melts and starts to turn brown.
Here is the crust with just the veggies:
And a close up:
The finished product:
On the plate I like to add some sliced olives, any kind, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. How many pieces did I eat? Not telling.
Basic pizza crust
(makes three thin crust 12″ pizzas)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp quick yeast
Put all ingredient in breadmaker in order listed. Set to Dough setting and wait. Cut into three pieces and form into pizza crusts.
These measurements are approximate and may need to be adjusted to compensate for a number of humidity and flour factors. If you touch it while it is mixing and it sticks to your fingers, add more flour. If it is not forming a smooth dough, add more water. After a few tries you will have a good idea of how much of each you need. Pizza dough is quite forgiving, though, and the dough doesn’t need to be perfect to yield excellent results.