Homemade Pizza – Vegan Pizza Day!

Today is Vegan Pizza Day (yes, this is true – even Facebook confirms it) 😉

So, in honour of this wonderful day, I am sharing a recipe for delicious, healthy, easy homemade vegan pizza! I made it last night after being inspired by a pizza recipe in the May 2010 edition of the South African Women’s Health magazine earlier this week and, after walking around with a pizza craving all week, decided that Friday night was the perfect time to try it out!

Of course I adapted the recipe to make it suitable for vegans, and it came out wonderfully! The crust was crispy, thin, and very tasty. The vegetables were roasted well, not burnt at all, and the homemade vegan cheese I made to go along with it finished it off perfectly!

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This is a recipe that both vegans and non-vegans alike will love! The dough recipe makes six medium sized pizzas and you can get as creative as you like with the toppings! Try assorted peppers, mushrooms, spinach, olives, basil or rocket, sundried tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes, onions, asparagus, avocado, garlic, butternut, pineapple, vegan faux meats…the list is endless and the only limit is your imagination (or the space on your pizza base).

Pizza crust

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup of Nutty Wheat (High Bran wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10g sachet instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (original recipe uses olive oil – most oils should work)
  • 150 ml lukewarm water

*Note: I do not own a kitchen scale so I had to convert the amount of flour specified in the recipe from grams to cups. Original recipe uses 190g cake flour and 50g nutty wheat, or if you do not want to use the wholewheat flour they suggest 240g cake flour). I also added 30ml extra water because after mixing the dough it was a bit dry (maybe because I used cups not grams). So the original recipe uses 120ml of lukewarm water.

Dough busy rising on a sunny window sill

Dough busy rising on a sunny window sill

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The end result

METHOD:

  1. Mix the flours in a mixing bowl, and add the salt, yeast, milk, olive oil and warm water.
  2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap (I used a large freezer bag because I was out of cling wrap).
  4. Set the dough aside to rise for 30 minutes on a sunny window sill.
  5. When the dough has risen to roughly double its original size, beat it down, knead it and mould it into 6 balls.
  6. Use a rolling pin (or in my case – an old glass jar) and roll the bases to your desired thickness (thin bases work better)

(This was my very first time making pizza dough, and it was really easy. So don’t feel intimidated by all the instructions – once you start it all comes together well!)

Pizza Toppings

My version used the following ingredients:

  • Thinly sliced white button mushrooms
  • Thinly sliced green pepper
  • Calamata olives, cut into halves
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Eggplant (aubergine), cut into thin rounds
  • Tomato base – I used Pure Chef’ease Tomato Basil Pizza & Pasta Sauce, but you can use any variety you like or try making your own)
  • Homemade vegan cashew cheese (see below for recipe)

Simply preheat the oven to 220°C, spread a generous amount of tomato base on your rolled out crust, add the toppings (but not the sundried tomatoes or vegan cheese if using it) and pop it into the oven for 20 min or until the base starts browning slightly around the edges.

Add the sundried tomato, spread on some cashew cheese and enjoy!

Before entering the oven

Before entering the oven

Vegan Cashew Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 + hours
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 60 ml water
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or other spice for a flavoured/spicy cheese

METHOD:

  • Drain the water from the cashews and place them in a food processor or blender, along with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and nutritional yeast.
  • Pulse the mixture to combine all the ingredients
  • Add the water and blend until smooth and creamy. If using a blender you will have to stop and scrape down the sides every now and again to ensure that all the nuts come into contact with the blades.

The end result is a thick, creamy spread that can be used for pizza toppings, on crackers, or as a dip for raw veggies.

*Warning: This cheese is RICH, seriously rich. I would not advise coating your entire pizza in it. Rather spread it thinly on certain sections.

Pizza time!

Pizza time!

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