Pizza has long been one of my favorite foods. Since going vegan,ordering pizza out has been less satisfying. Sure I can order it without cheese and there’s even one pizza place that offers vegan cheese, but here’s the truth: I like my own homemade pizza better. It’s a lot less expensive to make too.
Depending on your perspective, homemade pizza may sound like a difficult undertaking, but I assure you it’s not, and the more often you make it the easier it becomes. I don’t even have to look at my crust recipe anymore; I’ve memorized it.
So let’s get started. For the crust you can buy pre-made dough, and there’s no shame in this, but once again, I like my homemade version better. I use this recipe: 12-inch Pizza Crust Recipe. Recently I’ve been cutting calories so I’ve omitted the tablespoon of oil, and it comes out fine. The only oil I add is a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to cover the dough before I set it aside to rise. That’s another thing: the recipe says vegetable oil, and you can use that if that’s all you have, but I recommend using extra virgin olive oil. It only makes a slight difference, but a tasty one.
Although the recipe calls for all-purpose flour you can substitute whole wheat *pastry* flour. If you use whole wheat bread flour, the crust will be chewier and heftier, and you might want to reduce the baking time by a few minutes.. I’m very partial to using whole wheat pastry flour for my pizza crusts.
You can be creative with the topping. For a more traditional pizza I used diced tomatoes (from a can) drained, mixed with a few cloves of crushed garlic. If you have some other kind of tomato sauce you enjoy (even from a jar) go ahead and use it. Then you can sprinkle on some cheese. Since I’m all about ease and convenience I’m partial to Daiya shreds. I buy bags of them when they’re on sale and store them in my freezer.
You can top with just about whatever vegetables you like. In the summertime it’s fun to top the pizza with whatever is new at the farmers’ market that week. I’ve made pizza with asparagus, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, caramelized onions, peppers and let’s not forget, fresh from the farmers’ market tomatoes. I’ve also used canned artichokes hearts, Field Roast sausage, and marinated sundried tomatoes. (Tip: add sun-dried tomatoes for only the last five minutes of baking so they don’t char.)
Bake at 400-425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Enjoy your pizza.