Homemade Vegan Pizza

So guys, no one told me that it was vegan pizza day. But it’s okay! I was unintentionally prepared. Karma must have felt bad for taking my car away from me for a week and forcing me to take the Boston Express Bus to work or beg co-workers (thanks, Claire!) for rides on snow days when even the bus stays home.

But life is awesome because thrice this week I made vegan pizza—planning to post this Friday—when I found out that to-day, January 29th, is Seriously Vegan Pizza Day.

Look! There’s a website and everything! There’s even a Twitter hashtag! It’s fo’ real, yo.

So yes, I was unintentionally prepared.

So prepared that there’s even a video below! You’re welcome.

Coincidentally, about this time last year, I became obsessed with perfecting pizza dough and sauce. I put together these recipes after countless trials, and I think that anyone would be perfectly pleased with the results. Once Daiya cheese came into the picture, there was potential for vegan pizza heaven. (I’ve never tried Teese, but I’m so happy with Daiya, which is easily available to me (thanks, Whole Foods Symphony!), that I’ve not got much motivation to go out of my way for another vegan cheese lover.)

I highly recommend making this completely from scratch—here are some recipes to make it easier:

NB: If making from scratch, then the dough should rise for at least an hour, so plan ahead for this one a little bit.

For toppings, use your imagination. Or, if you’re a bit low on that, then take these suggestions:

  • The Ryan: Green Peppers and Onions
  • Sliced eggplant, handfuls of baby spinach and Kalamata olives or vegan tapenade
  • Pillows of vegan ricotta cheese
  • Fakin’ bacon (smoked tempeh) and sliced sun-dried tomatoes

If you need some inspiration for stretching dough (it can be discouraging, trust me—it’s always either too stretchy too fast and flaps over on itself, or too angry and too gluteny and refuses to budge), then check out the video below:

To serve, I can’t recommend enough some sparking red wine. It’s unassuming, but also unexpected. Go with a super dry Lambrusco (Lambrizzle, fo shizzle) and it’ll be like adult soda.

And enjoy. This is one of those recipes that really wins it for Team Vegan. I’ve served this to friends (hi, Lauren!) who preferred Daiay to mozzarella. I’ve served it at Super Bowl parties and had the only person who didn’t like it dislike it because he wasn’t fond of cheese to begin with—and it reminded him too much of a cheese pizza.

This is a winner.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you my Perfect Vegan Pizza Recipe for Success!

Bon appétit!

Updated 10 Feb 2013.

Vegan Pizza Recipe

By M. M. Cassidy Published: January 29, 2011

  • Yield: 2 Large Pies (4-8 Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 20 mins

Serve with Lambrizzle, fo shizzle.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Don't forget to preheat the oven. Get it really hot—we put ours up all the way, which is 260ºC (~500ºF) according to the thermometer (290ºC (550ºF) according to the oven). Place a ceramic baking sheet on the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Split the dough in half to start, either by cutting carefully or by twisting in half with two hands. Save the other half for later.
  3. Generously cover a pizza peel in cornmeal.
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  4. Stretch the dough. Either use a floured rolling pin to roll it out or stretch with your hands, working on the backs of your knuckles and flicking it out.
  5. Note: It's fine if it gets thin—even really, really thin. The really thin portion here was smack in the middle of my dough one time, meaning that it was going to become the flimsiest part of the pizza—the tip of each slice—once it was done, and even it held up without flopping towards the centre of the earth and spilling toppings everywhere! This dough won't do you wrong. (Gluten-free friends, I'm so, so sorry.)
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  6. Place your dough on the peel to let it rest. Like a dramatic girl, it's angry at you for upsetting it, and it'll take a little while for it to relax. If you want it to rise to be all perfect and chewy once out of the oven, then you're going to want to let it get happy.
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  7. Around the crust, drizzle olive oil, brush, and then sprinkle with salt.
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  8. Spoon sauce onto the dough, working from the center out to leave as much crust as you like.
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  9. Add Daiya in handfuls from up high so that it drops evenly (and makes a bit of a mess).
  10. Add toppings.
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  11. Jiggle the peel to get the dough moving, then open the oven door and carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the ceramic sheet.
  12. Bake until the Daiya is melted and the crust is browning, 12-15 minutes. Watch carefully—once the curst is brown on the sides, it's even darker on the bottom.
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  13. Remove from the oven by quickly sliding the peel under the pie. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
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