Vegan Pizza

We have completed producing the mother of all vegan pizza videos.

In the video, I promise to have complete instructions and many tips on here, but I am currently too busy to write up a cookbook style description about the process. So I’m hoping that the video speaks for itself, because I don’t want to delay the release any longer than absolutely necessary (though I may extend this post over time to add more information).

Here are a couple of observations and tips:

  • These instructions make two 14 inch pizzas, which should feed 4-6 people. Or in our case, it feeds two for dinner and lunch the next day, with some extra left over.
  • The dough I make is very “wet” (= its water / flour ratio is high). To me, using a wet dough is essential to achieve a good crust. It also needs no kneading, which makes it super easy and quick to prepare. Handling such wet doughs may require a little practice, but basically you can’t go wrong, so don’t panic. Just use ample flour to keep it from sticking.
  • I find that using a tiny amount of yeast and a long rising time yields a crust that has the best flavor, and it also fits the best into my day: I mix the dough in the morning, and when I come home in the evening, the pizza is ready to make, no more waiting is required. However, when I want to make pizza from scratch as fast as possible, I use 1 1/2 tsp. yeast, and let the dough rise at a warm place for only 90 minutes, which works just fine as well.
  • Obviously, you can top the pizzas however you like. The tomato sauce I’m showing in the video is very popular in our house. If I don’t have fresh basil on hand, I substitute 1 or 2 tsp. dry basil. Recently we made pizzas with pesto (using the pesto recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance) and they were fantastic. In fact, I may have a new favorite…
  • You can use any sort of vegan cheese or not use any altogether. Most of the time I use Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella, but I have made very good experiences with Teese as well (only, it’s not readily available around here, and I don’t like to order it online). I also find that adding a little Soy Bleu on top of the Vegan Gourmet makes for a great flavor combination, which is why I do it in the video.
  • Using the pizza crispers makes for nice and round pizzas, and easy baking. The parchment paper is not strictly required, as the crispers I use are nonstick. However, a few times, the dough HAS stuck, and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a beautiful pizza, and all the work that went into it, be destroyed because of that. This is why I now always use parchment paper just for insurance.
  • I used to bake on stone, but I don’t anymore. As I say in the video, I personally think pizza stones are overrated. I find nothing works as well as these cheap crispers.
  • I am not 100% happy with the way the crust turned out in the videos. Usually I like my crusts to be more on the crispy side. I probably should have baked them for 5 or so more minutes, but apparently I was getting anxious to finish the video…
  • In the end, perhaps the most important factor in your baking is your oven. The spartan oven in our flea-sized rental kitchen is not exactly what you’d call a modern gourmet oven. For now, I can only dream of a nice convection oven and a bigger kitchen, but rest assured that if I can turn out pizzas this good in our shitty little oven, then if you have a better oven than us (and chances are you do), you should have zero problems to make some great pizza.

The “set”.

— In addition to the crispers, some additional noteworthy tools I use in the video are:

  • Metal Dough Scraper: indispensable for more serious bakers for measuring flour, cleanup, and working with (cutting) dough.

  • Plastic dough scraper: Very handy for getting doughs out of round bowls, and to clean the bowls.

  • Kitchen towels: I like to do most “dough manipulations” on floured kitchen towels. This makes cleanup much easier.

  • Pastry roller: As you see in the video, it’s a great tool for rolling out the dough.

Well, this is it for now… I hope you enjoyed the video and this post. If you do decide to give my method a try, I would be happy to hear how it turned out, so don’t be shy to drop us a note!