My favourite thing to cook has to be Pizza. There is a great misconception that pizza has to have cheese on it but I think this is wrong. I have had many a delicious pizza without cheese and often enjoyed them more. Good vegan pizza is a joy to behold. I also think that people believe that making your own dough is complex and difficult but once again I think this is also not true.
The secret to great homemade pizza is to have the right way to cook it. If you’re just starting out on your homemade pizza journey, then I’d recommend a pizza stone. The stone heats up in the oven and absorbs any extra liquid making the pizza super crispy. It’s not something you need to spend a fortune on, something like this one from Amazon should do the job nicely. The secret to using a pizza stone, which I fell foul of when I first started making my own, is that you need to let it heat up in the oven first. You also want to have your oven super hot – somewhere in the region of 230C. I tend to heat mine up for up to 30 minutes in the oven before using it. Another great tip I’ve learnt is to put your dough on the heated up pizza stone and then put your toppings on the dough. This minimises the risk of the dough going soggy before you place it on the stone.
Once you’ve got more confident in your pizza making, then you may want to upgrade from the stone. I have an Ooni wood fired pizza oven, which is amazing at giving your pizza a smokey flavour. For this recipe I am sharing my tried and tested dough recipe, my tomato sauce recipe, my cashew cheese recipe and my tempeh pepperoni recipe. With the idea that you can use any of the bits in combination. Don’t want to make the dough? Buy a pizza base. Don’t want the cashew cheese? Leave it off or buy some vegan cheese. Use any of them with any combo of toppings. Remember, there are no shortcuts in life, but there are in pizza making!
Vegan Pizza Dough
To be honest, unless you’re buying some mass produced stuff, pizza dough should be vegan and should consist of very few ingredients. To make pizza for two people I use the following quantities:
- 100g Plain Flour
- 100g Wholemeal Flour
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Yeast
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 9 Tbsp Luke Warm Water
Mix the ingredients together and then either knead by hand or if you’re lazy like me, use a stand mixer. You want to knead for a good ten minutes if by hand but only about 4-5 minutes if using a mixer. Then let the dough rise for about 2 hours and then when ready, knock back and roll out into either one large or two medium pizza bases. I like to roll it until it goes slightly transparent in the middle. Cook with the toppings for about 10 minutes.
Vegan Pizza Tomato Sauce
This is super simple and takes about ten minutes to make and only requires some very basic ingredients:
- 1 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Tsp Salt
Heat up the oil in a pan and add the garlic sliced up into chunky bits. When the garlic has a bit of colour, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and bring to the boil. Once they are boiling, pass the contents through a sieve and use the back of a spoon to get as much of the tomato to pass though as possible. Put the tomato liquid back in the pan and heat until it has reduced by half and is nice and thick. You can tailor the sauce to your own tastes by adding chilli or liquid smoke if you like.
One of our recent favourite toppings for our vegan pizza. This is actually inspired by another Instagrammer we follow @brizzlesprouts. We like to use Tempeh from a local producer Tempeh Meades, but any good quality tempeh should work.
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Red Wine
- 1 Tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Oregano
- 200g Tempeh
Slice the Tempeh into thin pieces and put in a shallow dish. Mix together all the other ingredients and pour over the top of the Tempeh. Leave to marinate for ideally 24 hours. Once marinated, cook at 160c for 10 – 15 minutes.
Cashew Cheese For Vegan Pizza
This is a super simple way of making a great topping for your vegan pizza. The nutritional yeast gives a really earthy flavour whilst the lemon adds a lovely freshness:
- 60g Cashews
- Rind of Half a Lemon
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 3 Tbsp Water
Soak the cashews in boiling water, ideally for a couple of hours but if you’re rushed for time you can get away with 30 minutes. Drain and blend with all the other ingredients.
You can then add any other toppings to your heart’s content. We like to have capers, jalapeños and spinach.
Some of our favourite wines to have with Pizza are as follows: