Friday, 14 October 2011

Foxy Flax-y Pizza Crust-y

I love pizza. No, really, love it. One of my favorite meals growing up was the evil big food company mini cheese pizza's. OMG. As a vegan, it was one of the few things that would give me pause. Should I be vegan? It is hard. I love the mini pizzas. Animals should not suffer. But the tasty-saucy-crunchy-yummy-ness did give paws, oops, I meant pause.

In the end, I'd always end up with the only decision I could make and look my little kitties in the eye without guilt or regret. Mind you, I would grumble and mutter and be in a foul mood till properly appeased with other food stuffs.

Now, life is so very different. It's like the vegan sun came out. I have the veganized version of my cheesy mini pizzas. Bliss. And not just one, but two different options. There is a ready made and homemade cheesy pizza choice. Today, I did the homemade. I will discuss the ready made in a later blog post, no doubt.

Your going to laugh when I tell you where I got the basis of this amazing pizza crust recipe. Don't friggin' care either. 'In the Kitchen With Rosie, Oprah's Favorite Recipes' by Rosie Daley. Oh, just put a sock in it. It is really good, and I've veganized it too. Crispy, delicious and good for you too.

This is the recipe I use. I basically took out the honey, and used maple syrup instead. Agave would work too, but being Canadian, maple it is. Also, another thing I change is I use half unbleached white flour and half whole wheat. And I added ground flax meal. Don't tell Denise.  (I like it.  She is crazy. - Denise)

Pizza Dough

3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp maple syrup
1 packet dry active yeast
3/4 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp olive oil

Mix water and liquid sweetener in the bowl of a mixer or food processor. Add yeast, and set aside for 20 minutes in a draft free spot. I usually turn the oven on low to make sure it's warm enough.
Yeast mixture will be all crazy and full of bubbles.

Add most of the flours, semolina, and sea salt into the food processor or mixer, and turn machine on low till it forms a ball. Continue to process for about 2 minutes, it ball of dough is smooth and sort of elastically. Yeast doughs are really nice to work with. I love the smell, and it sort of feels like a living thing, sort of like magic. Wow, back to the recipe...

Rub the inside of a big bowl with the olive oil, and turn out ball o' dough, and roll it around till it's all covered in oil. Cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise in that nice warm spot for and hour. It will double in size unless you used bad yeast. Check your yeast. Ewww.

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Scatter some cornmeal on a clean surface, and take a smallish ball of dough from the big ball of dough, and roll it out till about 1/4 inch thick-ish. I'm not terribly precise about what the crusts look like, they end up looking like amoebas most of the time. I don't spray my baking sheet with anything. The cornmeal prevents and sticking, but if you think it is in danger of sticking to your sheet, spray or grease it.

Bake them for about 4-5 minutes. I usually flip then and bake 2 more minutes. Then let them cool. I just toss them on a plate and stack them up. When they are cool enough to handle, you can put sauce and toppings and cheese on them right away, and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Or, if you make double or triple batches like I do, you can freeze them. When I make them from frozen, I put them in the over for 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

We had our buddy Kerry over and had a 'make your own pizza' party!

It was fun. And yummy.

- Melina : D