Monday, 2 July 2012

Happy Vegan Pizza Day!



That's right, it's one of the very best days of the year. Vegan Pizza Day! I don't know who started it, and I don't know who had the original idea. Frankly, I don't care. Is there any better idea than to have an entire day devoted to PIZZA?? Personally, I can't think of any.

I know that all of the non-vegans among you are thinking, "How can you have pizza without cheese?". Trust me, you can and it can be delicious. If you need cheese than there is the amazing delight that is Daiya.  It's melty, it's stretchy, it's DAIYA! Ask any vegan and chances are they will tell you that this has revolutionized their attitude towards vegan cheeses. Notice I say most. Not everyone loves it like we do, but that is the joy of food. Always something to disagree about. :)

So, how does a vegan enjoy pizza? When super-busy, like everyone else, pizza is an easy convenience food. Call, order, eat. Done and done. The only extra steps for us would be to make sure the sauce has no hidden cheese, like parmesan or romano, and to ensure the crust is vegan (it is unusual for it not to be). A quick internet search can usually answer these questions. Then we order a pizza with extra sauce and no cheese, with gobs of our favourite veggies. It is delicious as is, you would be surprised. But if we have Daiya on hand we just melt it on our slices in the microwave and VOILA! Easy vegan melty pizza deliciousness!

Melina is making her extra special pizza crust, upon my request, for Vegan Pizza Day. She'll tell you how to make it. I'll tell you it's amazing.

~Denise


I make my 'thick' pizza dough that I modified form another recipe I used to use.

Super Yummy Pizza Crust

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, I check the temp (105* to 115*F[40* to 45*C])
3/4 sea salt
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp  dry italian seasoning
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 - 1/2 cups cornmeal

I make this in my beautiful heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer.  One of my favourite things in life.


I rinse out the mixer bowl with hot water to warm it. I dry it and pop it in the cradle of my machine, and add the water and yeast. I mix it with a spatula, till dissolved. Then add salt, herbs, flax meal and olive oil, then add in the flour and turn on lowest speed to mix everything together a bit, the mix on speed 2 for about 2 minutes. Add more flour if needed, but it should all cling to dough hook and clean the sides of the mixer.



As it is summer right now and the AC is always on, I let it rise in the oven. This is how, detach the metal bowl from the machine, pull the dough off the hook, and add a little bit of olive oil around the sides of the bowl. Flip the dough ball round in the bowl till it is all covered in oil. I take a clean dish towel, wet it and ring it out well, and wrap it over the metal bowl. Then I stick the lot in the oven and shut the door. I did turn on the oven to just below the lowest setting. BE EVER SO CAREFUL!!!

An hour later, slightly warm, nice and risen, fragrant dough. Yum!

Brush pizza pan with oil, very lightly, sprinkle with cornmeal. Plop the dough on he pan, and press out to the edges of the pans. I rub some oil on my hands before I do this. It's a good idea to do this if you don't want dough stuck to your nails.

Then you just sauce and top as you like. We used canned pasta sauce, onion, kalamata olives, artichokes, mushrooms, all topped with Daiya.

We bake it for 20 minutes at 425*F (230*C).

It was pretty amazing.

-Melina  : D





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