And it’s VEGAN!!!!
I never made a homemade, from-scratch pizza in my life. Pizza has always been that food that was easier to go out for than cook myself. Well, obviously that’s not the case anymore. Making this divine pizza was a Saturday afternoon labor of love. David and I found ourselves with a wide open day so we finally decided to tackle the “pizza project”. Using a recipe from this book seemed like the way to go:
I found the recipe online as well over here.
Let me preface this by saying that what makes this dish so amazing is the layers and layers of flavor. I did take lots of pictures of this process. Here’s how we did it…
First we made the pizza dough. Yeast dissolved in warm water (took me two tries to get it right!), regular and whole wheat flours, salt, sugar and a bit of olive oil all come together in a sticky, yet stiff ball:
The dough needed to sit covered for about 1 1/2 hours to rise, so while that was going on we got busy sautéing the mushrooms, shallots, white wine, parsley and thyme:
Yum! We moved that mixture to the processor for a few pulses and moved on to sautéing these:
This is a mix of exotic mushrooms we found at Whole Foods. While I was sautéing these, David got busy rolling out our lovely ball of pizza dough:
Once it was rolled out, we moved the dough onto an oiled baking pan sprinkled with corn meal. We brushed the dough with more olive oil, sprinkled it with minced garlic and added the processed mushrooms and wild mushrooms:
We popped this in the oven to cook. Here’s how it looked when it came out:
I had a great time peeking into the oven to watch the dough puff up. I was kind of surprised that it actually worked!
I made the mozzarella “cheese sauce” in advance (oops, no pics of that!). To make the sauce, I blended raw cashews, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, garlic and corn starch in the Vitamix until it was super smooth. Once the pizza was cooked I drizzled the mozzarella sauce on top, baked the pizza for one more minute and voila!
The final touch was a drizzle of chili oil which I also made in advance. This is simply an infused olive oil (one cup oil, one tbsp red pepper flakes). Here it is simmering on the stove:
This pizza was perfect, and everything a good pizza should be. Crispy and chewy crust and tons of flavor. This was easily the best “white pizza” I have ever tasted. The sweet shallots and earthy mushrooms and bite of heat from the chili oil combine to make each bite a real taste sensation.
I’m not going to claim that this pizza was easy to make, but now that I’ve done it once, the next time will be a breeze. I have leftover chili oil and mozzarella sauce and both will keep in the refrigerator. And making the dough is really very simple and I always have those ingredients on hand. While it does take a bit of time I can say definitively that the result is well worth the trouble. You will be shocked at just how authentic and delicious a vegan pizza can be.