Monday, October 17, 2011


"sausage lovers", with roasted asparagus, onions, green
and red bell peppers, white sauce, daiya mozzarella,
pepperoni and chorizo.
 Pizza is the nectar of the Gods, I don't know who ever decided it was orange juice... They're wrong. It's very hard to mess up, once you've got the dough squared away, and I highly recommend making your own. It's cheaper and makes me feel more french, which is ironic... I guess because making my own dough that rises and everything makes me feel very capable as a chef. And I think of France when I think of chefs, and rising bread... Stop asking me questions!

"BBQ Chicken" with bbq sauce, red onion, 'follow
your heart' cheddar and mozzarella, Boca chicken, red
pepper, and Bac'un bits
Basic Pizza Dough Recipe (i forget where I found this recipe):
This recipe (when the yeast is good) makes for one SUPER thick crust pizza on a regular sized pizza pan, or two THIN crust pizzas on normal size pizza pans, or one normal thickness 9x13 baking sheet pizza. OR, like we often do, it makes one normal crust pizza, and one individual sized pizza, that Sofie can decide what goes on it and help decorate, allowing the adult pizza to get super fancy and/or un-kid-friendly.

'Pizza Bianco', with roasted garlic white sauce, spinach,
'follow your he
art' mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes
veganized this : white bean and spinach pizza and added
kalamata olives.

2 c all purpose flour, plus maybe 1.5 cups extra**you can substitute up to 1 cup whole wheat flour in the beginning for a more rustic tasting crust. I don't recommend adding the wheat flour after the water/oil, it's harder to incorporate.***
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp baking yeast
a pinch of sugar if you want
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 c warm/hot water

--whisk 2 c flour (or 1 c whole wheat flour and 1 c white), yeast, & salt together
--Stir in olive oil and warm/hot water with a mixing spoon til combined.
--Mix in small amounts of flour at a time, use the spoon until it's too difficult to stir with anymore. Then use your hands, mixing in flour by kneading. try to knead for at least 5 minutes, but longer if your muscles can take it.
--The dough is ready when it's tacky, but doesn't leave any dough sticking to your fingers. Seriously though, the wetter you can keep it the better it will be.

--Spray bowl with oil, spray dough ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, stick in a warmer place and allow to rise at least 30-40 minutes or however long you want.
--Punch dough down and let it rise again for at least 20 minutes.
--press dough into whatever pan(s) you're using. Assemble pizza(s)
--Bake for about 15 minutes at 425 F, until crust and pizza bottom is becoming golden.

As I'm learning, pizza stone's are FAR superior to pans. However, it's harder to get the assembled pizza from the peel onto the stone than it is to lick your elbow sometimes. My cousin gave me some tips, so shout out to Justin Farrell! Thicker crust, easier slide-age... sometimes. I've devised a different system. Make the pizza on the peel, use a large flexible chopping mat that's been cut in half to slide under the pizza from either side, lift, then once you have it over the stone, slide the plastic mats out. That way your toppings don't fly into the oven and off the dough that stuck to the peel.

So you have your dough all ready, then. Step one, don't waste your money on "pizza sauce." I tried one or two kinds and they weren't worth the money at all. We buy a jar of marinara and season it ourselves. You can then divide the left over sauce into freezer containers/bags into single pizza size amounts for your next pizza adventure. They defrost quickly when you place the baggie in hot water, refilling with hot water as needed.

OR you can follow my very own recipe for delicious vegan roasted garlic white sauce!
6-8 small/medium garlic cloves, peeled olive oil

preheat toaster oven to 400. Or maybe it was 375.... Make a little tin foil bowl, put the garlic cloves in there and drizzle enough olive oil to coat them. Pinch the edges of the bowl together to close up the top. Bake for about 30-45 min, checking then to see if they are soft enough yet or if they need another 10-15 minutes. When they are done, they should be velvety and golden. Let them cool a bit and mash them up with a fork on a plate or something.
For the sauce:

2Tbsp Earth Balance
2Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme (about 1 tsp of each)
maybe 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp dried sage
add in any other Italian-y spices you want, more garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, you know, think ITALY
I've added chopped slivered almonds before, didn't really notice them.

*melt butter over low heat, whisk in flour and salt, whisk in small amounts of the milk in at a time. turn heat up to medium. Whisk in the garlic mash, and the seasonings, and almonds. Whisk everything frequently until it bubbles and thickens to a nice pizza sauce consistency. Take it off the heat and cover until you're ready to assemble the pizza.

This makes enough sauce for about 3 pizzas. Again, freeze the left over sauce for another time. When you defrost it, you may notice some separation- just heat it for 20 seconds and stir it with a fork, repeating til it's good.
So you've got red sauce and white sauce and dough. Choose your cheese wisely! Daiya makes a wonderful mozzarella, that actually tastes more like american to me, but works really good on pizza too. Follow Your Heart makes a good mozzarella, that is great on it's own but nice sometimes blended with their cheddar. Now you can pick your toppings and GO!

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