One of the foods I REALLY miss eating out is pizza. Yes, I know that in many places, especially in the city, you can get vegan pizza. But for those people not in the city, vegan pizza can still be hard to come by.
So you think you can just order a pizza minus the cheese, right? Wrong! Ask specifically what ingredients are in the sauce and the pizza dough and you might be unpleasantly surprised. Many places put cheese in the sauce, yes, even in the marinara sauce and some places even put cheese and honey in the dough.
I might miss pizza but the craving could NEVER be strong enough to get me to eat cheese. You eat cheese, you support the forced impregnation of cows, tearing mother cows and their babies apart and the horrible fate of baby calves starved to be turned into veal. So no, no cheese! EVER!
As if finding vegan pizza weren’t hard enough, imagine trying to find gluten-free vegan pizza. Gluten-free pizza is becoming more and more available but not in vegan form. And what’s with all the spelt pizza? Spelt has gluten! So as always, the answer comes down to making my own pizza.
I can buy frozen vegan pizzas but I haven’t tasted one yet that impressed me. There are gluten-free pizza dough mixes available but they are more expensive than just having the ingredients on hand for making my own dough. And it’s easy, easier than I thought it would be. And it’s good, really good! Gluten-free doughs are usually too soft and chewy for me. I like my pizza dough thin and crispy and this recipe gave me that. If you like your dough softer and chewier, roll it out thicker and bake it for a little less time.
Another great thing about making my own dough is that I get to flavor the dough. What’s up with dough being just flour and water? Then it just tastes like flavorless bread. I add some Italian spices to the dough mix so every part of the pizza, including the crust, is delicious.
The toppings are endless and up to you! If you want the classic pizza, you can use marinara sauce, your favorite vegan mozzarella and whatever extras you like such vegan pepperoni or sausage. I like my pizzas topped with lots of veggies. Sometimes I put some Daiya or Vegan Gourmet mozzarella on but lately I’m not into vegan cheese at all. I find it covers up the taste of the vegetables and I’d rather not have processed foods that are so high in fat. To be honest, a little Daiya is fine but a lot makes me feel really sick.
In this pizza, I topped it with marinara sauce, a bit of Vegan Gourmet mozzarella, caramelized onions, sauteed portobello mushrooms and strips of collard greens. Amazing!
This next pizza was a Bitchin’ Kitchen Supperclub Challenge: Pizza con le Patate or Potato Pizza. I made it my own by using a combination of sweet and white potatoes. It also has onions and rosemary. Delicious!
Once you get used to making your own pizza dough, you’ll see that it’s so easy and so delicious, you’ll never want to spend the money on frozen pizza or mixes again.
Gluten-Free Pizza Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. agave nectar
½ cup amaranth flour
¾ cup brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
2 Tbs. ground flax seed
2 Tbs. cornmeal
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ½ Tb. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and place the oven rack on the bottom.
Dissolve yeast in the warm water and add the agave nectar. It should turn white and creamy-looking. In a large bowl, combine the flours, starches, flax, cornmeal, xanthan gum and spices. Make a well and add the yeast, oil and vinegar to the well. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until it is all combined and you have a dough. You don’t have to work the dough very much at all since there is no gluten to develop.
Cover with a dish towel and set aside about 20 minutes. When the time has passed, roll the dough out into your desired shape. Place the dough on an oiled baking sheet and work the dough so it fills the pan. This recipe fits a 10’ x 15’ rectangular baking pan. Brush the dough with some oil and poke a few holes in the dough with a fork.
Bake the pizza dough for about 5 minutes until it just starts to turn brown and gets a little crisp. This will help it hold up to the toppings. Take the pizza out of the oven, add your favorite toppings. Return to the oven to cook an additional 10 minutes or until the pizza is done to your desired crispiness. Enjoy!
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.