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How to make the BEST vegan pizza this veganuary

Other | Friday 5th January 2018 | Rose

YES vegans can still have pizza; and heres how to make your own from ingredients you probably have in the house already.

This recipe was taken from Gaz (avant garde vegan) who can walk you through step by step how it should be done, so check that out to begin with...

Now I need to explain a more... realistic version of events. Everything in his recipe is made from scratch, so making these pizzas may be a time consuming task. Most pre rolled pizza dough is vegan, so thats definitely an option to make the process faster, but to get that yummy rustic appeal, knowing every ingredient going into your meal AND having the satisfaction of making a pizza from scratch then I'd reccomend giving the whole process a go (but probably when cooking for a few).

Though the pizza dough does need a few hours to rise extending cooking time, the dough can be refridgerated for days after, so a pizza can be whipped up much faster once this dough is ready to go.

Being an amateur bread maker I did struggle with the ratios of bread to yeast water, so try and follow the measurements as accurately as possible with this and make sure you have enough strong white bread flour in (my mistake). If you don't have enough flour, it seemed ok to me to substitue some for plain flour in an emergency BUT on reflection I should have added a lot less yeast.

Another side note about the dough - when Gaz adds the yeast a caption pops up with the exact measurement. It looks like 4 and a half cups but at that point I was like HOLD UP. Actually its 'A cup and a half' but the slanted writing makes it look like '4 cup and a half' so beware cos ya dough could get fucked with that mistake.

Having probably already scared you away from ever attempting these pizzas I will move on to the MUCH more relaxing sections of the cooking - the tomato sauce and cashew cheese. Both went well and were easy and very tasty. With the cashew cheese I missed out a couple of the fancy ingredients (tabioca starch and miso paste) as they didn't sound like things I'd use again, so to keep costs low I'd say that is okay. I was worried the cheese wasn't going to thicken up, but like Gaz assured it does. I also don't have a hand blender but the sauce was fine in the regular blender after washing it out post-cheese.

I was really excited to roll out my dough and make cool rustic pizza shapes, but they really make it look easy at Pizza Express. I struggled to get the dough into shape without letting it go thin and tear in the middle, and had to keep adding flour to pay for my mistake of not enough earlier on.

Gaz in unique style cooks his pizzas in a pizza oven. Unfortunatley your average London flat doesn't come with a wood burning stove, so we don't all have this luxury - so what I didn't account for was cooking them in a regular oven. Firstly the problem of having enough baking trays, secondly fitting the pizzas to the size of the trays and thirdly, the difficulty in getting the pizza onto the trays without totally falling apart. After the sad destruction of one of my pizzas I learnt my preferred method was to roll out the dough, carefully lift into the tray and then do toppings, as toppings first makes the pizza heavy and it could fall apart like mine...

I realise this method might sound extremely amateurish and generally a mess but hey, we're all at the beginner level of veganuary here and we all want to help eachother. Sometimes you just want a pizza and we want to make sure that pizzas gonna be the best damn vegan pizza you ever had.

Last tip: I spooned my cashew cheese but next time I would use Gaz's method of squeezing it out and do smaller spread out blobs of 'cheese'. Since the cashew cheese was pretty new to me I think I dove too deep to begin with and my blobs needed to be smaller. It doesn't melt like normal cheese - so thats something to get used to.

My pizzas!

IMG_1211

The only tricky part of this was the dough, and that I think just comes with practice. If you want to avoid all the hassle, shop bought is absolutely fine and I would still totally reccomend making these pizzas. The best part, aside from being vegan, is that you can totally tailor it - toppings, shape, thickness, cheese to toppings ratio - the pizza is yours.

 

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