Wednesday 21 October 2020

The Best Pizza Crust Recipe | Vegan Pizza

I've made my fair share of pizzas over the years, but it wasn't until this attempt that I felt really proud of my attempt. I wanted the crust to come as close to the crust I remember from Domino's Pizza, with that slightly gritty feel from coarse cornmeal and a thick base. Now I'm sure their recipe and method are probably a closely guarded secret, but I'm pretty confident when I say you won't be disappointed with the version I'm about to share with you.

Before we get to the main recipe, I have a few notes on each element.

The crust: you can leave the dough to rise for one hour and still get good results. But if time allows, leave your dough to rise slowly in the fridge for 24-36 hours as this allows the yeast flavour to intensify.

The garlic butter: this is a hack I encountered when researching the Domino's pizza crust. Brushing the warm crust with garlicky melted vegan butter is an indulgent extra step to up the overall taste of the pizza. 

The toppings: this is where you can go wild and create interesting combinations. You may have some veg at home that need using up. Don't hold back. In this pizza, I used some home-grown green peppers, red onions, vegan sausages and vegan cheese. 

1 extra large or  2 medium pizzas

For the pizza crust
- 2 cups plain flour or bread flour
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup cornmeal

For the topping
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce (from a tin of tomatoes blended until smooth)
- mixed herbs
- salt to taste
- vegan cheese
- vegetables of your choice
- 2 vegan sausages (optional)

For the garlic butter 
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt

- To make the pizza crust, combine all the ingredients except the cornmeal in a large mixing bowl. Use your hand to mix/knead in the bowl until you have a smooth, soft, slightly sticky dough. You may need to add a touch more flour or a touch more water until you achieve the right consistency (different flours absorb moisture differently, which is why quantities can vary slightly). Cover the bowl and leave to rise for at least one hour until the dough has doubled in size. If you can leave it to slow-rise in the fridge for 24-36 hours, even better, as a more intense flavour will develop.

- Preheat your oven to 200C.

- Punch down the risen dough to get rid of excess air bubbles. You may wish to divide the dough into two equal parts if you are making 2 medium pizzas, or you can make one large pizza if you have a large pizza pan or baking tray. Sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal on a clean surface, roll the dough in it and use your hands/fingers to stretch out the pizza dough into a circle. Transfer to a pizza pan or baking tray. 

- Spoon a small quantity of tomato sauce over the top and add your selection of toppings.

- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

- Brush the crust with a blend of melted vegan butter, garlic powder and salt. Sprinkle a bit more cornflour over the crust.

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