I have an admission to make. I ruthlessly hunt through this vegan recipe site, and then heartlessly butcher the recipes to suit my own culinary pleasure. It’s not that the recipes aren’t amazing as-is, it’s just that I eat meat… and cheese… and real butter… and honey. I try to incorporate vegetarian meals on a regular basis, but vegan and raw-foodist just take it a bit too far. I eat tofu (and enjoy it!), but the soy-butter and soy-cheese and other faux-dairy products aren’t something I’m interested in. For one thing – they are very very processed, and I would rather eat animal products than heavily processed foods full of chemicals and preservatives. I’m pretty sure it isn’t possible to make a pizza crust like I’m used to with raw foods, so I won’t even get into that. So, when I mention a recipe from this site, it either means that the recipe never had non-vegan ingredients in it, or it means that I ignored all the vegan butter, soy-cheese and soy-milk, and substituted butter, cheese and milk.
This pizza crust recipe comes from the vegweb site, but it is one of the few recipes I’ve tried from there that doesn’t have any ingredients I needed to modify into less vegan things. It is such an easy recipe, and lets you make some amazing home-made pizza with a nice thin crust. A friend of mine recently explained to me that pizza is supposed to be healthy – a nice thin crust, tomato sauce, lots of vegetables, some meat, and a bit of cheese on top. I can’t deny my love-affair with cheese, so my version of this healthy meal is pretty heavy on the cheese. But I do agree with her that the crust shouldn’t be an inch thick, and greasy enough to soak through a phonebook.
Easy Pizza Crust
1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
½ tsp honey (nope, not vegan, and not in the original recipe, but I like to add something sugary to the yeast mixture.)
1/3 cup lukewarm water
3 cups flour (I use 2 cups whole wheat, and 1 cup white – the more whole wheat you add, the more water you will need to get the right consistency)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup lukewarm water (or as much as is necessary to get a good consistency)
Dissolve the yeast and honey into 1/3 cup lukewarm water and let stand 10 minutes (or until foamy on top).
Mix flour and salt in a big bowl, add the yeast mixture, blend, then add 2/3 cup lukewarm water, to make a pliable, elastic dough.
Form into a ball, cover with a clean damp cloth (soak the cloth in hot water, then squeeze it out), and let rise until doubled in a warm place (20 to 30 minutes). I use the ‘bread proof’ setting on my oven. There’s a similar setting on some dehydrators as well. The main goal is to make sure that it’s a warm place, and that the bread won’t be exposed to too much air-movement. If you’re looking for a warm place, the top of a fridge is surprisingly toasty.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Roll out dough (put down flour before you start rolling it out), leave lip around the edge (I don’t… but I like my pizza really thin-crusted). Spread sauce (leave space between the edge of crust and the edge of sauce), and top as desired. Note: for cheese, Mozzarella will bubble less than cheddar, which is why it is usually used on pizza. Soy cheese will melt in ways unknown to me.
Lay out on a pizza stone or a flat pan. Putting down cornmeal under the pizza will help prevent it from sticking, as well as adding a bit of crunch.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is crisp, and the toppings are sufficiently heated through.
A variation you can include is to add herbs to the crust.
Pizza was a huge success, despite the fact that we ended up eating a bit later than expected. We made two batches of crust to feed 7 people, with less than half a pizza left-over. Each batch makes two thin-crust pizzas about 12 inches in diameter.
Pictures? Not a chance! The genteel, well-brought up ladies I invited over for dinner ate like starved feral dogs. I think I’d have lost the camera if I’d put it between them and the next pie out of the oven!