Veganuary Recipe: Vegan Margherita Pizza

Pizza is almost universally adored worldwide and one of the most popular takeaway choices nationwide, but most is a massive vegan no-no because of the huge amount of cheese. Without cheese, pizza is just some tomato-y bread, right?

Wrong! Delicious vegan-friendly pizzas do exist, and making one is a lot easier than it seems. Vegan pizza doesn’t have to be a rare luxury to enjoy in a vegan café or restaurant; you can make a delicious pizza that vegans can tuck into without issue.

We’ve got an easy-peasy veganuary recipe for you to make a basic vegan pizza, but of course the real fun of pizza-making is making it your own. Create your own unique flavour with your choice of toppings at let us know how it turns out in the comments below!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Dough ingredients:

500g strong white bread flour (plus a pinch more for dusting)

1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried yeast

1 teaspoon caster sugar

Olive oil

Tomato sauce ingredients:

100ml passata

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tablespoon fresh basil

½ tablespoon of dried oregano

Stuff for topping:

2 thinly-sliced tomatoes

200g grated mozzarella-style cheese (vegan cheese of course)

Fresh basil

Oregano or basil leaves, chilli oil

Step 1: Mix together the sugar, yeast and flour into a large bowl. Next, mix together 150ml of cold water with 150ml of boiling water in a jug. This is to get the best possible temperature for the yeast. Once the water has mixed and reached a warm temperature, add 1 tsp salt and the oil to the water and pour it all over the flour. Give the whole mixture a good stir with a strong wooden spoon. Knead the mixture until it starts to take the form of a sticky dough. Add a splash of water if the dough is too dry.

Step 2: Dust some flour over a work surface and place the dough on it, then knead it for about 10 minutes. After that, place it back in your mixing bowl and cover it up with some cling film that has been grease up with a few drops of olive oil. Put it to one side and let it rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.

Step 3: Heat the oven to gas mark 9/220C and heat up a baking sheet on the top shelf. After the dough has risen, put it on a floured surface and give it another rigorous kneading. Don’t be afraid to give it a few punches while you’re kneading. At this point, the dough should be less sticky and a lot springier. Set your dough aside and begin preparing your sauce.

Step 4: Mix together all of the tomato sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper and a small pinch of sugar. Once mixed, set aside for later.

Step 5: Divide up the dough into 2 – 4 pieces, depending how big you want your pizzas to come out. Shape your dough into balls and then flatten each one out as flat as you can. A rolling pin would come in handy for this. Ensure that the dough is well-dusted to stop it from sticking. Dust some flour over another baking sheet and place a pizza base on top of it. Spread about 4-5 tablespoons of your tomato sauce over the base evenly and top with the sliced tomatoes and your grated vegan cheese. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the pizza to help the bake and then place the pizza in the oven on top of the pre-baked tray for around 10-12 minutes. You should be able to tell when it’s done when the doughs risen and the cheese has started to softly bubble..

Step 6: Repeat the process with the excess dough. Serve your pizzas with a touch of chilli oil and a few fresh basil leaves. Additionally, you can garnish the pizzas with a smidge of vegan parmesan. Enjoy!

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