Pizza is one of those foods I could every single day and not get tired of it. It’s so easy to change the flavour based on the sauce and vegetables put on top. It’s also easy to change up the texture of the crust to make it more or less thin/greasy. Because I love pizza so (so) much, I naturally assumed that it was difficult to put it together myself.
A pizza story. A very delicious story, indeed.
I mean, one of my favourite foods to make for myself after school was pizza—on pre-made dough that I just needed to dress up with sauce and cheese, while I waited for my mom to come home to eat some ‘real’ food together. It was so easy to put those pizzas together, that I often did so when over at my grandmother’s house or when family came over. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that I was (and still am—I wasn’t vegan back then, but was less willing to try new foods) very picky when it came to food. I guarantee that younger me would have really liked the pizza recipe that I am sharing with you today.
Since we’re reminiscing about pizza, here’s another childhood story: my mom often stopped by Pizza Hut to get me a personal pan pizza, in my pre-teen/teen years. She knew I got grumpy when I was hungry, and she’d rather me not be whiny when we were out running errands. I liked running errands with my mom, so this was a good compromise. Later, pizza turned to Subway sandwiches (since vegan personal or small pizzas were more difficult to come by). And yes, she still tells me to stop and get something to eat when we’re out or she knows I’ve been out. Some things never change.
Speaking of things that never change, when I see my best friend (who now lives in the United Kingdom), one of our favourite places to go is Boston Pizza. We grew up going to that change of restaurants since high school and it’s just become tradition over time. While Boston Pizza doesn’t offer vegan cheese (Daiya brand is the only one I’ve ever seen offered anywhere), many other pizza chains and local pizzerias do. The times, they are a-changing!
Something else that’s changed, is the breadth of foods I’ve been making at home. I make pizza at home (from scratch, not on pre-made crust like I used to as a child) at least once a month. Pizza is great (for many, many reasons), because it can be eaten for dinner, breakfast, and then lunch. There’s always lots to go around (especially when you live alone).
But, if a friend or family member would like to try some—I’ll share it with them. Just as I’ll share this recipe with you.
To me, a truly great pizza depends on two important things: the crust and the sauce. If the pizza sucks in one of those departments, your toppings better be the best ever to make up for it!
So, it can be said that the fate of the entire pizza rests on how well the crust and sauce get along with each other.
I like a really rich pizza sauce: one that is full of herbs and spices, tomatoey, garlicky, and plentiful. Here’s my go-to recipe for pizza sauce that fits my tastebuds and criteria:
Spicy garlicky tomato pizza sauce recipe*
-½ – 1 head of garlic
-2 small cans of tomato paste
-1 Tablespoon of oregano
-1 teaspoon each of other ground spices, as you like: rosemary, basil, thyme
-1 teaspoon of sea salt
-1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- Add olive oil to small saucepan on medium heat
- Add garlic to saucepan, stirring until transparent
- Add two small cans of tomato paste and stir
- Next, put in your favourite savoury spices and salt/pepper
- If you’d like it to be spicy (I always do!) add a finely chopped jalapeño or Thai chilli pepper
- Mix everything together and set aside
*This sauce is great to use as a dipping sauce for breadsticks (recipe coming soon)!
After having hundreds of takeout or eat-in pizzas over the years and mostly getting too-greasy or undercooked crusts for them, I tend to make pizza crust that is on the drier side. It’s easy to change this up by brushing the crust with olive oil before adding the sauce and toppings to it, though (if i’m feeling like changing things up).
I top my pizza with red pepper, onion slices, and fresh basil (if I have it). I also add mozzarella Daiya cheese.
This vegan pizza is perfect for:
- taking on a road trip/camping (it’s delicious, even cold)
- an after school or work snack
- sleepovers/slumber parties
- movie nights
- whenever (pizza needs no occasion)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon dry sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus some more for brushing the dough)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups flour (all-purpose white flour works best, but you can substitute and experiment!)
- 1 cup warm water
- Attach a dough hook to a mixer and add warm water and yeast to the bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or the yeast will be killed. 🙁
- After 5 minutes, add in the sugar, oil, and salt to the bowl.
- On a low setting, add the flour a bit at a time until a ball forms. After a while, it’ll be more challenging to add the flour in to the ball—so take out the dough and add in flour on a cutting board or work surface.
- Transfer the dough ball to an oiled bowl and then brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and set aside in a warm area for about an hour. Afterwards, the dough should double in size.
- Cut the dough in half. Roll out each dough ball in to a circle or a rectangle.
- Add pizza sauce and your favourite toppings, then put your pizza in a 350 degree convection oven or 450 degree oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes and check the pizza. It may need another few minutes, depending on how toasty you like it.
What are your favourite ingredients to put on top of pizza?
I’ll be sharing more vegan recipes, tips, and suggestions for when you’re travelling in the future.