Vegan Pizzas!

It’s safe to say I couldn’t hack veganism (I love eggs), but my friend is bravely attempting Veganuary and she came round for dinner yesterday so I made vegan pizzas in solidarity. You can, of course, use whatever you like for the toppings but here’s how to make what I did. You can also replace any of the dairy-free ingredients with normal stuff – vegan-friendly food is often more expensive and harder to find.

Makes 2 pizzas.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 650g strong white flour
  • 7g/2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 50ml warm oat milk
  • 325ml warm water (you may need less so be careful when adding it)

For the toppings:

  • 30g fresh basil
  • handful of rocket
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • baby plum tomatoes (or whatever you prefer), as many as you like
  • chestnut mushrooms, as many as you like
  • 1 small sweet potato, skin on and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 chilli (or as much as you like, depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 large roasted red pepper (the kind that comes in a jar, or you can just use a normal pepper)
  • handful of chick peas
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • drizzle of olive oil

Method

For the pizza dough, mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add the milk and olive oil to the flour mixture and combine. Gradually add the water, mixing well to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and knead for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for about 1½ hours, until doubled in size. When the dough has risen knead it again until smooth, roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour until risen again. (This is how to make it officially but I didn’t leave it for 30 minutes after the second knead and it turned out great so I wouldn’t worry too much if you don’t have enough time).

Once you’re ready to assemble the pizzas, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4). Cut the dough into two and roll out one portion at a time on a floured surface. You can decide how thin you roll it, but bear in mind that it will rice a bit in the oven. Carefully transfer the dough onto either a pizza tray or a normal shaped baking tray and push the dough into the corners. It will spring back because it’s stubborn like that, but it’s not essential that it fills the whole tray.

To make the pesto, put the basil, rocket, olive oil and garlic into a food blender and whizz until you have a beautiful emerald green sauce. Spread the pesto onto one of the pizza bases, leaving about half a centimetre clear at the edges. Cut the tomatoes in half and slice the mushrooms. Add the the pizza and top with the slices of sweet potato. Drizzle with olive oil.

To make the spiced tomato sauce, add paprika, chilli, salt and pepper to the chopped tomatoes and combine. Spread onto the other pizza base, again leaving some space at the edges. Cut the pepper into thin slices and sprinkle on the chick peas. Top with spinach leaves and drizzle with some more olive oil. If you have any leftover tomatoes, mushrooms or sweet potato, add them on too.

Put the pizzas in the preheated oven and cook until the edges are golden brown and the toppings bubbling slightly (about 10-15 minutes, but use your initiative!).

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