Category Archives: Pizza

Basically Delicious Pizza Dough

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The secret to a good pizza starts with the crust. If you can nail the crust, the rest is just toppings on the pizza. I have been working with pizza dough for quite some time, and I have learned a thing or two about how flour works from watching their reactions in pizza dough. It is the easiest thing to make at home, especially if you own a food processor or kitchen aide…if not don’t let that deter you from making your own dough! It is so worth it you will forget the work right when the pizza hits your lips.

Basically Delicious Pizza Dough:

Makes 1 standard pizza stone sided pizza dough

Time: 1-2 hours largely unattended

Ingredients:

20 oz of 00 flour- its an italian ground flour that works great in pizzas (found in most bulk sections like whole foods) You can also use Bread Flour to make this crust, and substitute up to 10 oz of whole wheat flour if you want a healthier crust, anymore, and your pizza won’t work out the way you want!

12 oz warm water

2 tsp salt

2 oz olive oil

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp of your favorite herbs (optional, but I love to put different herbs depending on the flavors of any given pizza)

Method:

1. Put the yeast into the warm water and mix.

2. Add the flour,salt, to the food processor and pulse several times. Then add the olive oil and place the lid back on. Through the small tube in the top, drizzle steadily the water into the hole and run the food processor till a ball forms at the side of the processor. If the ball is too sticky to the touch, add a 1/4 cup flour, if the ball is too dry add a 1/4 cup water…though this is unlikely. Pull the ball out and place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rest for 20 min-2 hours. I like to put mine in the fridge for the next day wrapped. If you choose to do this, make sure the dough comes back to room temperature before rolling our your dough.

3. To roll out your dough, place dough ball on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a circle, and then to get the edges like the pizzerias, fold in the outside of the pizza dough and press with your fingers to form a larger crust around the outside.

4. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the pizza dough on a preheated pizza stone, or on your own pizza sheet then prick with a fork. Cook until the center is browning, and the edges have a few brown spots. Pull out and add your favorite toppings! Place the pizza back in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown.

Mastering Vegan Pizza

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When I first met Brendon he would always ask that I make him pizza. I told him I hated pizza, but the truth was that I always fucked up on the crust when I tried to make it myself! Determined to finally master pizza I have been baking all kinds of pizzas at home. Not only is it cheaper to make your own crust, but its so much healthier.

The trouble with Vegan Pizza is figuring out how to provide the creaminess with the lack of cheese. Having our friends Diana and Natalie over gave me the chance to try out a new recipe I had thought of earlier in the day. Today I made a Vegan Bechamel sauce to add creaminess and threw in a few other items like thinly sliced lemons. LEMONS?!! Yes, Lemons.

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This delicious pie was made with a whole wheat crust with nutmeg. Topped thinly sliced sweet potatoes, red onions, and lemons. A bit of the creamy bechamel, cilantro, sweet corn and Daiya cheese (A tapioca starch cheese that melts great). This is a food orgasm in the mouth, and can be adapted easily to be soy free!

makes two 11 inch pizzas

Ingredients:

For the crust:

20 oz of bread flour (about 4 cups)

12 oz warm water

1 oz of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried yeast

2 tsp salt

1/2-1 tablespoon nutmeg

For the bechamel sauce:

2 1/2 cups milk alternative heated (get something high in fat like fresh almond milk, or unsweetened soy)

4 Tablespoons Earth Balance

4 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

fresh ground black pepper

1 head of garlic

For the toppings:

2-3 lemon slices- VERY thin (I used a food processor)

1 red onion sliced thinly

1 yam sliced VERY thin (Again food processor- if cutting by hand make sure your slices are thin)

1 bunch cilantro chopped

1/2 cup Sweet corn

Daiya brand mozzarella vegan cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients after 5 min and mix until combined. Then take out of the bowl and knead until you can stretch the dough to being translucent without tearing. Let rest in the bowl for at least 20 min covered by a wet cloth or plastic wrap.

Roast the cut potatoes, onions and peeled garlic in the oven separately until each are tender 15-20 min. Then slice the lemons.

While the Potatoes cook make the béchamel sauce. Heat the milk alternative on the stove over medium heat until cooked through DO NOT BOIL. In a separate pan add the butter over medium heat, once melted add the flour and stir for up to 2 minutes until if forms a thick paste. Add the hot milk alternative to the paste and bring to a boil, then add pepper and reduce heat to a simmer stirring 2-3 minutes more. Once thickened place the sauce and roasted garlic in a blender or a food processor and process until smooth!

At this point you are hungry and have done a lot of work so here is a photo to remind you that what you are doing is well worth it!

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Check on the roasted potatoes and onions at this point! Then up the temperature of the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit! Then proceed to roll out the dough until it fits into your desired pan! If you have 2 pizza sheets or stones you can make them both at once! Once the dough is rolled out poke holes through it and place in the oven until the top is browned 7-10 min. Once browned take out of the oven and place the layers:Pizza

Bake for 6-10 min more until crust is browned and cheese is melted.

Enjoy your hard work!

Napa- Vegan Mofo

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This past week Brendon and I have been eating out a lot, unfortunately that means that we spend more money and I don’t get to experiment as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love being cooked for and love a taste of Oakland/ the Bay Area…but usually I am unimpressed with the vegan options at many nice restaurants.  We went to Napa today, it was such a beautiful day to be up in the valley as it was crisp and cool due to the rain here this week.

We went to Peju, Clos Pegase, Sterling, and BV wineries. It was magical. Here are some of the pictures of the wineries and the drive up.

Leave it to Napa to provide the best grocery store in the entire country, Dean and Delucas! I spent a fortune on olive oil and paprika…but this place was worth it!

After we went to Napa we stopped at Pizzaiolo in Oakland, a place where on most nights people are lining up out the door. Brendon and I were both excited to try the famous pizza from the ex Chez Pannise chef’s menu. Unfortunately the waiter had no idea if they could make a vegan pizza. We ended up having one made special by the Chef that was excellent.  I decided today that I would make a vegan pizza like I wanted from Pizzaiolo. Brendon always creates challenges for me, this challenge was to create a pizza that used barbecue sauce instead of tomato sauce. Here is what happened:

Ingredients:

1 pizza dough

1 onion sliced and caramelized

1 bell pepper sautéed with the onion after onion is translucent

1 head garlic roasted at 425 for 15 min or until tender

pickles for laying across the pizza

barbecue sauce

Trader Joes Vegan Meatballs

Daiya Mozzarella cheese

Oregano, Basil, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt &  Pepper to taste

Method:

Roll Out pizza dough, I used my own homemade with italian herbs, but there’s always store bought if you are lazy or rushed. Bake on 425 till browned on the top of the dough. Take out the dough flip it over, and add a layer of BBQ sauce, then caramelized onions and bell peppers. Next add more BBQ Sauce, and top with pickles, Daiya cheese, Herbs, and spices.

Cook for 15-20 min or until cooked through. It varies from climate to climate, and oven to oven!

10 min before the pizza is done add the meatballs cut in half on the top of the pizza.

Take out and Enjoy!

-Brett