take the pizzas in and out of the ovens. I know I’m asking you to shell out some additional cash, but I wouldn’t do so unless I really thought it mattered. These tips will maximize your pizza-ing experience. You’re welcome.
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
Pizza dough is the one place where my efforts to have maximum nutrition in everything I eat are kinda tossed out the window. You can certainly substitute 1 cup of whole-wheat flour in this recipe if you want to, but when it comes to pizza, I like a good old-fashioned white-flour crust under my sauce and toppings.
The following is a basic dough recipe that you can mold to your fancy. For the purposes of the rest of the recipes in this chapter, this recipe makes 3 “pizza doughs.” So when I say “1 pizza dough, rolled out to a 14-inch diameter.” I’m saying to use one-third of the dough that this recipe yields.
Makes three 14-inch thin pizza crusts
1 cup warm water
2¼ teaspoons or one 7 g package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed and to coat the bowl and dough
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
In a bowl, combine the water, yeast, the 1 tablespoon of oil, agave nectar, and a healthy pinch of salt. Gently mix it all together and let it sit for 5 minutes, until it starts to froth. This ensures the yeast is active and has not expired. Add 2 cups of the flour, and mix it up (I do it by hand, but you could use a stand mixer with a dough hook). Continue to slowly add the rest of the flour until you have a slightly sticky ball. Then knead the dough by hand or in your stand mixer. You can add a little flour if the dough starts to stick to your hands. You’ll need to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic; this will take about 10 minutes by hand (or 5 minutes on medium speed if you’re using a stand mixer). After kneading, form it into a ball.
Coat a large bowl with oil. (The dough is going to double in size in that bowl, so make sure the bowl is big enough.) Also coat the dough with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl, cover it with a damp kitchen towel, and stash it someplace warm for 90 minutes for its first rise. I find that turning my oven on to 200°F for 2 minutes, then turning it off, creates the perfect environment for rising dough. After the first rise, give the dough a couple of light, open-handed slaps to make it collapse so that it’s flattened out. Then let it rise for 40 more minutes. To make three 14-inch thin-crust pizzas, divide the dough into thirds. If you like a thicker crust, use half of the dough instead of a third for each pie. PIZZA TIME!!!
PRETEND SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS
This is a classic combo that takes me way back. Reminds me of that fat little 12-year-old who was terrible at every sport, played video games all day, and couldn’t get that one girl to like him. I used to beat the crap out of that kid, take his lunch money, and go buy a sausage-and-pepper slice with it. I hope he’s doing all right now.
Makes one 14-inch pizza
One 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained (see Tip, page 35 )
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (see WTF, page 27 )
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the baking dish
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (see WTF, page 12 )
1 red bell pepper, sliced
½ yellow onion, sliced
¾ cup Tomato Killer (see recipe, page 200 ) or other tomato sauce
1 Basic Pizza Dough (see recipe, page 158 ), rolled out to 14-inch diameter
1 cup Not-zzarella Sauce (see recipe, page 211 ) or other vegan cheese
Parmesan Topping (see recipe, page 211 )
6 leaves fresh basil, torn
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the tofu, oregano, basil, thyme, fennel, chili flakes, garlic