If you’re reading this, you’re in luck! Whether you’ve had a fantastic day full of productivity and laughter or it’s been one of the suckiest days ever and Murphy’s law has perfectly proclaimed itself in every moment, one thing is sure to make it better: another recipe! And not just a recipe, either, but yet another one about which I think, “THIS is going to be the one. I won’t mess up, it’ll get published in a famous cook book, or at the very least I can prove myself to my blog readers.” Well, folks, that was not the case. I know, what a surprise.
Let me give you a little background. Over the past few weeks, for various reasons I have tried to greatly reduce, if not completely avoid, any animal products. This is all great in theory, but when it comes to cooking my favorite foods, not having butter, milk or cheese is a bit of a challenge. So in an attempt to show myself that it wouldn’t be that hard, I decided to make one of the most beloved yet cheese-y and meat-y foods out there: pizza. Sure, you can get a pizza with just tomato sauce, but who even wants that? I was determined to make this one taste good. To my surprise, the inevitable issue I had was not at all related to the “veganization” of the dish. Then what could I have possibly messed up this time, you ask? Read on.
It starts with making the dough. As we’ve established, I can be lazy. And going out and buying yeast just to make a stupid pizza crust was not on my agenda. So I did what any reasonable lazy person would do and googled the best yeast-free pizza dough. The results I got seemed surprisingly simple.
Mix a little flour, salt, baking powder, water, and oil, and there you have it: an easy and separate-trip-to-the-store-free dough! The best part is that it actually came out how it was supposed to, unlike my gnocchi dough.
After some light kneading, it turned into this perfect little ball of yeast-free goodness.
So you know the thing in movies where the pizza maker spins the dough super fast, throws it up in the air and catches it over and over? It’s not just in the movies! Everyone except me probably already knew that, but it wasn’t until I tried it that I realized it really does work. (And it didn’t even land on my face. It’s the little victories.) So after spinning like an old pro, I spread the dough into a circular-ish shape on a floured cookie sheet.
Herein lies my mistake. The recipe specifically said to use parchment paper or a pizza stone, but of course my thinking was what does this successful professional chef know about anything?
Figuring a little improv was no big deal, I carried on. For toppings, I sautéed some olive oil, onions, and peppers and added basil, oregano and garlic powder. Last to go in was a cup of mushrooms.
I regret having to report that I did not homemake the tomato sauce, but if y’all don’t mind we’re just going to breeze over that and pretend like I did.
Ain’t she a beaut?!
The last thing I sprinkled on top was some vegan parmesan–it’s a lot better than it sounds, I promise! It’s a mix of cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder.
Burn, baby, burn. Into the oven at 425 for 17-20 minutes.
Ah, the moment of deceit. It came out looking like a totally normal pizza and I was excited that I’d get to devour it in one sitting “for the blog.” I cut it into cute little slices with a big smile on my face, all was well, and then…I bit into it. Well I tried. My tooth just about shattered as it hit the rock-hard surface that was the crust. It was too good to be true! I immediately knew that the hard crust was a result of my little improv stunt of not putting the pizza directly on parchment paper and alas, the metal sheet cooked the crust too fast.
My solution to this was to eat every last bite anyway. Once I got past the broken jaw and inconvenience of almost losing a tooth every time I took a bite (okay, it wasn’t that hard, remember my exaggeration philosophy?), it was actually enjoyable. If I made it again using the correct cooking method, it would be a winner. That counts as a success, right?