This pizza is INCREDIBLE with the pizza shop crust and melted Daiya. Most crust recipes require a three hour process, and who has time for that? But Ethical Pizza has a fabulous recipe and video for a super easy pizza crust that you mix in the morning and finish after work. Below is my take on their recipe.

Dough

Tools

  • parchment paper
  • 16 inch large pizza pan (we like the ones with holes)
  • wire cooling rack

Toppings

In the morning . . .

  1. In a large bowl, add warm water and yeast. Allow the yeast to dissolve in the water.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the salt, white flour, and whole-wheat flour.
  3. Stir the yeast/water mixture and make sure all the yeast is dissolved.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the yeast/water. Mix until all the flour is wet.
  5. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Do not stir or touch it.

At dinner time . . .

  1. When you are ready to make the pizza, put flour on a towel or flour the counter. Scrape the dough onto the flour. Add enough flour on top of the dough to make it easy to shape. Form a ball, cover with the towel, and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450º. Place parchment paper over the pizza pan. Put dough ball on the paper. Press with your hands into a pizza shape adding flour as needed. (The dough will rise in the oven so I press it pretty thin.)
  3. Bake just the crust for 10 minutes on the lowest rack. Add sauce and bake another 10 minutes. Add cheese. Carefully slide the pizza off the paper/pan and bake another 10 minutes directly on the lowest oven rack. Total of 30 minutes of bake time.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack and cool about 5 minutes. Cut on cutting board and return uncut part to the wire rack (it gets a bit soggy when left on the cutting board).

We like to put basil and organic smoky tempeh on our pizza. Topping possibilities are endless! This reheats well in the toaster oven or is tasty cold.

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I was exploring vegan cooking blogs and saw beautiful biscuits on Vegan Explosion, but here is the thing, I am a lazy cook. I wanted those biscuits. I was craving biscuits. But I didn’t want to roll out the dough; I told ya I am a lazy cook. Prevegan, Chet and I used to make drop biscuits all the time so I decided to give them a try instead. Please note that my biscuits are not pretty and they are a bit crumbly (as are most drop biscuits), but oh, they taste sooo good, I hope that I don’t become addicted! I love this recipe because you can whip it together in literally 20 minutes (6 minutes to mix, 14 minutes to bake), and you can make it with common ingredients that you probably always have in your kitchen. I would guess that you can use a different combination of flour as long as it totals 2 cups.

  1. Preheat the oven to 415º F.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. If using herbs, add them to the dry mixture.
  3. Combine the oil and soy milk in a measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir.
  4. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with high heat canola oil. Drop 12 heaping spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 14 minutes.

Notes: I am not a fan of preheating as the first step of a recipe because it usually takes me longer to make the recipe than it takes my oven to preheat which is a huge waste of electricity, but this recipe is so quick, preheating is appropriate. Also about the temperature, the canola oil is safety rated for 425º, but to play it extra safe, I chose 415º.

One biscuit has 110 calories, 4.3 grams of fat, .3 grams of saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, and 3.25 grams of protein. Enjoy!

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My new bread machine (an Oster Expressbake) inspired me to make soft pretzels. The recipe in the manual called for eggs so I found a vegan recipe online. I cut out the oil due to the high baking temp of 450º (my highest rated oil is only safe to 425º, plus we try to avoid cooked oil). I also used whole wheat bread flour plus vital wheat gluten instead of regular bread flour. These are so scrumptious; if you add a bit of Earth Balance Buttery Spread, they taste like the really-bad-for-you soft pretzels that you get at the mall.
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Pretzel Dough:
8-9 ounces of hot water (one cup + 1-2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

Directions
1. Follow the directions for your bread maker’s dough cycle (it should take about 1 hr 30 mins). When the cycle is finished, take the dough out and form into a large ball.
2. Rip off golf ball sized chunks of dough. Here is the tricky part; roll long thin snakes of dough (about 16 inches long) without ripping them. I press really hard as I roll the dough. Twist the snake into the shape of a pretzel and let it sit on the counter.

pretzel2.jpg

3. Once I have 6 pretzels, I preheat the oven to 450º.
4. One at a time, dip pretzels in a baking soda bath (1/2 cup hot water and 1 ½ tablespoon of baking soda). Drip dry a bit and stretch the shape as it drips.
5. Place on a very slightly greased cookie sheet (I use Spectrum Canola Spray Oil and wipe it off) and sprinkle with salt (regular or kosher).
6. Bake at 450º for 8-9 minutes (third rack from the top in my oven).
7. Take off and cool on a rack (eat one right away because they are best fresh out of the oven).
8. While the first batch is baking, roll and shape the rest of the pretzels.
9. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Pop in the toaster oven to reheat.

Makes 13 pretzels. One pretzel has 124 calories, .5 grams of fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, and 5.5 grams of protein.

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Since committing to a vegan lifestyle and adding a bunch of other healthy rules to our diet, I can honestly say the one and only thing that I miss from my old standard American Diet is crusty French bread dipped in olive oil or soup. In Lancaster, we can’t buy crusty French bread that is organic and whole wheat so I set out to make it myself. I searched the web for a recipe and found a blog recipe for Authentic French Bread from Boo’s a veg-a-nut. I made 4 batches before I created the masterpiece that I wanted. I added sugar and made small baguette loaves to increase the crust-factor. Here is my spin on Sheree’s recipe – thanks Sheree.

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1 cup of water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of organic whole wheat bread flour
1 cup of organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 tsp of yeast (this is more than one packet of yeast)
1 teaspoon organic sugar
about 1/3 cup corn meal on baking sheet

Add all ingredients (except cornmeal) to a bread maker and set it on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle concludes (about 1 hour and 20 minutes), remove the dough and divide into two balls. Roll each ball in a “worm” (like play dough) about 12 inches long. Make sure the “worm” is consistently the same width. Pour corn meal in two strips on a cookie sheet. I was surprised at the amount of cornmeal needed to prevent sticking, better to use too much than not enough. Cut slits in the baguettes with a sharp knife. Brush the tops of each baguette with water to keep the dough from drying out. Cover with a towel and place somewhere warm for about 45 minutes. (Our house is very cold in the winter so I turn the oven on for literally 1 minute and then turn it off. I place the dough in the oven to keep it warm.) After 45 minutes, (remove from oven if using it for rising) preheat the oven to 450º. Brush the baguettes with more water and place in the oven (in my oven the second rack level from the bottom out of 5 levels worked best). Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack. Bread will be very crisp on the outside, but still soft inside.

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Vegan PIZZZZAAAA!

We always have loved pizza, and tonight we enjoyed one of our favorite meals. We make it with Rustic Crust Great Grains Organic Pizza Crust, organic tomato sauce, and homemade cashew cheese (see recipe). A side of the mighty avocado adds a creamy yum factor.
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