Soooo.. I’ve made quite a few vegan cheeses in my time.. but the other day I came across a particularly impressive looking mozzarella and decided to give it a go. The following cheese recipe was created by Richard Makin (instagram here).
I was so chuffed with the way the cheese came out, that the next day I had to make pizza.. So I googled in search of a pizza recipe and used a Jamie Oliver recipe as a base, adding a few of my own little tweaks here and there, so here it is!
I used a cast iron skillet for this pizza recipe as its the closest thing I have to a pizza oven. Cooking great pizza in a normal home oven is no easy feat, the faster the pizza cooks the better it is, so intense heat is a good thing, and the cast iron skillet is excellent at conducting and retaining heat, so it works well.
The following recipes are easy to do, although for the cheese you will probably have to source some of the ingredients (agar agar and psyllium husk).. but I assure you its so worth it! Okay lets get to it!
The Best Vegan Mozzarella
For the mozzarella recipe click here, which will take you directly to Richards Blog! (The School Night Vegan)
Semolina Pizza Crust
(makes 4-5 medium pizzas)
300g strong white flour (bread flour)
150g semolina flour
50g wholewheat flour
325ml warm water
7g instant dried yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
1. Sieve the white flour into a clean bowl, then add the salt, semolina flour and the wholewheat flour.
2. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar, and oil and 325ml of lukewarm water, leave for a few minutes to activate the yeast and then pour into the bowl.
3. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and mix it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
4. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a little bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. Split the dough into dough-balls, then leave for another 20 minutes for the final rise.
You can either use them immediately, or keep them, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required.
6. There are many ways to roll out pizza dough, most agree that the best way to to use your fingers (not your finger tips) to flatten the dough ball out into a disc and then use your hands to stretch, but not roll out the dough. Here is a video showing multiple ways to do this!
(serves 2 pizzas
1/2 cup fresh tomato passata
2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk or a spoon.
Cooking the pizza
1. Set your oven to the highest temperature on the grill setting.
2. Heat your cast iron skillet on a high flame for a couple of minutes until its piping hot, then add the stretched out pizza base and turn the flame down to low.
3. Add a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce and spread it out evenly with a spoon, add as much cheese as you want and whack it in the oven.
4. After about 4-5 minutes the cheese should be melted and the pizza nice and crispy but not overcooked. Take the pizza out and top with the black pepper.
I hope you enjoy both the pizza and the cheese as much as I did, If you make the recipe please drop a comment below to let me know how you got on!