The World is Flat

When it comes to pizza, flatter is simply better. Having been raised on nothing but thin and crispy New York-style crusts, it seems like sacrilege to even consider deviating from that delicious formula. Never has this household seen the likes of deep dish, an abomination of doughy flat bread and vast pools of sauce. Perish the thought! Quite the contrary, the pizzas my dad rolls out for special occasions are so ethereally thin, each slice can sometimes seem like no more than a delicate wafer cracker, brushed with just a whisper of the red stuff. Thus, it’s a scandalous, shameful thing I have done in the name of dough just recently… Forgoing the rolling pin and long waits for the dough to rise, I made a quick and dirty pan pizza.

Lacking the grace of a paper-thin pie, it however makes up for this shortcoming in ease of preparation. Practically instant, there’s no down time waiting for the dough to rise, and you can go from zero to dinner in just about 30 minutes. Pleasantly chewy and sturdy enough to support whatever toppings are piled on, I think there’s room in my heart for this thicker, heftier crust, too.

Inspired by Vegalicious, I found the idea of a super-speedy white sauce completely irresistible, and with a container of plain, unsweetened soy yogurt sitting patiently in the fridge, it was clearly meant to be. Laughably simple yet complex in flavor, it’s subtly cheesy, almost gooey, and all too perfect to keep to myself. Who needs tomatoes on pizza anyway? You’ll forget all about that red spread with this gem of a sauce.

White Pan Pizza with Mushrooms

Pizza Crust:

1/4 Cup Oil, Divided

1 Cup Warm Water
2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast, or 1 1/4-Ounce Package Rapid Rise Yeast
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

White Sauce:

3/4 Cup Unsweetened Plain Soy Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Tiny Pinch Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Pound Button Mushrooms
1/4 Pound Shiitake Mushrooms

Fresh Parsley or Basil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and use 1 tablespoon in each of 2 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Place all of the ingredients for the crust into your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or food processor, and start on a low speed or pulse to combine. Once everything is more or less incorporated, allow the machine to run and “knead” the dough for about 5 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce and toppings.

In a medium bowl, stir together the soy yogurt and spices so that you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Slice the mushrooms and chop your herbs, and then set both aside.

Pull the dough out of the machine, and cut it into two equal pieces. Roll them briefly between the counter and your hands to round out the lumps, and then place one in each of the oiled cake pans. Use your finger tips to smooth the crusts into the bottom of the pans, so that they’re evenly covering the entire bottom. If the dough resists and pulls back, just leave it alone for 5 or 10 minutes and then try shaping it again. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil cross the top of each round of dough, and slide the pans into the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes and pull them back out. Distribute the white sauce equally between the two pizzas, and smooth it evenly across the surface, leaving just a small edge bare so that you can pick up the slices later. Sprinkle your sliced mushrooms on top, and return the two pies to the oven. Bake for 8 more minutes, and then switch to the broiler. Broil for 5 – 8 minutes longer, until the crust is golden brown.

Let cool for at least 5 minutes before sprinkling your fresh herbs on top, slicing, and digging in.

Makes 2 9-Inch Round Pan Pizzas

Printable Recipe

Rolling in Dough

Hungry for some instant gratitude that goes by the name of delivery pizza? It seems to be a food that few stop craving even as the years of childhood are left in the dust, something that 90% of people at a party could easily agree on, and a forbidden temptation for many vegans. Not satisfied to simply report that Sheese did not perform as I had hoped on top of a pita pizza, I racked my brain to figure out a way around such a huge obstacle. In a moment of inspiration, [or perhaps insanity] I began drafting blueprint a on how to reinvent this classic Italian American favorite, and morph it into something that my enthusiastic taste testers could even consider to be an improvement on the original.

Before the fiercely loyal pizza-lovers start to protest and defend their ways, allow me to explain how I ended up with a rolled bun, and not a flat bread at all.

As effortless and comforting as a floppy slice of grease-laden carbohydrate heaven may be, I have a few pet peeves about the traditional pie. The least of these would have to be the clearly un-vegan layer of cheese, often thick enough to smother a small child. Also, what about those portion sizes? Even if the slices are reasonable enough to form an average-sized meal, the leftovers some how never fit quite right into any sort of container in which to preserve them, and foil allows their aromatic scent to impregnate any of the more impressionable food items sharing the same fridge space. Additionally, that labor-intensive crust on which the whole structure is based tends to become a doughy, unpalatable excuse for bread when attempted by popular franchises. Consider it the Wonderbread of pizza; perfect in appearance to the point of looking like plastic, almost completely devoid of nutrition, and akin to swallowing rocks when it comes time for your stomach to digest it. But what is the average person to do, lacking the time to knead their own and then allow it a proper rise? Being somewhat intimidated by yeast and its curious properties myself, my starting point in this adventure was facing the challenge of working with it, and surely enough, it began to work with me.

Wanting to craft a recipe for dough that needed no time to rise, I found that just adding in yeast without giving it any special treatment would provide those lovely flavors present in any real bread, without extra work or worry. Relying on chemical leaveners as well, this hybrid holds its own when asked to do some serious cooking, but is a bit less elastic and forgiving as a traditional pizza dough, so it must be worked gently.

Rolling it up with shredded vegan cheese safely tucked inside prevents it from burning in the oven, while still melting in your mouth. Once baked, they can be eaten on the side to make room for a more varied meal, and then frozen to easily enjoy later. No awkward wrapping here; they should easily fit in the average Tupperware container.

Consider it the pizza of the future; vegan, delicious, perfectly portable, and decidedly un-greasy. What’s not to like about that?

Yield: Makes 12 - 14 Rolls

Pizza Rolls

Pizza Rolls

Prepared with an effortless pizza dough recipe, these vegan pizza rolls are an instant crowd-pleaser.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Packet (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 Ounces Shredded Mozzarella-Style Vegan Cheese
  • Marinara Sauce, to Serve (Optional)

Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Heat the non-dairy milk in a microwave-safe dish for just about a minute in order to warm it through. Add in the yeast and let sit. While those two ingredients become better acquainted, in a separate bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    3. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter in, and make sure to chop all of the fat into the smallest pieces you can manage, so they are completely coated in the dry ingredients to make fine crumbs.
    4. Pour in the milk mixture, and stir it all together so that it all forms a cohesive, but still rather moist dough.
    5. This is where things get sticky. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface, flouring your hands lightly as well so that you can manually pat it out into a rectangle measuring somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 x 8 inches. Being such a loose dough, it won’t play nicely with a rolling pin, so you just need to poke and prod it into shape with your hands.
    6. Once you achieve a satisfactory rectangle, spread the pizza sauce over it, going most of the way to the edges but leaving perhaps a centimeter uncovered all around. Sprinkle the garlic powder over it, followed by the shredded cheese. Try to cover the surface evenly.
    7. Finally, you’re ready to roll! Gently roll up the dough from the long side, moving with care and without stretching or pulling the cylinder.
    8. Once you have a nice log, cut 1-inch pieces with a sharp knife, using a sawing motion and as little downward pressure as you can muster to prevent the rolls from becoming smushed.
    9. Move the rolls to one or two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You should space them out to about 9 per sheet so that they have room to spread. Reshape gently if necessary, and bake for 13 – 17 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy warm or reheat in a toaster oven later.
    10. Dip into or top with marinara sauce, if desired.

Recommended Products

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 332mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.