This vegan margherita melts, crisps and and tastes just like the classic. Grab the recipe for it along with our favourite go-to pizza dough. Pizza night just got a whole lot sweeter.
Pizza is very near and dear to my heart. I have it often and hold it to a VERY high standard. Here are a few of the things I look for in a great pizza. First, the dough should be soft but not soggy, crisp but not hard. It should have bite to it, but it shouldn't feel dense. Second, the sauce should be simple, rich and taste like a sun ripened tomato. It shouldn't have any dried herbs in it, simply tomatoes, olive oil and salt.
As with anything with few ingredients, quality is important so I look for a good quality passata. In my dreams I use San Marzano passata, but as those are hard and expensive to come by, I almost always turn to Mutti. Last but not least, cheese! I have tried many, many vegan cheeses, but the best vegan mozzarella cheese I have come by to date is Mozzarisella. It doesn't have an artificial taste, it doesn't clump and it actually melts and browns. I tend to get mine on Ocado or at Planet Organic, but I've seen it in most health food shops and at most Waitroses.
Now that you have the low down on my perfect vegan pizza, you can go forth and make your own!
30 mins (+ rising)
450g bread flour
1 ½ tsp fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
400g good quality tomato passata (we used mutti)
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
200g vegan mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (we used mozzarisella)
10g fresh basil
In a large bowl or stand mixer combine flour, yeast and salt. If mixing by hand, pour the wet ingredients in and incorporate until just combined. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 12 minutes, until it’s soft and springy.
If using a stand mixer, add the wet ingredients and mix on high for 8 minutes. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling film. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.
Once risen, tip the dough back onto a surface and divide it into 4 portions. Form each piece into a ball, then place them onto a tray - a couple cm away from each other. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film again, and let rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 230˚C. Place one dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out as thinly as possible. Transfer the rolled out base onto an oiled baking tray or pizza stone. Drizzle the base with olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the passata, olive oil and salt and mix together. Add a ladleful of sauce to the pizza base, and spread it throughout the base. Add ¼ of the mozzarella slices evenly on top of the sauce.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, until the mozzarella is bubbling and crust is golden. Repeat with the remaining bases. Top with fresh basil and slice!
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.