Vegans needn’t miss out on pizza Margherita. Our recipe combines the classic flavours of this Italian comfort food using plant-based substitutes.Print
For the pizza dough
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra
For the tomato sauce
- 100ml passata
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping
- 200g vegan mozzarella-style cheese, grated
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Fresh basil or oregano leaves, chilli oil and vegan parmesan to serve (optional)
Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Measure 150ml of cold water and 150ml boiling water into a jug and mix them together – this will mean your water is a good temperature for the yeast. Add the oil and 1 tsp salt to the warm water then pour it over the flour. Stir well with a spoon then start to knead the mixture together in the bowl until it forms a soft and slightly sticky dough. If it’s too dry add a splash of cold water.
- Dust a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for 10 mins. Put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film greased with a few drops of olive oil. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C/gas 9 and put a baking sheet or pizza stone on the top shelf to heat up. Once the dough has risen, knock it back by punching it a couple of times with your fist then kneading it again on a floured surface. It should be springy and a lot less sticky. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- Put all the ingredients for the tomato sauce together in a bowl, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if you like and mix well. Set aside until needed.
- Divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces (depending on whether you want to make large or small pizzas), shape into balls and flatten each piece out as thin as you can get it with a rolling pin or using your hands. Make sure the dough is well dusted with flour to stop it sticking. Dust another baking sheet with flour then put a pizza base on top – spread 4-5 tbsp of the tomato sauce on top and add some sliced tomatoes and grated vegan cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake in the oven on top of your preheated baking tray for 10-12 mins or until the base is puffed up and the vegan cheese has melted and is bubbling and golden in patches.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and topping. Serve the pizzas with fresh basil leaves or chilli oil if you like and sprinkle over vegan parmesan just after baking.
If you’re not using yeast from a new packet, test that it’s still active by adding ½ tsp to a small glass of warm water with a pinch of sugar. If it doesn’t froth within 10 mins don’t use it and buy fresh.