Finally, after way too long, I have made myself some vegan pizza! I don’t know why it took me so long to actually get around to making it, since I love pizza, but at least I have now. I made this for my flatmates and they all loved it, and they were also all extremely surprised by how good a vegan pizza could taste. I made it without any vegan cheese, just with other ingredients that are usually in pizzas – I know that a lot of people can’t be bothered to buy the specialist vegan cheeses. It’s also the reason I use basic ingredients instead of the much better kinds of yeast and flour that are available. I know a lot of non-Italians tend to see pizzas as something you share between many people, but these pizzas are so light that I would prepare at least 1 pizza per person you are cooking for. When I made it for my friends we had about 3 each.

Ingredients (makes 2 pizzas)

For the dough

  • 300g basic flour
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tsp salt
For the toppings

  • 350g passata
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 10 black olives
  • 8 green olives
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 12 leaves of fresh basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Preparation (20 minutes + 1 hour waiting time)

The Dough

In a large bowl, mix together both flours, the yeast, and the salt. Then add the olive oil and water, and mix around. After a while you will probably have to start using your hands to make it into a dough. If it seems too wet, add some more regular flour, if it seems too dry, add some more water. Be careful if adding water because even the smallest amount tends to make a big difference. The final dough should be dry enough that you can mould it into a general shape, but wet enough that it still slightly sticks to your fingers. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with a towel, and leave to sit for at least an hour (although leaving it for up to two or even three hours will make the dough even more tasty). Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

The Glorious Pizza

Once the dough is ready, drizzle some olive oil onto the baking tray you will be using to make the pizza. Grab half of the dough, place it in the middle of the tray, and slowly knead it so that it spreads throughout the entire tray. Make to spread it evenly, so that there are no areas where the pizza is too thick or too thin. Do the same with the rest of the dough in a different baking tray. Then add half of the passata to the middle of each pizza, and, using a spoon, spread it evenly around the pizza. At this point, chop some garlic into very small pieces, and sprinkle it on the pizza. Chop the basil and add that evenly on as well. Then, chop the mushrooms and add those to the pizza as well, together with the olives, chopped. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and finally, a light drizzle of olive oil (especially on the mushrooms). Then stick it in the oven, and leave it in there for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like it. Take it out and serve!

Tip: this is just the basic vegan pizza recipe I would recommend. Of course, you should experiment with your own personal taste. Adding vegan cheese would probably be interesting, as well as any other vegetable you can think of. And even throwing on some rucula after it’s been cooked isn’t a bad idea. It’s all up to you, which is what I think is so great about pizza. If you come up with any incredible discovery, please let me know about it in the comments section below!