We love pizza. In fact, our first date some twenty odd years ago was at a delicious Italian restaurant, Angelo & Vinci’s, in Fullerton that has some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. We haven’t been back since we’ve stopped eating dairy. I believe their crust has dairy and eggs. So finding a good homemade alternative is important so we can get our pizza fix.
Over the years, I’ve tried many recipes for pizza dough. Most were good and some even excellent. However, the dough recipes from Peter Reinhart’s “American Pie” are sublime. “American Pie” chronicles Peter Reinhart’s journey to find the perfect pizza. It’s a good read if you love food and the recipes will take your homemade pizza to new heights.
I tried several recipes including the neo-neapolitan pizza dough, the New York style pizza dough, and the pizza americana dough. The pizza americana ended up being my favorite. However, the recipe does call for milk and honey, both of which are off the menu with a vegan diet.
Cashew milk and agave syrup to the rescue. I have found that cashew milk is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk in yeast bread recipes. Here is my veganized version of pizza americana dough.
Vegan Pizza Americana
- 5 cups unbleached bread flour (22.5 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons of agave syrup
- 2 teaspoons of table salt
- 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (2 ounces)
- 1 cup cashew milk
- 3/4 cup water, room temperature (70ºF)
- Mix water, cashew milk, olive oil, instant yeast and agave syrup in the bowl of an Electrolux mixer fitted with the scraper and roller. Turn up to the second or third speed and add the flour and salt.
- Mix for 5 minutes until all of the flour is incorporated to form a coarse ball. let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- If the dough is too sticky to hold a shape, add more flour one tablespoon at a time. It if it is too dry, add one tablespoon of water at a time. Mix the dough until it passes the windowpane test. This lets you know the gluten is well formed.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Round each piece into a ball and spray with oil. Place each dough ball in a quart sized zipper bag and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Put the dough balls in the refrigerator overnight. You can freeze any dough you won’t be using the next day.
- The next day, remove the balls from the refrigerator two hours before you plan to roll them out and bake them. This will take the chill off and relax the gluten.
- After two hours, roll, stretch or otherwise shape the dough into a circle. Top with your favorite sauce, vegan cheese or other toppings.
Alternative mixing instructions.
With a large metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4 quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined. If mixing with an electric mixer, fit it with the dough hook and mix on low speed for 4 minutes or until all the flour forms a coarse ball. Continue with the instructions above.