Pizza IS my favorite food. There is no argument that if I were to be left on an island with one type of food, it would be pizza. When the conversation of having vegan pizza came up the first time I was a skeptic. After months of refining multiple recipes and testing out multiple vegan cheese alternatives, I can safely say that I have found myself loving vegan pizza. This recipe is a simple one, from the dough to the sauce. Most of the time spent is preparation of each item, but you are rewarded once you see this beauty come out of the oven.
Now what makes the sauce so sweet and rich is the tomatoes you use. You could just get any tomatoes but if you want a vibrant flavor then I would highly recommend San Marzano tomatoes. You can buy them canned from an international supermarket, you can order them online, or you can purchase an American brand that also grows this type of tomato.
The roasted eggplant also marries very well with the sauce. Add in the peppers and mushrooms and you have yourself a trio that is not only simple but a perfect combination of flavor.
Once it’s all in the cast iron, you will wish that the oven had a insta-cook setting! In this recipe I opted to use a whole wheat dough, but you can use standard All Purpose Flour or if you want a lighter crispier crust you should go with Double 00 flour. For deep dish I recommend the All Purpose Flour as you will want something that will bake and sustain all the pizza sauce without having it soak through to the bottom.
Use my hashtag #VeganWingman on Instagram and show me your results. Don’t forget to tweet @veganwingman, leave a comment on Facebook, or leave a comment below. Best part about cooking is seeing the creative spins placed on a recipe.
Roasted Eggplant Deep Dish PizzaPrint Recipe
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup of warm water(Roughly 100˚F)
- 1 Packet of dry active yeast
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1/2 Cup of olive oil
- 2 28oz cans of San Marzano Tomatoes(Can be whole peeled if you prefer some chunks or pureed if you want a smoother sauce)
- 6 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Medium sized sweet onion
- 1/3 cup of oregano
- 1 Bunch of basil
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 Green pepper
- 1 Package of baby bella mushrooms
- 1 Large eggplant
- 1/2 package of Miyoko's VeganMozz
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by pouring your warm water into a bowl. If you need assistance in figuring out the right temp but do not have a thermometer, run the water cold and place your hand underneath. Start turning the hot water on slowly and the second the water begins to feel warm to you is the sweet spot. Pour a cup of it into a bowl and add the yeast. Yeast should begin to flourish within 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the flour and the salt and mix. Create a hole in the center and pour in the water. Begin working it until it turns into a dough. If you are using a mixer this process takes all of 3 minutes with a dough hook, if you are using your hands this can take up to about 9 minutes.
Throw some flour on your work surface or cutting board and begin to knead the dough. Fold it into itself and turn 90˚. You will eventually obtain a rhythm. You will want to do this until the dough is no longer sticking and is providing a shiny surface. If you are using whole wheat, the dough wont shine but will stop sticking. Make sure to form this into a ball!
Take some oil and grease up a bowl and add the newly formed dough into the bowl. Cover with clear wrap and let sit in a warm area for about an hour. The dough will double in size.
Begin to preheat the oven to 425˚F.
If you purchased the tomatoes peeled and whole, pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and begin to crush them. Once done you may set aside.
Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Chop the onion into small 1cm cubes. Take half the bunch of basil and chiffonade.
Clean and quarter the mushrooms. Slice the green peppers into thin strips and set both items aside.
Heat up a large sauce pot with about half of the olive oil, add the garlic, and finally add the onions once the garlic smell blooms out of the pot. Once the onions are translucent, you may add the tomatoes into the pot along with the oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. I usually add about 1 tbsp of salt to season and crack some fresh pepper.
Let this cook on a simmer for about 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
While the sauce is going, take out the eggplant, slice it down lengthwise with about 1/3 inch diameter thickness and place onto baking tray. Brush some oil on both sides and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and let bake for about 40 minutes to an hour.
Heat up a pan on high heat, once the oil shimmers lower to a medium heat and add the peppers and mushrooms. Add some salt and pepper to taste and cook until they begin to brown. At this point the eggplant should be cooked and can be removed from the oven. Once removed increase the oven temperature to 450˚F.
Now that all items are cooked, we can begin assembling. Season the cast iron with olive oil. You may choose to rub garlic on the pan in order to give your crust more flavor. Once done set aside.
Roll out the dough into a thin crust. Pick it up carefully and place into cast iron. Press the dough into the cast iron to remove any air pockets. Trim any excess you do not want.
Place a layer of peppers, mushrooms and eggplant along with half of the Miyoko's VeganMozz. Ladle sauce over and repeat again by adding the veggies then sauce. Depending on how deep you want this deep dish, you can potentially have some sauce left over(along with dough!!!!) and you can make a small pizza with it. Once you have filled the pizza, top with the remainder of the mozz and garnish with some basil leaves. Remember to brush the dough with olive oil!
Place in the oven for roughly 30 to 40 minutes and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes afterwards.
Due to the length of this recipe it can be a bit tiring to do all of this in one sitting. I suggest making the dough the day before and keeping it in an air tight container in the fridge. Even though its about 20 minutes of work, your arms will feel like jello afterwards.
If you do not have a rolling pin, fear not as a bottle of wine will do wonders for you in that step as well. A bottle of wine will also make cooking feel even better!