Deep-Dish Vegan Pizza

With its steaming hot, crisp, perfectly-tanned, chewy crust, one of my favorite meals has always been deep dish pizza. Crowned with your choice of toppings, this pizza is the perfect addition to Friday movie nights, friends, and family.


Divine Deep-Dish Pizza

By Allison Rivers Samson

Make 2 pizzas, serves 8

Equipment
Two 12-inch cake pans

Ingredients

Pizza Crust
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 1/4 cups unbleached flour, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (or other sweetener)

Cashew Cheese
2 cups raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or longer and drained
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried dill

Topping Options
Onions, thinly sliced and tossed in olive oil
Ripe Green or Black Olives, sliced or chopped
Mushrooms, sautéed first so their juices don't make your crust soggy
Artichoke Hearts
Garlic, minced
Spinach
Sundried Tomatoes
Fresh Tomato, sliced
Vegan Meat
Tempeh, sautéed in olive oil and stirred into sauce
Pesto
Fresh Basil, chiffonaded (add after pizza comes out of oven so it doesn't turn black)
Anything else you love!

Directions
1. Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon oil, salt, sweetener, and yeast mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue to stir until dough comes together completely. With the wooden spoon, continue to stir 10 minutes more to knead (the dough will be somewhat soft, unlike bread dough, so kneading with hands doesn't work so well). Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm area for 45 minutes. 

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. In two 12-inch cake pans, spread 1 teaspoon olive oil evenly over bottom and sides of each pan. 

3. Cashew Cheese: In a blender, process ingredients for cashew cheese until smooth when rubbed between thumb and forefinger.

4. Assemble: In two oiled 12-inch cake pans, divide dough in half, press each half into the bottom of each pan and slightly up the sides so that the thickness is even throughout each pan. Spread 1 teaspoon olive oil onto the dough in each pan. Add your choice of sauce and toppings, and then pour cheese sauce over the top. Bake for 18 minutes.


© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of 
Quick + Easy DIY Salad BarThe Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

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