Who doesn’t love pizza? But if you think delivery or some frozen mess in a box is the only way to enjoy this most popular dish, think again. And if you think pizza is too complicated to make from scratch, think again. This pizza can be ready before delivery and is sooooooo much more delicious.
Makes 2 Medium Pizzas; (16 slices and 5 to 6 cups sauce)
Tomato Basil Sauce
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ small yellow onion, finely diced
3 to 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1½ teaspoons sea salt
Generous pinch dried oregano
1 (6-ounce) can no-salted added tomato paste
2 (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 carrot, left whole
2 bay leaves
Generous pinch cracked black pepper
6 to 7 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed
6 ounces vegan mozzarella cheese substitute, grated (optional)
Make the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir in remaining water, oil and salt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in semolina flour. Slowly stir in enough whole wheat flour to form a soft, moist dough, which makes a crispy crust. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes to achieve a smooth elastic consistency.
Add flour as needed for kneading, but not too much or the dough will become dry. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and oil the surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
While dough rises, prepare the tomato sauce: Place oil, onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of the salt and oregano and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomato paste and 2 cans of water (tomato paste can) and stir until smooth. Add tomatoes, remaining salt, carrot and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove carrot and bay leaves and discard; add pepper and adjust salt to your taste; stir in basil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes more.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly flour a round baking stone or lightly oil a pizza pan. Punch down dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough out to the size of the stone or pan. Transfer dough to the prepared stone and spread about 1-1 1/2 cups of sauce over the crust, leaving about 1 inch around the rim. Sprinkle with cheese (if using) and bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
COOK’S TIP: You can wrap half of the dough in plastic and keep for another use. Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. You may have extra sauce as well, especially if you are only making one pizza. It will keep in the fridge for about a week or you can freeze it for later use.
COOK’S TIP: The cheese alternative is optional and not using it you create a traditional tomato pie and save calories. The vegan cheese alternative I use has 80 calories an ounce, which is not much; but if you are trying to lose, save wherever you can.