Garlic Pizza Dough & Eggplant Sauce

I am super busy in the kitchen this morning! I am making pizza dough, roasting eggplant and mushroom to mix with my pizza sauce, AND attempting to make vegan popovers for the first time. Phew!

I will definitely blog the popovers, but right now we’re going to focus on pizza! First of all, I believe this video sums up how I feel about pizza (minus the animal ingredients). I mean, just look at how lovingly he looks at that pizza!

You’re welcome!!

Recipe disclaimer: I have a deep dish pizza pan which is a bit more than an inch deep. I have never tried this specific dough recipe on a flat baking sheet, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I am guessing the final pizza will be more like a hand-tossed crust.

Okay, the recipes….

For the dough, I decided to substitute 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal for 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour because I like the taste and texture that it provides. (So you would use 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal.) I also use this recipe to make focaccia. I simply allow the dough a second rise of about 30 minutes (depending on the temperature of my kitchen), then bake without toppings. You can also use this second rise for an airier pizza crust. I always use turmeric, but I change up which herbs I add to my dough. It really depends on what herbs are in the pasta sauce I’m using for the pizza sauce. For instance, if my sauce is already heavy on the basil, I won’t add extra.

If you are wondering why I’m blending eggplant and mushroom into sauce instead of just using them as toppings, the answer is texture. I like the flavor of both of those veggies, but the slippery texture of each is just too much for me. I just can’t. So, blending them into sauces is a great way for me to add them into my diet.

I topped my pizza with red bell pepper, kale, and roasted sunflower seeds. Obviously, the world is your pizza, so you may top your pizza with whatever veggies your heart desires. I’m not big on vegan cheeses (again, texture), but if it’s your thing, this pizza is a great time to use some.

Some notes on technique. I try to use my oven wisely. As in, I don’t want to waste energy by allowing it to cool when I’ll need it again or allowing it to sit at a high temperature, but unused for very long. I started by making the pizza dough first. While it was on the initial 10 minute rest, I peeled and chopped the eggplant and salted the pieces.  I used the time that the eggplant needed to rest to spread the pizza dough in the pan. I roasted my sunflower seeds while I prepared the sauce. So my oven wasn’t just hanging out using energy. Being mindful in the kitchen not only helps you be less wasteful, but also increases your enjoyment of the process.

Happy baking!

Eggplant Sauce

  • 1 eggplant
  • handful of mushrooms (I used baby portabellas)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash veggies. Peel the eggplant and cut into large chunks. Chop mushrooms into quarters.

Dust eggplant hunks with salt and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. This helps remove any bitterness in the vegetable.

Lightly grease a baking tray. Rinse off the eggplants pieces and place them on the pan. Place mushroom on there as well.

Place in the oven and bake about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and flip the eggplant pieces over. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You can up the oven temperature to 400°F for this round of baking to prepare for the pizza.

Remove cooked eggplant and mushroom from the oven. They should be nice and soft.

Place in a large bowl if using an immersion blender or place in blender/food processor. Blend until completely smooth.

Mix in the nutritional yeast.

Add as much pasta sauce as you wish. I didn’t measure this at all. I just added it in about 1/4 cup increments until I reached the consistency I wanted. You are now ready to top your pizza (or pasta).

 

Garlic Pizza Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups Unbleached All purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Gather together all of your ingredients. Decide if you wish to add any other spices, like oregano, to your dough.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In the bowl of your mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine warm water and active yeast. Allow to sit for 3 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour, oil, salt, and spices to yeast mixture. Combine until a soft dough forms. Add additional flour if the dough is too sticky.

Knead 3-5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Spread dough onto a well oiled pizza pan. I sprayed mine with a non-stick cooking spray.

You can either add sauce and toppings and bake immediately or allow the dough to rise in the pan another 20 or 30 minutes and then top with sauce and veggies.

Bake 15 minutes or until crust is golden.

Yield: one 14 inch pizza

 

IMG_1580
Unbaked eggplant and mushrooms. I cut HUGE hunks, so I speared them with a knife to help them cook faster.
IMG_1583
Baked eggplant and mushrooms
IMG_1584
Getting my immersion blending on.
IMG_1586
All blended, but before I added the pasta sauce.
IMG_1581
Pizza dough on the optional second rise. I uncovered it for the photo; remember to keep it covered until ready to use.
IMG_1587
This pizza is ready to be assembled!
IMG_1588
Before being baked.
IMG_1589
Fresh from the oven. You can see that the pizza is slightly pulled away from the pan.
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Pizza!
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