Curiosity, chronic indecisiveness, and an abundance of dough eventually produced three homemade pizzas: pizza bianca, artichoke and seitan "pepperoni," and deep-dish. The pizza bianca, more of a sauce-less flat bread than traditional pie, used a whole wheat variation of the Pizza Napoletana dough from that treasured Reinhart book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I brushed the thin disc with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil, lightly sprinkled shredded mozzarella-style Teese over it, and baked the pizza on a preheated stone at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Slices of the crusty-but-chewy bread made for a tasty prelude to the more elaborate pizzas to follow.
Fat Free Vegan's Veggeroni. Again, a spell atop a hot stone in a hot oven resulted in a delectable pizza. The seitan "pepperoni" became a bit brittle and toasty around the edges, but no matter; the crunch of those smoky-spicy slices added welcome textural interest.
Pennies on a Platter's Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza, substituting vegan "butter" for dairy butter. I filled the unbaked shell with various toppings--Teese, caramelized onion, seitan "pepperoni," sun-dried tomatoes, tomato sauce, bell pepper slices, blanched spinach, black olives, and a light sprinkling of additional Teese--brushed the dough with garlic olive oil, and baked it according to the recipe's instructions.
Thick and Chunky Tomato Sauce (printer-friendly version)
Yields approximately 4 cups
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, finely grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 T tomato paste
2 (14-oz) cans diced tomatoesSalt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low. Add onion and carrot, lightly salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly caramelized (approximately 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for approximately a minute or so; it should be fragrant but not brown. Slightly crush the pepper flakes and dried herbs before adding them to the pan. Stir in the tomato paste until it is well-distributed. Lightly drain one can of tomatoes, then add the contents of both cans to the saucepan, stirring to incorporate. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, the partially cover the pan with a lid (allow some ventilation). Allow the sauce to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes--up to an hour, if time permits, to further develop flavor--stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Remove from heat and coarsely blend until desired smoothness is achieved. Allow to cool before dressing pizza, or warm through to enjoy with pasta.