Vegan Focaccia Pizza
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 shakes red pepper flakes
Freshly ground salt
Olive oil, for brushing the top
Add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for five minutes. Add the oil and sugar to the yeast mixture and let sit while you mix your dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and red pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the wet ingredients and mix with your spoon until the dough starts to stick. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until combined. Knead for an additional five minutes. If the dough remains sticky, add more flour a little bit at a time.
Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper. Flatten and smooth with a rolling pin into a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough, still on the paper, to a cookie or baking sheet. Let the round rise in a warm place for 40 minutes. I boiled 4 cups of water and poured it into a glass baking dish, put the dish in the oven on the bottom rack, and put the cookie sheet with the dough on the middle rack. It seemed to work really well as in times past I have made focaccias that rose very little. This one got nice and puffy and fantastic.
When the rising time is up, remove the two dishes from the oven and switch it on to 400 degrees. Brush the round with a very small amount of olive oil and season with freshly ground salt. Add a thin layer of cheese, your toppings, and sprinkle with a little bit more cheese. If your toppings are on the wetter side, I recommend removing excess liquid by pressing them between paper towels. I did this with both the tomatoes and artichoke hearts. I did NOT want a soggy dough. And I didn't get one! Ha-ha!
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden and your cheese is considerably melty!
Pairs Well With
When I first learned how easy it is to make, I used to bake focaccia all the time. I've been thinking a lot about my expenses lately and how much I would LOVE to make most of my bread at home. It would save tons of money (as I am a bread fiend). While I was pondering this, it occurred to me that focaccia might make a great crust for pizza!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, focaccia is a very simple but incredibly tasty bread that requires very little time to rise and can be made with only kneading once. It makes a great accompaniment to pasta dishes when cut into pieces and is even wonderful as breakfast with a bit of vegan butter spread on top of a warm slice. It is also extremely versatile and can be made with herbs and spices baked into it. You could even probably find some at your local grocery store bakery covered in asiago cheese and olives.
But let's not do that. Instead, try this recipe I adapted from Vegetarian Soups For All the Seasons and use it to make a pizza crust. Top with your favorite vegan cheese(s) and vegetables. We used marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, hothouse tomato slices, and mozzarella Daiya cheese. It was heaven.