Introduction: Stuffed Crust Vegan Pizza

Who says vegans can't enjoy delicious, "cheesy" pizza?

This recipe kicks your standard pizza up a notch with a super cheesy stuffed crust!

Step 1: Make the Dough

To make the pizza dough, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) instant yeast

We used a bread machine to make the dough, but you can also mix the ingredients by hand. If you are using a bread machine, put all the above ingredients into the bread pan, and set it to the dough cycle.

Once the dough is ready, remove it from the pan and knead it for a couple minutes until it's smooth. This recipe makes four personal pizzas or two large pizzas.

Note: We divided the dough in half to make two personal pizzas now and saved the other half for another day by storing it in the fridge in a sealed (and oiled) container. If you are saving dough for later, put it in the fridge right away before it rises.

Next, lightly oil a bowl and put the dough you are about to use in it. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes.

Step 2: Heat the Pizza Pan

If you want the bottom of your pizza to be extra crispy, you will need a pizza stone or something with a similarly high heat capacity. We used a cast iron pan.

Preheat the oven with the stone or pan in it an hour before you put the pizza in the oven. The temperature should be as high as your oven can go. Ours goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you can do hotter, you should.

Step 3: Shape the Dough

After the dough has risen for 60-90 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form it into a ball and divide further, if needed. (We divided ours into two more parts, to make two personal pizzas.) Do NOT knead the dough at this point.

Cover the dough ball(s) with plastic wrap or an overturned bowl, and let it rise for another 10-15 minutes.

Next, holding the dough in the air, gently start stretching it into a circle with your hands, allowing gravity to do part of the work. (There are many tutorials online for how to stretch pizza dough.)

Once the dough is stretched to your liking, place it on your pizza peel. We use a wooden cutting board for this purpose, since we don't have a peel. We dust our "peel" with corn meal before placing the dough on it, but you don't have to do this if you don't want to.

Step 4: Stuff the Crust

To make the stuffed crust, spread your cheese substitute of choice in a ring around the edge of the dough. We used Daiya brand "Block" and "Shreds" styles, crumbling the "Block" a little to distribute it more evenly.

Next, fold the edge over the cheese, and pinch it down to seal it.

Step 5: Add the Toppings

Cover the dough with your favorite tomato sauce, and add some cheese in whatever quantity you desire.

Then add whatever other toppings you love most! We used sautéed mushrooms, green olives, and arugula, then finished with a drizzle of olive oil.

Step 6: Bake the Pizza

Take your peel and give it a little jiggle to make sure the pizza is not sticking (the corn meal helps with this). Then very carefully slide it onto your heated pan or stone in the oven. Bake for about 7-9 minutes, or until the bottom is browned and crispy.

Step 7: Remove, Slice, and Enjoy!

Remove the pizza from the oven, slice it, and enjoy it!

Pizza Challenge

Runner Up in the
Pizza Challenge