1 1/2cupsto 2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese shreds or torn pieces
1teaspoonolive oil for brushing crustplus more for optional drizzling over
cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet or pizza stone
Preheat oven to 500°F/260°C degrees or as hot as it will get. Let it preheat for at least 20 minutes on this heat. I would recommend also doing the steam method (in notes below) for an even hotter oven and the best crust.
On your floured surface, shape your pizza dough into a circular shape. I use a well floured rolling pin and roll it out in all directions to form a circle. It should measure about 10 inches diameter. Create a crust by lifting the edges to create a sort of heightened rim.
Dust a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet with cornmeal. Lift and place the pizza dough on it. For help, sometimes I stretch/roll the pizza dough on cornmeal-dusted parchment paper, then transfer the pizza on the parchment to the pizza stone. Either method works. You can also use a cast iron for an extra crispy crust (see notes).
On the pizza dough, spread the tomato sauce over the pizza. You don't want to go all the way to the edges. Top with the cheese, and your desired toppings. They can overlap the edges of the crust if you'd like, or you can leave it bare for a solid crust edge.
Drizzle some additional olive oil over the top and brush onto the crust too so it’s nice and crusty.
Place in the oven and bake for 12-17 minutes, until cheese is bubbling, and the dough is fully cooked through. Check to ensure it isn't burning after the 12 minute mark. If you want you can broil the pizza on low for a few extra minutes afterwards - just keep an eye on it to watch that it doesn't burn.
Remove, let cool slightly, slice and enjoy!
The Steam Method
The steam method isn’t necessary. But, it’s brilliant. Basically, you’re increasing the temperature in your home oven similar to the Dutch oven bread method that I use to make my no knead bread. With the steam method, you place any pan like a loaf pan, with hot water in your oven after it’s at 500°F/260°C.
Let the loaf pan filled with water sit for about 10-15 minutes on the rack below where you’re going to place your pizza. During that time, you can roll out your dough, lay on your toppings, snap a photo for Instagram and add that little extra bit of cheese you were wondering if you should add (always add more cheese). Then carefully, place your pizza in. There will be a lot of steam. Cook your pizza and remove. You’ll get the most beautiful bubbly crust. Check out my Instagram highlights for what I mean. Bonus points if you add cornmeal or semolina flour on the bottom. That’s my favourite way to get my ideal crust. The regular way works incredibly too, so either way, everyone will love it.
Pizza Stone vs Baking Sheet
If I had to choose, I would I always recommend a pizza stone because it produces the best results. That being said, using the back of your baking sheet works just as well. If you want, you can place the baking sheet in the oven while its preheating and then using a parchment paper, slide your pizza onto it. It'll begin to cook the pizza instantly, and provide an even better crust. Get a nice heavy duty baking sheet for this since many warp under high heat, but you can certainly use what you have. This is the pizza stone I recommend.
Cast Iron Method
I love using my cast iron to make pizza! It more mimics deep dish pizza with an excellent crust. Preheat your cast iron with the oven, then remove with mitts when you're ready to use. Working quickly, sling the dough over it and carefully let it cascase a little over the slides of the cast iron. You want to ensure your dough is evenly spread. Add your sauce and toppings and place it back into the oven. Cook and ensure the centre is fully cooked through.
Expert Tips & FAQ
The secret to great pizza is the crust. Try the steam method (will also share this in my notes). I got a bit obsessed with making incredible pizza crusts after not one but two visits to Italy. The key to those beautiful brown bubbly crusts is the oven heat. I found this method is the easiest way to get your crust like that! It also melts your vegan cheese like crazy!
If you made your dough beforehand, bring it fully to room temperature before using. It's the easiest dough to use and essential for a great crust.
Make this pizza your own. Feel free to enjoy it like this or add on extra toppings. Some of my favourites are sundried tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, caramelized onions and mushrooms. Change up the sauce if you want and use a basil pesto instead.
At the same time, don't overdo your pizza toppings. You want a pizza that can properly support the toppings, keep it around 1 cup of toppings on the pizza
Use the best ingredients you can find. They say even bad pizza is still pizza, but we want incredible pizza, right? I love making my pizza sauce in a few ways. Sometimes I’ll buy it, but a lot of times I make it from my homemade marinara sauce recipe. You could also try my homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce, or switch it up and use my arrabbiata sauce. If you only have a can of diced tomatoes, using your immersion blender and blend it and add some salt, Italian seasoning and garlic.
When you’re reheating your pizza, I always find reheating it in a pan with the lid on keeps the bottom nice and crunchy while rehydrating the pizza so it isn’t soggy from the microwave nor dried out from a toaster oven.
Brush the crust with olive oil before baking. It keeps it nice and golden brown.
What yeast to use?
I recommend using the yeast that your recipe calls for. For instant, I use SAF Instant Yeast. For active dry yeast, I love Bob’s Red Mill. They are both very affordable, is affordable in large quantities and last very long.