Saturday, March 24, 2012

BBQ Soy Curl Pizza w/ Spicy Crust

For some reason I was craving California-style barbecue chicken pizza, which I used to make with a mix of gouda and fontina cheese. We had some soy curls, and found vegan Gouda St. Martaen cheese from Pangea, so gave it a whirl. Here's what it looked like prior to baking:

The basic recipe is as follows (note that the dough recipe is a modification of the one from James McNair's book("Pizza") which I highly recommend:

1 package soy curls, softened in warm water as per directions (I didn't use the whole pack on the pizza, but the leftovers were great in a sandwich)
1 small bottle Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (I used maybe ~1/3 bottle, enough to marinate all of the soy curls for a couple of hours)
1/2 small red onion, cut into strips (half rings)
1 pack vegan gouda cheese

Pizza dough:
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm (not hot) water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 packet yeast (or bulk equivalent)

Start by softening the soy curls and mix  them up with enough BBQ sauce to marinate in the fridge. For the dough, proof the yeast (add the sugar to the water, stir, then add yeast, let it sit for a few minutes to make sure it forms foam on top, if not your yeast is no good and/or you made the water too cold or hot: try again). Mix together the dry ingredients, adjusting paprika and cayenne to your guess of how peppery / spicy you want it. Add the yeasty water and olive oil, and mix well. If it's still tacky, add flour a bit at a time while you knead it for several minutes with your hands. You want the dough to be smooth (not sticky) but not too tough / hard. Coat the dough with a thin coat of olive oil and set it to rise for an hour.

After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450F, shape the dough into an oiled pizza pan (or on a cookie sheet), brush a bit of oil on the crust, and bake for 3-5 minutes. Take it out, top with the soy curls, then the gouda, then the red onion. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is crispy. Time varies wildly according to your oven and the type of pan you use, but 10-15 minutes ought to do it. The Gouda is way more mild than real Gouda, but it's still a great flavor. Here's how it looked after baking (it's hard to see that the crust is reddish from the paprika, but it was):

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