A roving band of humans and other animals, making vegan food in Nashville, TN, Asheville, NC, and points in between.
Monday, October 22, 2012
50 States of MoFo: Illinois: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
While Illinois has several regions, cities with a number of food cultures, and, thus, numerous possibilities, my love for pizza drove me directly to the most obvious choice: Chicago's justly famous deep dish pizza. I followed the recipe for crust and sauce given in Peter Reinhart's American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza. Reinhart's directions are very helpful and the sauce and crust are already vegan. An omnivore blogger has posted some very helpful photos and comments (and the recipes) here.
For the cheese, I used some Daiya mozzarella, and a bit of homemade parmesan (from the excellent parm recipe in Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese). I'm sure the pizza would have been even better if I had some of Miyoko's mozzarella on hand, but there was Daiya in my freezer and it worked well. As the cheese is under the tomato sauce, this was a very successful application of vegan cheese. It melted well, and I don't think most people would notice the difference from dairy cheese.
To make this project manageable on a worknight, I made the dough and sauce the night before. After kneading the dough, I put it in a covered, oiled bowl and directly into the fridge. The sauce only required a quick stir. The dough did whatever it needed to do overnight. I rolled it out and proceeded without warming it up or giving it any extra rising time.
I found that my pizzas cooked a little faster than the recipe indicated. I'm sure it varies according to the pan, the crust thickness, the oven, and god knows what else. Just keep an eye on it, and pull it out when it looks done. The pizza was awfully good, and quickly devoured!