Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Sage Pizza - Students Go Vegan Cookbook – p.187 & 191

Pizza Dough Recipe
½ c. warm water (110 F)
½ tsp. pure maple syrup
1 TBS. active dry baking yeast (1 package)
2 TBL. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
½ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. to ¾ c. unbleached white flour
1 to 4 tsp. white flour for rolling out the dough

1) In a large bowl, combine the warm water and maple syrup. Stir in the yeast. Set it aside to proof (bubble and foam) for 10-12 minutes. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and whole-wheat flour. Mix well, gradually adding the ½ c. white flour. Use the other ¼ c. white flour if needed, until the product is a soft, workable dough that can be handled easily and does not stick to your hands.

2) Turn out the dough until a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, springy, and pliant. Take care not to over dust your work surface with flour, as too much flour will make the crust tough.

3) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn once so the entire surface is coated. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes, until the ball doubles in bulk.

4) Preheat oven to 450F. When the dough is ready, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle or rectangle, using a rolling pin or your hands, sprinkling the surface with flour to prevent sticking as you go. Lightly oil the crust, add your chosen topping, and bake.

Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Sage Topping

1 TBL. olive oil, plus more for brushing on top of dough
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
½ tsp. salt
Ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-2 TBL. water
1 recipe of pizza dough, ready to roll out
1/3 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. dried sage leaves

1) Warm 1 TBL. olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion slices, salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Saute over medium/ medium-low heat, gently stirring to prevent the onions from sticking as they caramelize. After about 35 minutes, the onions should be golden and very sweet. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add 1-2 TBL. water to help scrape the flavors left on the bottom of the pan. Set the onions aside to cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 450F. Roll out the dough and brush lightly with olive oil. Spread the caramelized onions and walnuts on top of the dough. Bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove the pizza from the onion and crumble the sage leaves on top.

Crib Notes:  The pizza crust is delicious.  It made enough for a 12 inch pie, which was 2 servings for me, though in the future, if making dough for a larger crowd (or an individual with a larger appetite) it might be nice to double the recipe.  The dough recipe is definitely a keeper.  The topping was pretty good too, though I noticed that the flavors seemed to meld better a day later.  The dried sage I used was a little weird - the texture was bizarre, very earthy and natural...I might try using another was weird man, weird.  Anyhoo, it is fun making vegan pizzas, and this recipe is decent.

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