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Simple, 6-ingredient vegan pizza dough.
Easy Vegan Pizza Dough
There are more store-bought vegan pizza options now than ever, but sometimes you just need a good homemade pizza in your life, ya know?
Making your own pizza can be budget-friendly and of course, you have full control over the ingredients you use. The main reason I like to make my own pizza is so I can use my favorite shredded vegan cheeses - which are currently Violife and 365 (Whole Foods' house brand.) There are a few pizza places near me that offer vegan cheese, but they use Daiya which just isn't my preference.
Good pizza toppings are a must, but the dough is just as important!
How to Make Pizza Dough
This vegan pizza dough recipe makes one 12-inch thick crust pizza, or a thin-crust 16-inch pizza.
It's pretty quick to make, but you will need to let it rise for an hour. I've tried all of those no-rise, 5-minute pizza dough recipes and to be honest...they just are not as good. They are chewy and hard to roll out. The 1-hour wait is worth it!
First, we need to proof the yeast to make sure it's still alive. In a large bowl, gently mix together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Make sure the water is NOT hot. Hot water will kill the yeast. Some experts say the water should be 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit, some say 80-90 degrees. Truth be told, I don't check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer, I just check it with my finger. But if you aren't sure, using a thermometer is your best bet.
If the yeast foams up after 5-10 minutes, it's good to go! No foam? Time to buy some new yeast.
Next, stir in the olive oil and salt. Olive oil adds a nice flavor but avocado oil or other vegetable oils will also work.
For flour, we are using all-purpose white flour. (I haven't tested this recipe with gluten-free flour yet, but if you do let me know how it turns out!) Mix in the flour ½ cup at a time. I use a stand mixer for my pizza dough, but you can also do this by hand.
Knead until the flour is fully incorporated. The dough should be sticky but still form a cohesive ball. If it is too sticky, add a little flour at a time until it's easy to handle. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes.
Oil up a large bowl and place the ball of dough in. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size. My favorite place to let pizza dough rise is in the oven with JUST the oven light on. Then let everyone in the house know not to turn the oven on 😳😂
After the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour onto your counter or workspace. This will help the dough not stick. Alternatively, you could use parchment paper.
Punch the dough down to deflate it, and knead it until it becomes a smooth ball. One dough ball will make a thick crust 12-inch pizza. Or, you can divide it in half for two 12-inch thin crust pizzas.
Now, we're ready to roll it out! Sprinkle some more flour onto the counter if necessary.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to fit the pizza pan you are using. I'd be lying if I said my dough ever resembled a perfect circle, but do your best to make it even.
Sprinkle a bit of flour onto your pizza pan, then lay the dough on. Work it so it fits to the edges. Brush the dough with some oil, and then poke it with a fork to create holes. You know those big bubbles that sometimes form on a pizza? Poking holes will help the air escape and prevent that.
Pre-bake the pizza crust for about 5-7 minutes, or until the bottom is just barely starting to become golden brown. You're looking for just a touch of color. Remove the pizza brush the crust with some vegan butter. This will help the crust become a little crispy.
Add your sauce, cheese, veggies, etc - whatever toppings you love. Put the pizza back in the oven to cook until the crust is fully golden brown, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are tender.
NOTE: cooking time will vary if you use anything other than a 12-inch pizza pan.
Can You Prep Pizza Dough Ahead of Time?
You can absolutely make the pizza dough ahead of time. After making the dough (follow all recipe steps until it's time to roll it out), wrap it in parchment paper and then plastic wrap, or store in a container in the fridge up to 3 days.
You can also freeze pizza dough. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight so it will be thawed out for dinner the next day. Here are some tips on quickly defrosting pizza dough.
Adding Flavor to Pizza Dough
Because this is a basic vegan pizza dough recipe, you can add in your favorite seasonings to give it a little flavor, or just leave it as is. I love to add in garlic powder (about 1 tsp) and dried basil (½ tsp). Some other options are marjoram, rosemary, or oregano.
To make the pizza shown in the photos, I used marinara sauce, 365 Plant-Based Mozzarella shredded cheese, chickpeas, zucchini, red & green bell peppers, and red onion. After I cooking I topped it with fresh basil and a little vegan parmesan by Follow Your Heart. Absolutely delicious!
For Making Pizza
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil - to brush on the crust before pre-bake
- 1-2 tbsp melted vegan butter - to brush on the crust after pre-bake
- your favorite pizza toppings
- Stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let activate for 10 minutes - it should become foamy. If it's not foamy, then the yeast is may be too old or your water was too hot.
- Stir in oil and salt.
- Mix in ½ cup flour at a time.
- Knead (using your hands or a dough hook in a stand mixer) until it forms a cohesive ball. It will still be a little sticky but you should be able to pick it up as one piece. If it's far too sticky, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour at a time until it comes together.
- Continue to knead for 5 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough into a large greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm location for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I let my dough rise in the oven with JUST the oven light on.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (make sure to remove the dough from the oven if you let it rise in there.)
- Punch the dough down and knead a couple of times until it becomes smooth and more firm. At this point, you can store the dough in the freezer or fridge until later...or make a pizza!
For Making Pizza
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use your pizza pan for size reference (this recipe makes one 12-inch thick-crust pizza.)
- Sprinkle the pizza pan with a pinch or two of flour and transfer the dough onto the pan. Work the dough to fit the edges.
- Brush the dough with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil (this helps the top of the dough stay moist and not overcook.)
- Poke the dough all over with a fork - this will prevent the dough from puffing up.
- Pre-bake the dough for 5-7 minutes or until the bottom is just barely beginning to brown. At this point, the pizza should be able to lift out of the pan with a spatula.
- Remove from the oven, brush the crust with 1-2 tablespoons of melted vegan butter, and add your toppings.
- Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are cooked through.