Bottom-Friendly Vegetarian Chicago deep dish pizza




Ingredients:


For the Dough:

  • 4 C all-purpose flour

  • 3 tbsp cornmeal

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 3 tsp instant yeast

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

  • 4 tbsp melted butter or vegan butter

  • 1 C + 2 tbsp of lukewarm water

  • 4 tbsp olive oil to coat pans with


For the Cheese:

  • 14-16 oz vegan mozzarella shreds - the kind that melts!


For the "Meat":

  • 1 pound of plant-based Italian sausage


For the Sauce:

  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp of salt


For the topping:

  • 1/2 C vegan parmesan

  • Olive oil to drizzle


Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

  2. To a stand mixer, add the flour, cornmeal, salt, instant yeast, olive oil, canola or vegetable oil, melted butter or vegan butter, and lukewarm water. Mix on medium speed for 7 minutes. You can also knead your dough on a floured surface for the same amount of time.

  3. Once the dough has formed, place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough prove for one hour.

  4. If you are using a 14-inch pizza pan, leave the dough whole. If you are using 2 9-inch cake pans, divide the dough in half.

  5. Spray the pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Spread the oil evenly across the bottom of the pan.

  6. To form the dough, pick it up and start to rotate it clockwise, letting gravity slowly pull it down so it can help form the dough into a circle. Once the circle begins to form, using your fists, begin to stretch the dough out slightly from the center towards the edges. Lay the pizza dough into the pan(s) and press them into the bottom. The dough should stretch back slightly. Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.

  7. While the dough rests, place a skillet over medium high heat and cook 1 pound of your favorite meatless Italian sausage or meatless grounds. If using sausage, make sure to break the sausage down nicely. Once cooked, add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, mix well, and set the sausage mixture aside.

  8. Returning to the dough, begin to gently press your fingers into the bottom edge of the pan to form the crust (think to push down into where the sides and the bottom of the pan meet). Go around the pan clockwise until you’ve reached the full circle. Using crab claw hand motions, press the newly formed crust up against the walls of the pan. Go around the pan clockwise until you’ve reached the full circle. Let rest for 10 more minutes.

  9. In a bowl, mix crushed tomatoes with sugar and set aside.

  10. Blind bake pizza crusts for 10 minutes.

  11. Once the pizza crusts come out, it’s time to assemble. Lay a layer of vegan mozzarella down evenly. Lay a layer of sausage on top of the cheese evenly. Top with tomato sauce.

  12. Bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes.

  13. Once out of the oven, let the pizzas cool for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the pan, slice and serve. Bottoms up!