Thursday, April 22, 2010

Traditional Pizza, with Seitan

So, for my first vegan dinner, I wanted to stick relatively close to what I'm used to. My favorite pizza toppings have traditionally been: sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, and extra sauce. So this vegan version is sauteed seitan (wheat gluten protein, pronounced say-tan), with mushrooms, kale, and an organic tomato sauce I found in Return to Eden. The crust is pretty basic, with whole wheat flour, olive oil, and yeast (woken up in some warm water). The cheese is rice cheese, I think by Rice Dream.

As for the actual execution, the seitan was delicious. And the crust was okay, but it stuck very badly to the pan despite a generous coating with oil, and it was really too dense with all whole wheat flour (I was out of AP flour). The cheese was the bigger problem though, because it doesn't really have any fat in it, it melts pretty pitifully and mostly just browned and became kind of crunchy. I also might not have sauteed the kale at all before adding it to the pizza; the mushrooms were raw when I threw them on, and they were perfect.

So, in the future, I'd stick to at least 50% all purpose, unbleached flour, and raw vegetables. Perhaps if using a heartier root veggie, it could be sliced very thin or par-roasted. Also, I'm going to try some other kind of cheese, and probably put it under the sauce they way they construct Chicago pizza. That should keep it moist and maybe a bit more melt-y.

Overall, however, this was not bad at all, and for all the problems I encountered, I didn't miss the meat at all, just the texture of the cheese. :)

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