deep dish vegan pizza recipe
by Allison Rivers Samson
Categories: Eats, Recipes, Vegan.
Photo: Allison Rivers Samson

By Allison Rivers Samson, from her award-winning column, “Veganize It!” in VegNews Magazine

Deep-dish pizza was always my favorite as a child. The ooey gooey dough was such a thrill! This recipe allows for plenty of room for creative toppings.

Divine Deep-Dish Pizza

Serves 4
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 1/4 cups white spelt flour, divided
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 cups raw cashews
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup oil, 2 teaspoons salt, agave, and yeast mixture. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Continue to mix well until dough comes together completely and stir for 10 minutes to knead (the dough will be somewhat soft, unlike bread dough). Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a blender, process cashews, dill, lemon juice, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 cup water until smooth. 

3. In a 12-inch cake pan, spread 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over bottom and sides. Press dough along the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides so that the thickness is consistent throughout the pan.
*If pushing it up the sides doesn’t work for you, it’s no problem; just leave a border at the edge of the ingredients so you have some crust to hold onto. You can even make two slightly less thick pizzas with this amount of dough. 

Spread another 2 tablespoons olive oil onto the dough. Add your choice of sauce and toppings, and then pour cheese sauce over the top. Bake for 18 minutes.
*For my toppings I chose a variation of my childhood favorite from our local pizza place: pesto (homemade and vegan of course), steamed spinach, artichoke hearts, sliced green olives and pine nuts. If you choose to use red onion on your pizza, coat the slices in olive oil to keep them from burning as I suggest in my recipe tips.

My pizza came out of the oven hot and just perfectly browned. Delicious! The thick crust reminded me of pizza sometimes served in Italy, made on focaccia bread. SO good! (If you want to be really decadent, follow your pizza dinner with some fair-trade chocolate for dessert like I did.)

About Allison Rivers Samson

Allison Rivers Samson is a creative and respected chef who has crafted delectable high-end vegan food for over fifteen years through her award-winning company, Allison’s Gourmet, the premiere and most prestigious vegan sweets resource. Additionally, she has taught cooking classes and food demonstrations, and is well-known for her acclaimed “Veganize It!” column in VegNews Magazine. In 2011 and 2012, “Veganize It!” was awarded “Favorite Column” in VegNews Magazine’s popular Veggie Awards reader’s poll.

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