Saturday, 25 January 2014

Vegan Pizza Whirls

vegan pizza whirls
During Veganuary, I've been experimenting with various vegan alternatives in my cooking. This pizza whirl/pinwheel recipe is one I've adapted from a favourite family recipe, which is great for kids' lunchboxes and parties. I usually use Mozzarella in them, so decided to test out and review a dairy-free Mozzarella-style cheese. There isn't a lot of choice in my local area, when it comes to buying vegan cheeses, so I bought Cheezly - Mozzarella style from my local Holland & Barrett store.  

I was surprised that on opening the packet, it actually smelled quite cheesy (kind of like cheese-flavoured crisps)! It had a slightly grey appearance and was quite soft, but it grated well. I wasn't too keen on the taste/texture of it raw, but once cooked, it gave the pizza whirls a mild, cheesy flavour and was a good alternative to dairy cheese. 

Makes around 16

For the pizza base
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups strong white bread flour 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
For the filling
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 50g/2oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or use 1 tbsp fresh basil)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100g/4oz vegan mozzarella-style cheese, grated
  • 2-3 tbsp of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes/olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
Put all the dry bread ingredients in a bowl (or bread maker) add the wet ingredients.
Mix well until you have a smooth dough (on dough setting in bread maker).
Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Cover the bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion, pepper and garlic gently for a few minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and black pepper. Allow to cool.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle.
Spread with the tomato puree and top with the vegetable mixture. 
Sprinkle the grated 'cheese' over.
Roll the dough lengthwise, as tightly as you can (like a Swiss roll).
Making sure the dough roll is seam-side down on the board, cut into 1"/2.5cm slices using a sharp knife.
Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet, spaced about 1"/2.5cm apart.
Cover loosely with cling-film and allow to rise for a further 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/190C Fan/Gas 6 .

Bake for around 10-15 minutes, or until well-risen and golden.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Suitable for freezing.

Alternatives: Use any of your favourite pizza toppings (try sweetcorn, olives, roasted vegatables, vegan pepperoni etc.) but do include the oil, as the vegan cheese dries out as it cooks, unlike dairy-cheese.

Integrity Statement
I bought the Cheezly myself and was not asked to review it. I did not receive payment, and the views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.
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