Giving the current lock down, many of us, myself included will struggle to commit to a dry January. However, with so many options now available, a meat free January is a resolution you can commit too. The Vegan dough company has recently launched restaurant kits to make your Veganuary enjoyable; indulge in your favorite meatless ‘meaty’ pizza – without compromising on taste and flavor.
Vegan Dough Co. was created in London in 2019 to prove to the world that “vegan” & “delicious” go hand in hand. Their Godfather pizza – a soft doughy base topped with spicy vegan nduja, broccolini and green olives on a rich tomato sauce, covered in vegan mozzarella; was “an offer I could not refuse”!
Contents arrived chilled, securely packed using an eco friendly reusable chill pack and insulation liners made from 100% biodegradable sheep’s wool, wrapped in food grade plastic. This ensures all the ingredients are kept at the correct temperature and delivered fresh to your door. The accompanying easy recipe pamphlet lists all the ingredients and allergens. Ingredients are generously portioned ready to use and enough to create two 12-inch pizzas.
As a non red meat eater, soya based meat alternative products are a staple in my freezer. Although I have tried seitan alternatives before, I’ve found them quite bland and I’m not a fan of the texture. Meat eating friends have raved about nduja (especially on pizza) so the opportunity to try a vegan version was tempting. The added ingredients: liquid smoke, smoked paprika and harissa paste lend to its lovely deep smokey aroma. It was packed full of flavour, spice, smoke with a hint of garlic and lemon; the texture and colour, resembling ground up salami sausage.
I’m not a huge dairy fan and vegan cheeses can be hit and miss. The best ones incorporate cashew nuts to give it that creaminess, nice but not on the waistline. The mozzarella included in the kit is coconut oil based and contains plenty of healthly fatty acids. By appearance and smell alone, the grated mozzarella looked like the real deal. Taste wise it was deliciously creamy, the combination of ‘mozzarella flavour’ and olive extract giving it a light saltiness. Moorish, it was hard to resist eating out of the tub.
The recipe booklet with 5 easy steps couldn’t be simpler. Prep by laying out all the ingredients beforehand, the dough is already portioned so just roll out and add the toppings. I sprinkled mine with a little mixed herbs, some finely chopped spring onions and drizzled a little of the chilli oil on, prior to baking.
I have to say, the flavours emanating as it baked was mouthwatering, a spicy smoky aroma filled the kitchen. The pizza bakes in approx. 10 mins, finish by sprinkling with crispy onions and drizzle with as much chilli oil as your taste buds can handle and serve piping hot.
Verdict: The pizza looked rustically appealing and smelled wonderful. The vegan mozzarella melted well (although don’t expect that molten stretchiness you get on a regular pizza). The flavours did not disappoint, from the spicy smoky nduja, slight heat from the chilli oil, saltiness from the olives, coupled with the decadent creamy mozzarella; the combination tantalized my taste buds with every bite. The addition of spring onions added a subtle sweet tanginess, alongside the onion crisps. The tenderness from the broccolini and crunch from the onion crisps added contrasting texture. I used a perforated pizza pan, which resulted in evenly baked dough, a crisp base and edges but still lovely and soft in the middle.
I can honestly say it was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a long time, the flavours lingered pleasantly on the palette long after the pizza was devoured. Pizza lovers especially those new to meat free/plant based food will definitely enjoy this restaurant quality pizza.
The recipe kit for 2 is perfect for a ‘handsy’ date night. Families looking for some dough tossing fun can get the recipe kit for four. Get a slice of the action by ordering here. Priced at £19 for 2, £35 for 4 – Delivered nationwide (refrigerate and consume within 3 days of dispatch date)
Find out more about Vegan Dough Co at: www.vegandoughco.co.uk
Written by: Eboni Addoh