Monday, February 16, 2015

Mochi "Cheese" Pizza with Mushroom "Sausage"

My son is allergic to dairy and has never tasted cheese. Occasionally he will comment how good pizza looks in the commercials. They always show the classic shot of a piece of pizza being pulled away from the whole with the cheese stretching between, and he wonders what that tastes like.

He has tried mochi, which is a traditional Japanese food made from glutinous sweet rice. I think they pound the rice to activate the gluten until it eventually becomes this mass of sticky rice. When cooked, it stretches just like cheese. We typically serve it fried in sesame oil with a touch of soy sauce and it does stretch just like the pizza in the commercials when prepared that way.

To give my son that experience of the "cheesy" slice of pizza, we use mochi on top. Paired with mushroom "sausage" this is a really awesome vegan pizza experience. It does take some work, but I love to spend the time making homemade dough. It smells amazing and is fun to work with.

This recipe goes in several stages. You start with the dough, and while that rises, you make the mushroom sausage. Then you punch down the dough (after an hour) and let it rise for another 30 minutes, while you chop veggies for toppings and make your mochi "cheese". Finally, you roll out the dough, top it with your favorite toppings and bake for 10 minutes or so.

Mochi "Cheese" Pizza with Mushroom "Sausage"

Pizza Crust Ingredients:

1 cup warm water
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 package instant active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour

Pizza Crust Directions:

Combine the 1 cup of the warm water, agave nectar, yeast and 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 20 minutes to bubble up. Next add in the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water, the olive oil, salt, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, and 2 cups of the white flour. This should start to pull together into a shaggy dough. Turn it out onto a heavily floured board and knead for 7 minutes, adding more flour as needed. You do want the dough to be slightly moist and tacky because that makes a lighter crust, so don't add too much flour. Put the dough into a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Roll the dough around in the olive oil to coat it so it doesn't dry out while it is rising. Cover the bowl with the dough with a towel and set aside for an hour to let rise.

You can refrigerate this dough after the first rise (or freeze it) until you are ready to use it. I will often make the dough on a weekend and then stick it in the fridge for dinner during the week. Once the dough is ready your pizza comes together quickly.

Mushroom Sausage Ingredients:

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (shittake is really good, I have also used portobello and button)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Mushroom Sausage Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash and chop the mushrooms (be sure to remove any tough stems). Toss the chopped mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic powder, fennel, chili, salt and liquid smoke and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so until they are starting to crisp up.

Mochi "Cheese" Ingredients:

4 inch square of mochi
1/2 cup water
4 drops toasted sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp vinegar

Mochi "Cheese" Directions:

Heat the mochi in the water over low heat in a saucepan. As the water starts to simmer, the mochi will melt and start to become the consistency of melted cheese. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, and vinegar. Keep warm, until you are ready to spread on your pizza.

Pizza Directions:

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, you can stick that in the oven to preheat as well.

Prepare your dough, by dividing it into three and rolling out the dough into pizza rounds. Top with your favorite pizza sauce, the melted mochi, the mushrooms, and your favorite toppings. Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes.

This recipe makes 3 small pizzas, or 18 slices total.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 106 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1%Iron 11%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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