Back in the day, I used to be addicted to Domino’s Hawaiian Pizza. Growing up on Long Island, that’s not a good company to reference for yummy pizza, but most authentic L.I. pizzerias, didn’t make the Hawaiian version that I loved. The toppings were sweet, savory and had the perfect crunchiness.
I’m not really sure where the Hawaiian pizza originated from, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anywhere near Hawaii. I’ve visited Hawaii a few times, and never saw it on a menu. However, pineapples were everywhere! Does anyone know where this pizza originated from? I’m so curious!
This past Friday night, (our usual pizza night) we decided to make two pizzas, that we don’t ordinarily eat. We are creatures of habit, and don’t always like to change our delicious staple foods. Well, I’m so happy we decided to to try something different, because these two pizzas were beyond scrumptious! I will be sharing the other pizza recipe, in a separate blog post. (yep, it’s that good)
So, I remembered my love (addiction) for that Hawaiian pizza many decades ago, and I wanted to create a veganized version. Well, the pineapple is already vegan, and I used sliced seitan, to replace the ham. The seitan has the perfect saltiness and crunchiness, that I was looking for. I used a rich and creamy cashew cheese, that will make you forget about the old stuff. Also, I decided to top it with fresh cilantro. Did I mention how much I love cilantro, too??? Wow! This really turned up the volume! It added a refreshing, and light citrus flavor to make every bite pop. We were in pizza heaven!
- Seitan In a medium pan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Place seitan in oil, and lightly brown about 3-4 minutes on each side. Once cooled, cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
- Cheese Rinse cashews and discard water. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. (about 2-3 minutes) Scrape down sides a couple of times. You can add a bit more water, if needed. Add a pinch more salt if needed.
- Crust Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yup, as hot as it goes).
- Pour the water in a small pot. Heat to roughly 105-110 degrees ( just enough to barely notice it’s hot to the touch, usually just a couple of minutes on medium heat). Once heated, add the 2 tbsp of sugar and the yeast packet and let sit for 7-10 minutes (if you don’t see bubbling/foam in 10 minutes, try again with a different package of yeast and make sure the water is not too hot).
- In a separate bowl add the flour, salt and garlic powder. Mix well. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add it to the bowl along with the olive oil. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. If your dough is too sticky, you can add a couple tbsp of flour so, it is easy to handle. Ball it up in the bowl and cover with a wet napkin or hand towel for 30-40 minutes.
- Now, get your pizza tray or large cutting board ready. You’ll need to place a large piece of parchment paper on top of it. Dust the parchment paper with flour, so you can spread your dough easily.
- Once the dough has risen, spread it across the parchment paper into a round pizza shape. Spread the dough pretty thin because it will rise. Add the sauce and spread it evenly across with a spoon.
- Now, place the seitan and pineapple evenly across the pie.
- Place the pizza in the oven by grabbing your parchment paper by one end and sliding onto the oven racks. ( we use a pizza tray to move the pizza to the racks) The pizza cooks faster and it’s crispier when cooked on the parchment paper. If you prefer, you can cook on the tray, but let it cook on the racks for the last 5 minutes, so it gets crispy and remember to line tray with parchment.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (until the crust is at a desired crispness) Careful not to burn it…at 500 degrees, this pizza cooks fast.
- After you pizza is fully cooked, add the chopped cilantro, and as much cashew cheese, that your heart desires. You can dollop the cheese on with a spoon, or you can pipe it on. If you don’t have the equipment for piping, you can just place the cheese in a sandwich bag, and cut a whole in the bottom corner. Squeeze the bag gently, as you spread the cheese across your pizza. Voila!