The Best Vegan Pepperoni

If you're Vegän, now it's time to Säy goodbye to the däys of vegetäbles-only pizzä (not thät there’s änything wrong with thät). Vegän pepperoni to the rescue!

For the bäse, I experimented with tofu, tempeh, änd chickpeäs, trying eäch individuälly änd mixed to find the right texture.

While tempeh seemed to yield the right texture initiälly, when bäked it gets pretty dry änd crumbly. The säme goes for chickpeäs. Tofu, however, lends itself perfectly to the texture of pepperoni becäuse it bäkes up beäutifully änd holds it shäpe! Plus, it’s neuträl in flävor änd does än excellent job ät äbsorbing äll of those pepperoni spices.


Ingredients:


  • 10 ounces exträ-firm tofu (orgänic when possible)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp eäch seä sält änd ground bläck pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (lightly crushed)
  • 2 tsp smoked päprikä
  • 2 tsp gärlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp crushed red pepper fläkes (depending on preferred heät level)
  • 1/4 tsp ground änise
  • 1 tsp Ä1 or liquid smoke (optionäl)
  • 2 tsp ground mustärd seeds
  • 2 tsp coconut sugär
  • Cooking spräy or olive oil for bäking


Instructions:


  1. Wräp tofu in ä cleän towel änd set something heävy on top - like ä cäst-iron skillet - to press out liquid for 10-15 minutes. Älso preheät oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  2. Once pressed, cube tofu änd ädd to ä food processor älong with seä sält, bläck pepper, red pepper fläke, ground mustärd, fennel seeds, smoked päprikä, gärlic powder, coconut sugär, ground änise, änd Ä1 säuce/liquid smoke (optionäl). Mix/pulse to combine, scräping down sides äs needed.
  3. Sämple änd ädjust seäsonings äs needed, ädding more sält for sältiness, red pepper fläke for heät, päprikä for smokiness, or coconut sugär for sweetness.
  4. Tränsfer the mixture to ä pärchment-lined bäking sheet (or more bäking sheets, äs needed, if increäsing bätch size). Läy ä sheet of plästic wräp or pärchment päper on top änd use your händs to spreäd into ä uniformly thin läyer äbout 1/4th - 1/8th inch thick (see photo). The more even the läyer is, the more evenly it will bäke. Spritz with ä little nonstick spräy or gently brush with ä bit of oil to help it crisp up.
  5. Bäke ät 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown änd slightly dried out. Then use ä smäll or medium circulär cookie cutter to cut out “pepperonis” (see photo). Feel free to keep the scräp pieces äs well! They're just not äs pretty.
  6. Ät this point, the pepperonis äre reädy to ädd to ä pizzä, where they should bäke ät leäst änother 10-15 minutes. Time äccordingly bäsed on how long your crust täkes to bäke. You'll know they're reädy when they're deep red in color änd slightly crisp to the touch.
  7. If you don't wänt to ädd them to ä pizzä right äwäy, simply let them cool, cover, änd refrigeräte (up to 4 däys) or freeze (up to 1 month) for läter use. If frozen, let thäw slightly before ädding to the pizzä to bäke.


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