It’s really refreshing when places are accommodating to vegan needs, and Stroud’s independent artisan Pizza take-away Fat Toni’s have have been vegan-friendly from the moment they opened their doors only a year ago. From day one they offered non-dairy cheese on their menus, or extra veggies as an option, this means that their pizzas can be enjoyed by vegans or those who are lactose-intolerent.
This inspired us to organise a vegan pizza party – to allow us to try the full range of what they have to offer to hungry, pizza-loving vegans. So we arranged in advance to have the pizzas delivered to our door and piled into a Stroud household to eagerly await our pizza-fest.
We ordered 5 varieties – Sicilian Caponata (spiced aubergine caponata, toasted pine nuts and rocket), Vegesaurus (walnut & marinated artichokes), La Franca (artichokes, crushed garlic, olives and cherry tomatoes), Alice in Wonderland (wild mushroom & aspargus) and finally, a firey one – Dantes Inferno (heaps of red & green sliced chilli!). They offer a choice of two types of sourdough – San Franciso and Ischia, giving a variation in the sharpness in the base, we tried both.
The 20″ pizzas were huge and could easily feed 3 people (even hungry vegans!), especially is you make a salad to accompany. They were beautifully cooked – the bases are the perfect balance of chewy, sour dough, and crispy edges. The toppings were imaginative and tasty, my personal favourite was the La Franca, because it was extra garlicky, but they were all supremely tasty. The vegan cheese melts well, and adds a good salty, gooey element, but it’s not entirely necessary, as Fat Toni’s pizzas are equally tasty with extra veggies instead of cheese.
After pizza we played games, and sampled the puddings we’d all brought along to share.
One pudding that created quite a stir was a vegan version of Lemon Meringue Pie, with an authentic crispy top, the recipe can be found online here.
It was a lovely, warming winter social event and great to catch up with fellow local vegans.
Vegan Pizza Dough Recipe
Vegan Pizza is easy to make at home too. Here is my favourite pizza dough recipe.
1tsp dried active yeast
2 cups warm water
4 cups strong white flour
• Dissolve the yeast in the warm water using a whisk
• Add 1 tsp salt and stir
• Add the strong white flour 1 cup at a time, whisking between each cupful until a thick dough is formed
• Cover with a tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 4 hours or more (If you do this in the morning, you have a lovely risen dough waiting for you to make pizzas from at tea-time.)
• Turn out onto a large oiled baking pan and stretch the dough to fit the pan (This recipe can make two pizzas, if you want thin-and-crispy)
• Top with your favourite toppings and bake for 20mins until the dough is golden and crispy, and your non-dairy cheese is melty.