VeganMoFo, Day 28: The Perfect Pizza (Press)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


Though I’ve been focusing on healthy, frugal vegan foods this month, I have a confession to make: I’m a pizza addict. The Mr. and I have pizza for dinner several times a week. And it’s not exactly the healthy, low-fat, veggie-loaded, cheeseless kind – not even close!

Usually, we make these cute lil’ mini-/personal pizzas using pita bread as the base, but every few weeks or so, we go all out and make large pizzas from scratch.

2009-02-21 - Vegan Gourmet Pizza - 0004

Okay, well, not totally from scratch: the dough is fresh, but the sauce is canned, as are the black olives. I guess you could say that the faux pepperoni and soy cheese are made from scratch, just not by us (our artisans of choice are Lightlife and Follow Your Heart, respectively). The sundried tomatoes may or may not be homegrown and homemade (read: dried); while I still have a batch from 2008 stashed in the freezer, our garden was a huge fail this year, and we’ll probably deplete our stores by the end of November. But it’s too painful a subject to discuss quite yet. Sigh.

Anyhow, the pita pizzas make for a quick and convenient meal; not only does the pita bread allow you to forgo the dough-making step, but the pita is also small enough that the pizzas are edible as-is, no cutting required. The larger pizzas are another story.

While fresh-made dough requires some planning ahead, it’s more time-consuming than difficult. Rather, we’ve found ourselves plagued by a problem of a different sort: namely, slicing the layer of thick, gooey vegan cheese and through the crispy crust underneath. Though I’ve never had dairy-based cheese (I’m allergic to milk, making the transition to veganism that much easier), Shane swears that pizzas with vegan cheese are infinitely harder to cut than their non-vegan counterparts. For a while I assumed that the problem lay in our cheap-ass cutlery, but we always manage to make a mess of our pizza toppings, no matter the sharpness (or dullness) of the knives used. We even tried a few of those charming little pizza-cutters-on-a-wheel, with little luck.

About twelve months ago, Shane started going on about an idea he had for “the perfect pizza cutter.” I rolled my eyes not a few times, especially since he was going through this Billy Mays* / Anthony Sullivan fascination phase. But he kept on with it, contacting local metallurgists and welders in his spare time. I more or less humored him, thinking that it would be so insanely expensive to commission a custom-made piece from a professional that the idea wouldn’t go anywhere. And a few metalworkers did give crazy high quotes – we’re talking $500 and up (thanks, but no thanks). Still he persisted, and got in touch with a welder – with experience in kitchen utensil development, to boot! – who was willing to do the job for fee low enough that I couldn’t say no.

And so the Perfect Pizza Press was born!

2009-09-26 - Perfect Pizza Press Prototype - 0002

I have to hand it to him: he came up with a really kickass idea.

(More below the fold…)