Feeling Pizza & Burgers

Commenting on a fellow foodie’s French fry pizza slice on Instagram, I realized it was time for me to share. Cheeseburger and fries. My favorite kind of pizza. How does one get all that goodness on a pie?

I was originally inspired to make this pizza during my six years spent in a small town. I kind of disliked living there, but I met my best friend of nine years and developed my own pizza recipe. Life was good to me in a way.

Hometown Pizza in Rainier, Oregon served up a burger & fries pizza combo. The secret sauce was part of the love affair. After a while of eating their pizza religiously, I decided I could try making my own, creating a secret sauce recipe as well.

A year later, everything about the pizza became plant-based after a life decision to part ways with meat and dairy. The following recipe reflects that decision. But substitutions are easy with any food lifestyle followed.

Working with the dough is my first step – using the sponge method. Just like my dad taught me as a kid. I was raised kneading dough and baking pizza crusts.

For the sponge method.

  • 2 1/5 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup w a r m water

I combine the sugar and active dry yeast first, then add the warm water. I take care with the temperature. Like the yeast particles, I also die in extreme heat.

I leave the mixture for ten minutes. It transforms to a beige foam with a bit of volume. I add the following and stir lightly with a fork after all the additions have been made.

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

To the slightly foamy mixture, I add:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

One cup at a time. Still stirring with a fork even though I have a mixer with a dough hook attachment. The pizza is a one-bowl, one-fork wonder.

I turn out the dough on a lightly floured counter top, and knead the dough for about a minute to develop the gluten strands for the future pizza crust structure. The dough is returned to the bowl, covered with a cloth, and set on the stove. I’ll usually position it with the oven door slightly ajar while preheating to warm the bowl to support the rising dough. I’ve found the warmer temperature helps things along.

Rising takes an hour. I work with the dough again when it’s around double in volume.

I let the dough fall out of the bowl onto the floured counter top again. I knead for five minutes. Pushing, stretching, punching. A bit cathartic. I break out the rolling pin eventually, spreading just until the pizza fits the greased circular pizza pan. I like t h i c k crusts. I finish messing with the dough by docking with a fork.

The crust gets parbaked in the oven. All in the name of thorough baking and preventing sauce-related sogginess.  No more than 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your oven, crust thickness and pan type. Just until the surface is slightly stiffened.  Golden spots forming is a good indicator to pull the crust from the heat.

Topping time. I spread liberal amounts of sauce, meat-less crumbles, and nutritional yeast. Then pop it back into the oven. Chopped lettuce, white onion, tomatoes, sliced pickles, and fries are prepped and saved for the end.

For fries I switch up the styles. I used zesty seasoned shoestrings this round. Ore-Ida brand for this Oregonian. I bake the fries separate from the pie to crisp them up fully.

Secret Sauce.

  • 1 cup Hamilton Creek Just Mayo
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons diced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1 medium dill pickle diced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Dash of cracked pepper

Meatless Crumbles.

  • 1 1/2 cups of dehydrated soy crumbles
  • Sprinkles of salt to taste
  • Seasoning (I currently use Weber’s Garlic and Herb. My mix of the moment. )

I rehydrate the soy by using slightly less water than crumbles. 1 1/3 cup water to 1 1/2 cups vegetable protein. I microwave for efficiency. But you can also cook briefly over the stove until the liquid is absorbed and the crumbles are soft.

The pizza goes back in the oven for about 12 minutes. Go until the sauce is bubbly and the crust is golden.

Serve as a burger with the works. If you’re like me, you might have extra sauce on reserve. . .

Enjoy the heck out of it.


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