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An overhead photo of vegan butternut red onion pizza, garnished generously with fresh arugula and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
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Vegan Butternut Red Onion Pizza

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 3 cups (360 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil, plus extra for coating your bowl during the bulk rise
  • 1 1/4 cups (255 g) warm (but not hot) water (about 110F)

For the pizza

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, and cubed (about 1 1/4 lb/568 g after preparation)
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup cashew cheese
  • 2 big handfuls baby arugula

Instructions

  • To prepare the pizza crust, mix together the flour, salt, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir together, then add the water and oil. Use a spoon to mix everything into a shaggy dough ball. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead it a few times. Continue to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s smooth, pliable, and resistant to tearing when stretched. Alternately, you can mix and then knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. It should take about 5 minutes on medium low speed. 
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl that’s been coated well with olive oil. Turn the dough once to coat, then cover. Allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes, or until it’s roughly doubled in size. 
  • In the meantime, prepare the squash and onions. Heat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over it. Use your hands to coat the squash well. Sprinkle the squash with salt and transfer it to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is golden at the edges and tender. Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside till you’re ready to assemble the pizza.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the red onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté the onions for five minutes over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. Continue sautéing the onions for another 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re greatly reduced in volume and taste very sweet. They should be lightly caramelized. Stir in the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and set the onions aside.
  • Raise the oven heat to 500F. If you have a pizza stone, set it in the oven (use long oven its to protect your forearms!). If not, transfer a baking sheet to the oven now.
  • Punch the dough down. Divide it into 2 pieces on a floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll each into a circle about 12-14 inches in diameter. As you roll the dough, you can also pick it up and stretch it gently to help it widen into a circle.
  • Place your first circle of dough onto a round or square piece of parchment. If you have a pizza peel, place the parchment onto the peel. Spread half of the caramelized onions onto the pizza crust, followed by half of the squash. Finally, dot the pizza with half of the cashew cheese. Wearing long oven mitts, use your peel to transfer the parchment and pizza onto your pizza stone or baking sheet. Alternatively, very carefully transfer the parchment and pizza into your oven.
  • Bake your pizza for 15 minutes, or until the crust is puffy and browning around the edges. I recommend checking on its progress at 12 minutes. Repeat with the other round of dough and toppings. Top the warm pizza with a handful of fresh baby arugula and another drizzle of balsamic, if you like. Slice and serve!