A spicy flavourful harissa tempeh pizza with a simple no knead pizza dough that rises in almost no time. Add a vegan cheesy sauce for variation.
Some days call for a homey rustic style pizza with toppings and flavours that only homemade pizza can deliver. Although tempeh has gained a lot of popularity during the past few years and probably more so from our “How to Make Tempeh” video that has gained more than 450K views now, I have yet to find a store-bought pizza with tempeh offered as topping.
Maybe there are some vegan pizza places out there (though I haven’t come across any) that have a tempeh pizza on the menu but none from the common pizza place that do no-cheese pizzas when requested.
If you’ve never attempted making your own tempeh, now is probably a good time to start. It’s actually really straight-forward if you follow these steps correctly. If you don’t wish to make your own tempeh, store-bought will work just fine in this recipe or you can also use tofu.
As for the sauce, I sometimes make a cheesy sauce (bechamel/white sauce from this recipe) to drizzle on my pizza, but most of the time I just make pizza without any cheese. For extra flavour, I spice up the crushed tomato sauce with harissa. If you are using blended fresh tomatoes, you may thicken the sauce by simmering it over medium-high heat before using it . A lot of canned crushed tomato brands already comes as a thick tomato sauce, so there is no need to simmer the sauce in this case.
Harissa Tempeh Pizza with No Knead Pizza Dough
What I like most about this pizza is the no knead dough that doesn’t require a lot of time to rise either. The batter-like consistency reduces the rising time to just about 10 – 15 minutes and the rest happens while it’s being baked at high temperature. This yields a crusty exterior and a soft interior, somewhat like ciabatta bread. This dough is really quite forgiving, so it is hard to go wrong about it.
If you want to top your pizza with some store-bought vegan cheese, go for it! Otherwise, this harissa tempeh pizza is tasty just as is.
- 1 cup [130g] whole spelt flour
- 1 cup [120 g] white spelt flour
- 1¼ teaspoon quick (instant) yeast*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup [240 ml] warm water**
- ⅓ cup crushed tomatoes
- 150 g block of tempeh, 8 slices
- 1 teaspoon harissa powder or paste
- 4 - 5 fresh mushrooms, sliced
- ½ roasted red pepper, cut into strips
- 6 - 7 black or green olives, pitted and sliced
- Dried oregano
- Handful of fresh arugula for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- To make the dough, mix all the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre then add in the water and maple syrup. Bring the flour mixture to the centre and mix to incorporate well until a loose thick batter-like dough is formed.
- Pour the dough onto a pizza tray lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly around to cover the tray.
- Place the tray in a large plastic bag or cover it with a cake box lid if you have one. Leave in a warm place while you prepare the ingredients for the topping.
- Preheat the oven at 200 C / 400 F.
- Optional step: Heat the oil in a skillet. Place the tempeh slices in the pan, sprinkle with a little salt. Cook until crispy on one side (about 4 - 5 minutes). Flip and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Prep the vegetables, slice the mushrooms, roasted red peppers and olives.
- By now the dough would have risen slightly. Place the pizza tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Mix the crushed tomatoes with the harissa powder or paste and salt to taste.
- Remove the crust from the oven. Spread the crushed tomato mixture onto the crust.
- Arrange the tempeh slices, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and olives on top. Sprinkle with some dried oregano.
- Drop a few spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes here and there and lightly spread it.
- Sprinkle with black pepper.
- Increase the oven temperature to 230 C / 450 F and bake for 7 - 8 minutes. If your oven has a broiler, broil for 2 - 3 minutes. Keep an eye on the pizza to avoid burning it under the broiler.
- Remove from the oven. Let cool a little. Slice, garnish with fresh arugula leaves and serve.
**Depending on the type of flour, you may need to add a little for water to obtain a thick sticky batter-like consistency for the dough. This dough is really quite forgiving though.
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