Vegan Hot Brown Pizza
So, for anyone that doesn’t already know, I live in Louisville Kentucky. That’s pronounced “loo-uh-vul”, not “looey-ville”, don’t @ me. You’re supposed to say it like you’ve had one too many mint juleps and have lost the ability to speak coherently.
With that out of the way; you may know Louisville (and Kentucky for that matter) as being famous for our bourbon, the Cards, and The Kentucky Derby. We’re also home to the famous Hot Brown. For anyone unfamiliar with the Hot Brown, it’s a dish that was invented at The Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. It’s basically an open-faced sandwich that consists of toasted bread, roasted turkey, Mornay sauce, tomatoes, bacon and cheese that’s all broiled together until brown and bubbly. It’s the epitome of comfort food; it’s also basically the least vegan-friendly dish on the planet.
So, of course I decided I needed to veganize it. But, instead of just making a regular Hot Brown vegan-style, I decided to make it into a pizza. Because that just sounded more fun. I’ve seen a few places in the Ville make hot brown pizzas, but I’ve yet to see a vegan version. So, voila; now you have it: A vegan Hot Brown pizza with a perfectly crispy crust, “Mornay” sauce, vegan cheese, chick’n, coconut bacon, tomatoes, and lastly, vegan parm. Does it get better than this? I’m not so sure.
First off, I started with a good crust. Now, you guys, I’m super proud of this crust recipe. It bakes up with a crispy edge and a fluffy interior. It holds up really well under heavy toppings as well. I decided to use beer in place of water in the dough because I really enjoy the malty, extra yeasty flavor it gives. You can use any beer you would like. I chose one from Falls City Brewing Co., which is a local brand and happens to be suitable for vegans. You can check Barnivore to see which brands are vegan-friendly. However, if you would prefer not to use this, feel free to substitute the beer for more water.
As for the mornay sauce, I made a simple bechamel sauce with some cheese added. This made a great stand-in for regular mornay. For the bacon, I opted for a coconut bacon since it has a nice crispy texture. I chose to use vegan chicken to substitute the turkey; vegan chicken appears to be more readily available for most people. If you have access to a product like Gardein’s turkey cutlets, that would work great as well. Feel free to use whatever you have access to in your area.
That’s enough chatter for now, onward to the recipe. As always, please tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker or use the hashtag #BitchyBaker if you happen to make this recipe. I’d love to see your creations.
I’ll be back very soon with lots of Christmas recipes, so be sure to keep checking back.
Hot Brown Pizza
Yield: 1 16” pizza
½ cup large coconut flakes
1 tsp neutral-flavored oil
1 ½ teaspoon soy sauce (or tamari, liquid aminos, etc)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
A generous pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and give the coconut a good mix. Return to the oven and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix again. If the coconut is not yet crispy, return back to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. You want the coconut to be nicely browned and crispy, but not burned. The coconut will crisp up a little more as it cools. Set aside until ready to use.
3 tablespoons vegan butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups plant milk
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
2 ounces vegan cheese (I used half Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan and half Violife Mature Cheddar)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon vegan lactic acid powder (optional, but adds even more cheesy flavor)
In a small sauce pan, melt vegan butter over medium heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisky to combine. Allow to cook until the mixture looks foamy. Slowly add the milk, whisking to combine between additions. Slowly bring the sauce to a boil, and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. Add in in the remaining ingredients, and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside until ready to use.
1 cup beer
¼ cup water
1 packet instant yeast
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more to coat the bowl)
3 ½ cups bread flour (all-purpose may be used instead) + more flour for stretching dough
1. Heat beer and water in a small pan until slightly warm, they should be between 110 and 115°F. Transfer liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid, add in the brown sugar and mix lightly. Allow to sit for about five minutes, or until foamy.
2. Add in the molasses, salt and olive oil. Mix until combined. If using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook. Mix in the flour, half at a time. A stiff dough will form. If kneading by hand, you will need to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead with the dough hook on medium-low speed for 6-8 minutes. The dough should become a smooth ball and will have a very elastic consistency.
3. Using clean hands, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl that has been coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot for about an hour. The dough should double in size.
3 thinly sliced roma tomatoes
About 9 ounces of diced vegan chicken (I used Gardein tenders)
2 cups of vegan mozzarella shreds (I used Daiya)
Olive oil for brushing the crust
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
To Assemble the Pizza:
1. Lightly punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch or roll the dough into a 16 inch circle. Transfer to a pizza pan. Alternately, you can make two smaller pizzas or stretch it into a rectangle, or whichever shape you would prefer. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with olive oil.
2. Parbake the pizza crust at 425°F for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spread the sauce evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with your shredded cheese. Layer on the tomatoes and chicken. Sprinkle with salt + pepper. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil again. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for around 12 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the cheese should be melted.
3. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the prepared coconut bacon, Parmesan and parsley. Slice and enjoy!