This week my friends & I had a pizza and movie night. I’m the kind of person who longs for that fully-loaded supreme pizza replica kind of thing. Of course, no mainstream supreme pizza is complete without pepperoni. Unfortunately, the store near my house doesn’t carry veggie pepperoni, and while most would probably consider it a lot easier to drive across town until I found some somewhere, I for one (as someone who hates driving and loves cooking) find it much more enjoyable to try making it myself.
I had high hopes for this pepperoni. I had dreams of that super greasy, salty stuff that leaks oil and leaves red stains on all that touches it. Well, that’s not what I got, but my final product is as good or better than some of the store-bought varieties I’ve had, so I am considering it a major win!
It has a lot of ingredients but is fairly simple to make; if you’ve ever made bread dough or rolled sushi, your skills will come in handy, but I’m pretty sure you can manage if not! Most of the spice in this comes from smoked paprika. I also added in coconut oil to try replicating a marbled fat. I’m going to continue experimenting with levels of spice etc. in hopes that I can make this sausage even better than it already is.
- 1 ½ C Vital Wheat Gluten
- 3 Tbs garbanzo (besan) flour
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp fennel seed, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of beans/bean cooking liquid)
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup pinto beans
- ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper, optional
- 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, paprika, fennel seed, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix until evenly distributed. In the center of the mixture, create a well. Pour the aquafaba, liquid smoke and tomato paste into the well, and slowly mix, pushing the dry mix into the well until a dough forms. As you continue kneading the dough, add the beans, smashing them with your fingers as you incorporate them into to dough. Integrate the red bell pepper, if using. Slowly drizzle in the coconut oil as you continue to knead until all the oil is incorporated.
Divide the dough half. Roughly shape each half into an approximately 6 in log of dough. Place 9x13in sheet of parchment paper on your workspace with the 9in end closest to you. Place one log on the parchment, about one third of the way from the bottom. Fold the bottom end of the parchment up towards the center of the paper, over the log. As best you can, push the log into the crease formed by the paper and tightly roll the log upwards towards the other end of the sheet. (If you have ever rolled sushi, it is the same technique.) Secure the ends of the parchment using cooking twine, of if you are cheap like me, twisty ties. Repeat with the other log using a new sheet of parchment.
Steam the sausages in a steaming basket for about 30 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through (they will have a meaty texture as opposed to a wet dough consistency). Remove and allow them to cool enough to handle. It is easier to cut them while they are warm. Cut as thinly as possible—I tried using a mandolin and do not recommend it! Instead opt for a very sharp knife. The slices will get drier and tougher as they cool, making them more pepperoni-like.