Now that I have given you the recipe for the perfect pizza dough, what do you put on top? Well the answer is limited only by your imagination. Maybe that is the reason pizza is such a popular food… there are toppings for everyone’s taste buds.
You might be surprised to know that in Italy, the home of pizza, the toppings are very simple unlike the myriad on offer in the American style chains like Pizza Hut and Dominos. The Pizza Margherita for instance has only tomato sauce, chopped basil leaves and mozzerella cheese. Simple, but delicious – especially with a lovely, soft crust.
Taking a look at the websites for takeaway pizza will give you ideas for how to recreate the Supreme or Meatlovers you already know, but there are so many other options to explore. You can let your imagination run wild. Some kind of sauce, and cheese, will feature on virtually every pizza.
For the sauce you don’t need to limit yourself to tomato paste. Try crushed tomatoes, BBQ sauce or a pre-made pasta sauce. Stretch your imagination. How about the little bit of leftover butter chicken or alfredo sauce in the jar in the fridge? I have a selection of sauces from Wild Appetite that I am dying to try, including a Melanesian Mango sauce that I think would be amazing on a chicken pizza (I will let you know!).
When it comes to cheese you really need the good stuff to get the taste and stringyness that is so vital for a good pizza. Plain cheddar, even “Tasty” just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid. A mixture of parmesan and mozzerella will give you the flavour and texture you need. But don’t forget all the other options, either on their own or in combination with the parmesan and mozzerella. Ricotta or cream cheese dolloped or spread over the base. How about blue cheese crumbled over beef. Traditional feta tastes so good on vegetarian pizzas or try creamy feta with bacon and prawns. And then of course some camembert or brie on a chicken pizza.
Look to your favourite flavour combinations and re-create them on a pizza but keep it simple 2-4 toppings in addition to the sauce and cheese is usually plenty. Too many ingredients can confuse the palate, and also overload the base making it soggy.
So now it’s your turn. Share with us in the comments, what are your favourite pizza toppings?