topping that pizza

Photo from inmagine

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.

Photo from inmagine

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.

Photo from inmagine

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?

best ever pizza dough

Pizza. The perfect food…according to my kids. Whenever I suggest pizza for dinner there are never any arguments (except for who is going to do the dishes, but hey, you can’t win them all!). We have always preferred homemade pizza but until recently would buy pre-made bases to cover with our own toppings. And then I discovered the joys of making my own dough. I love flouring my hands and kneading the dough. I find it tactile and relaxing. It is definitely more time consuming, but the result is worth it!

You could also make this in a stand mixer, however you need to make sure it is a robust one such as a Kenwood or KitchenAid as many of the smaller cheaper mixers just do not have the wattage to handle such a heavy mix.


½ cup warm water
1 sachet (8g) Edmonds instant dry yeast
1 ¾ cups water, at room temperature
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

Measure the warm water a large (3-4 cup) measuring jug. Sprinkle in the yeast. After about 5 minutes the yeast would have dissolved and swollen. At this point add the room temperature water then oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the dry ingredients and then slowly add the liquid and mix until it forms a cohesive mass. At this point turn the dough out onto a floured bench and knead with floured hands for approximately 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. You may need to add flour a few times as the dough can get sticky.

Form the dough into a ball, put it in a bowl that has been oiled with the extra olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This may take anywhere from ½ an hour to 2 hours.

Punch the dough to deflate it then divide into individual pizza portions. I find this amount of dough makes 4-5 round pizzas approximately 32 cm diameter.

With a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough to the pizza pan size, place on the pan and leave to rise a second time while preparing the toppings.

Add your choice of toppings and bake in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes.

If you only want to make a couple of pizzas you can put the remaining dough covered in the fridge to use within a couple of days however I usually bake all the pizzas as the leftovers are great in lunchboxes the next day. You could also use leftover dough to make pizza bites or pinwheel pizzas.