59% of the world’s population consume pizza regularly and with more exotic flavours and toppings being released all the time its popularity shows no signs of waning.
The basic structure of a pizza basically falls into 5 categories:
The base constitutes the food matrix on which the other flavours are delivered.
- Bread – a traditional base that has been coated with flour or tomato sauce.
- Corn – a doughy base with a pleasant mellow sweetness.
- Rice – Introduced as a healthy alternative. It is a bland and unremarkable pizza base.
- Semiya – or Quinoa as it is known in many countries other than America is another base now available from a few pizza outlets. It has a very earthy flavour not dissimilar to that of the rice base and is also somewhat doughy.
Right, now the weird ones….
- Potato – A popular Pizza brand once experimented with them and they turned out to be an utter flop and hasn’t been seen since, the taste was unpleasant, citrusy and weird.
- Cardboard – Some of the early pizzas in India were actually made of cardboard and did in fact taste like it! (well obviously we are joking)
The sauces most commonly used are:
- Tomato – the typical red tomato sauce, the sweetness varies with the age of the sauce and is least when freshly made.
- Juice – thinned tomato sauce, sweeter than pure sauce and has more texture (think tomato jam).
- Garlic paste/Mayonnaise – as the name suggests a garlic flavoured sauce(or mayonnaise), usually in paste/sauce form but can also be used fresh (this is when you get the lovely aroma of baking garlic in the pizza oven).
- Natural – as the name suggests no flavouring or additives just the tomato itself, this is the healthiest variant.
The cheeses most commonly used are:
- Sedano – available in most countries, this is the usual hard cow cheese (although some companies now use softer cheeses to accommodate those with cholecystokinin issues).
- Romano – This hard cheese has a more distinctive flavour and is less sweet than cheddar.
Cheddar – this is a softer cheese and its flavour is less pronounced than that of romano.
Mexican – a spicy cheese usually amalgamated from an assortment of the above cheeses.
Usually Pepperoni, Ham, Olives, Salami etc…
The ingredients are placed on top of both the sauce and cheese in varying orders depending on which part of the world you are in, for example in the UK/ US the vegetables go underneath the cheese so they don\’t get burnt whilst in Italy the vegetables go on top of the cheese so they get roasted.
In both countries however it is understood that the finished pizza should be substantially weighted towards the cheese with only about 20-30% of the weight from the base. Why is this you ask? Well as you may have noticed when you have pizza delivery, even if you have it packed warm, by the time you eat it, the cheese has gone soft and become saturated and soggy and in turn, becomes a very greasy meal. Hence why when you have a pizza in either country it is typically served in smaller pieces to prevent the cheese topping from becoming too greasy.
- Fruit – most commonly used are strawberries and raspberries but other less common fruits are available such as pineapple, blackberries, lemon and apricots.
- Herbs – most commonly basil but also include oregano, garlic and curry amongst others.
- Others – onions, peppers, mushrooms etc are also used in some specialised pizzas.
How To Get the Perfect Pizza.
The temperature of base and dough –
130°C (265°F) for the dough and around 90°C (194°F) for the finished Pizza.
The heat of the oven:
highest possible, somewhere around 600° F (315°C)
5-10 minutes depending on size and how you like it.
Don’t put the Pizza on a rack, it will cause the cheese to bleed and in turn, make the base soggy.
Now that you know how to make the perfect pizza dough and sauce, it’s time to top it with your favourite ingredients. Be creative and have fun with it! Some of our favourite toppings include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, and onions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations.
We are off to get our slice of Pizza!