When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie it’s . . . National Pizza Week, and time to get those tasty toppings sizzling.
A tasty, delicious pizza is a firm favourite in Britain, whether as a teatime treat or as a scrummy sharer in front of the TV. Using our experience gained from years of developing products for the UK food service and manufacturing industry, we’ve got some top tips to make sure your next pizza is extra special.
It’s all about the base
Do you prefer a traditional crispy Neapolitan, a doughy deep pan or a cheesy crust? The base of your pizza is just as important as the topping, so it’s important to get it right.
The worst base blunder is to have a soggy bottom. Whether you use a pizza stone or a metal tray, it’s important that the oven is hot enough to cook the topping while keeping the base firm and non-floppy.
The ideal temperature is between 240-250C (gas mark 8-9) – and if you have one of those fancy pizza ovens firing away, even better! Just keep an eye on your creation so it doesn’t burn.
If you’re looking for something extra special, why not uplevel your base to a stuffed crust? We have a range of award-winning cheese ropes in either plain or garlic and chive flavours.
The pizza sauce is the filling between the base and cheese, and is what can give your pizza its real taste of Italy. Keep it simple with a blend of olive oil, onion and chopped tomatoes cooked into a spreadable consistency, and then just add basil and oregano and – if you wish – a sprinkling of brown sugar.
If you want to keep it really simple, tomato puree spread thickly over your base will also do the job before adding your cheese and toppings.
Go for a stretch
Mozzarella is the traditional cheese for pizza topping – it melts beautifully, and who doesn’t love that stretchy texture as you lift a slice from the tray? But mozzarella on its own has a very mild taste, so there are lots of other options to add zing to your pizza.
We have a range of ready-made pizza blends, which combine mozzarella with other cheeses such as cheddar or smoked cheese. Together, you can have the stretch of mozzarella but with added flavour notes.
Top it off
Gone are the days when pizza just mean a boring margherita, with a thin layer of cheese and a bit of tomato. These days there are as many pizza topping combos as there are pizzas – there are no rules!
As well as the traditional ingredients like ham, mushrooms, onions, peppers and chicken, creating your own pizza gives you scope to try any combination of meat, fish and vegetables you like.
How about a chicken tikka masala topping, using spiced chicken, mango chutney, yoghurt and coriander? Or you could make a rainbow, with a different section for each colour ingredient.
Pizzas don’t have to be savoury either – try a combination of fruits, or even chocolate for a really sweet treat!
The finishing touch
A sprinkling of traditional Italian herbs, like oregano, basil and rosemary, and a quick twist of black pepper will finish your pizza in style – although don’t try this on a sweet pizza!
The big question
It’s that age-old debate that divides the nation – does, or doesn’t pineapple belong on pizza?
We couldn’t possibly say . . .
For the full range of Bridge Cheese products, visit www.bridgecheese.com/products/