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Toppings

It’s sometimes easy to get carried away and cover your pizza with every topping you like. And fair enough, everyone has a good memory of the supreme from their favourite takeaway.

The problem with using a lot of toppings on a thin style base is that the base doesn’t support a lot of weight. It can also get soggy if overloaded. Using just a few toppings lets you play off different flavours against each other – you can really come up with some unique combos of just a few good ingredients.

A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 separate toppings, as well as cheese and/or sauce. Try to think of interesting flavours that will work well together. A good way to come up with a new idea for a pizza is to use some of the key ingredients in a favourite non pizza dish!

Whatever toppings you decide on, make sure not to lay them on too thickly. Aim for a single layer of all of the ingredients combined, on top of your cheese/sauce layer – this means that you might have to leave space between each ingredient.

This is a quick series showing a the process of putting together a simple prawn, tomato and basil pizza made on a gluten free base. The prawns were marinated in olive oil with a clove of mashed garlic whisked in. Delicious vine ripened cherry tomatoes were used – good quality tomatoes make a big difference and are worth the extra cost.

  1. A layer of sauce is spread over the base. Leave a rim around the edge for visual appeal and so you have a good place to hold the slices. When applying sauce, try to leave a few spaces with less or no sauce, so that the base doesn’t get too soggy when it cooks.
  2. Topped-pizza

  3. Scatter a sparse layer of mozzarella over the sauce. The purpose of this layer is really just to help hold the toppings to the base. Using grated cheese is also perfectly fine but I like using slices torn into pieces to vary the appearance and texture a little.
  4. Topped-pizza-2

  5. If you are using fresh herbs, it is best to put them underneath the other ingredients to stop them overcooking and drying out. Here, a handful of torn basil leaves are pressed into the dough.
  6. Topped-pizza-3

  7. Finally, an even layer of the prawns and sliced tomato are added, and a garnish of some extra whole prawns followed by another sprinkle of chunks of mozzarella and a little fresh grated parmesan.
  8. Topped-pizza-5

  9. And here’s how it looked straight out of the oven. The tangy garlic and prawns were wonderful together with the acidic sweetness of the tomatoes. A winning combo!
  10. Topped-pizza-6

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