Pizza Ingredients - The Basic Ingredients of Pizza
Since the moment when Raffaele Esposito made his historic pizza Margherita in 1984, the basic structure of pizza became fixed. All the future variation of pizzas has been made with four distinct ingredients -the crust, the sauce, cheese and topping. During the last 60 years in which pizza spread across the world many variations on this theme were produced, but the old and proven designs of Naples chefs still remain most popular. Here are some examples of most notable ingredients that are used today in making pizza.
Crust is made from wheat, water and yeast, by kneading it for 5-10 minutes until its mass become perfectly mixed together. Toppings can be applied to the crust before or after baking, and there are even some versions of pizza that don't even use crust! Some of the traditional Italian pizzas are protected by European low, and cooks that want to sell them must abide with the strict rules regarding their creation.
Sauce is traditionally made from tomato, and can be additionally seasoned with wide variety of spices and herbs. There are many kinds of sauces that are used today, and one of their most important characteristics is their fluidity. Sauce that is too watered down can damage the consistency of the crust, and thicker sauces are better suited when you want to make the topping consistent across the entire pizza.
Cheese is traditionally the most common topping found on modern pizzas. Throughout the history many types of cheeses have been used in this meal, but most popular ones are Mozzarella, Ricotta, Feta, Parmesan, Cheddar and Monterey. Even though cheeses are rich with protein, calcium and sodium, they also can contain high amounts of fat. People who want to maintain their diet can choose to use low-fat cheeses, or to limit their amount and use more other toppings instead.
Toppings that are placed over pizza are often arranged in specific order. This order is maintained not just for visual pleasure, but also to maintain the moisture and control the baking process of the crust. The most common bed for the various toppings is cheese, because it provides moisture and firmness to the material above it. For the same purposes, cheese can be applied on the top of the pizza. The most common order of applying toppings on the crust is following:
Dough > Sauce > Cheese > Toppings > Cheese > Garnish
Toppings can be divided into several types, and their use varies from type of pizza and region where is made. Those types are:
- Vegetables (carrot, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, olives, beans, peppers, spinach, and more)
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, and more)
- Herbs and Spices (basil, coriander, garlic, oregano, pepper, rosemary, and more)
- Sea Food (anchovies, lobster, shrimps, salmon, squid, tuna, oysters, and more)
- Meats (bacon, ham, salami, meatballs, duck, chicken, barbequed meat, and more)
- Exotic toppings (chocolate, marshmallows, cookies, edible gold, bananas, and more)