Friday, 17. September 2010


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A major factor in turning out a good tasty pizza is getting the base and the sauce “just right”. 95% of a pizza’s taste comes from the base and the sauce. Once you have the base and the sauce right you can experiment with toppings, however, do not overdo it. Too much topping confuses the taste, and a thick layer of topping (especially cheese) only acts as an insulator and stops the ingredients in the centre of the pizza from cooking. If you overdo it, the centre of your pizza will be cold.  When cooking pizzas it is better to “overcook” as this ensures the ingredients are cooked right through. It is also better to use small amounts of good quality ingredients than big chunks of “cheap” ingredients.

If you want a crisp pizza, don’t put it on a solid tray in the oven, the pizza will cook much better if you put it directly onto the oven’s open “shelf”.   Cooking a pizza on a solid tray tends to lock in the moisture (in the base) and you end up with a slightly soggy pizza.



The Pizza base


Possibly the best retail 30 cm bases are “Don Emilio’s” pizza bases. They are available at most major supermarkets, and can be used straight from the pack. If you can’t get them, you can “prepare” your own. Most pizza bases you buy at supermarkets are par-baked, and unless “fixed” will taste doughy. Buy a good quality base (Tip Top are ok, and come in packs of 2). Avoid the generics.


Pre-heat your oven to 220C. While the oven is warming, liberally brush the top of  the pizza base/s with olive oil, (about 1 dessertspoon), then sprinkle basil onto the oil. Place the base into the hot oven for about 4 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Don’t toast it. Remove the base and allow to cool. Always prepare the base this way.




Aussie pizza



500 grams lean mince  

 2 medium mushroom

1 white onion sliced into thin rings  

 10 thin slices pizza salami, cut into ¼’s,

1 red capsicum finely chopped  

 vegetable oil,

Teriyaki sauce  

 Master Foods barbecue sauce

Rosella fruit chutney  

 2 X 30 cm pizza base


 sweet soy sauce

1 pack “Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus” cheese. (If you can’t get this, combine a grated mixture of 80% mozzarella cheese with 20% cheddar.)


Prepare the bases as set out in the Pizza base section. Cut the mince into 4 equal portions, brown well each portion separately in a little oil, set aside. When all browned, return it all to the pot, add ½ cup honey, ¼ cup teriyaki sauce and ¼ cup sweet soy sauce, mix in well, remove from heat, store on paper towel. Lightly brown the onion rings in the same pan, remove and also cool on paper towel. Thinly slice the mushroom then cut into 1.0 cm pieces. Mix together ½ cup bar-b-q sauce and ½ cup chutney, spread this sauce equally over the bases. Lightly sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Next add the mince, onion, salami, capsicum and mushroom equally to both pizza bases. Cover each with about 1½  handfuls of cheese. Place the pizzas into the 220C oven, and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the base has gone a golden brown.   6



Barbecue pizza


130 grams lean round steak  

 1 medium mushroom

1 white onion sliced into thin rings  

 5 thin slices Hans pizza salami, cut into ¼’s,

½ red capsicum finely chopped  

 1 tablespoon of oil,

1 tablespoon of Teriyaki sauce  

 ¼ cup barbecue sauce (see sauce section)

30 cm pizza base  

 1 pack “Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus” cheese.


Finely slice the beef into strips, then cut into small pieces and pound very thin. Place oil and Teriyaki sauce into a saucepan, heat and stir. Brown the beef, remove and place on paper towel to drain and cool. Lightly brown the onions in the same pan, remove and also cool on paper towel. Thinly slice the mushroom then cut into 1.0 cm pieces. Spread the sauce over the base. Lightly sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Next add the beef, onion, salami, capsicum and mushroom. Cover with about 1½  handfuls of cheese. Place the pizza into the 220C oven, and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the base has gone a golden brown.



Chicken pizza.


30 cm pizza base  

 Satay sauce.

1 handful of diced bacon.  

 ¼ red capsicum, finely chopped.

¼ green capsicum, finely chopped  

 1 medium onion, sliced into rings.

1 chicken breast.  

 Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus shredded cheese.

Bertolli Primavera* sauce


Cut the chicken into small pieces. Brown the chicken in a hot wok or frying pan in a small amount of oil. Once chicken has cooked through, mix in about 2 tablespoons satay sauce, stirring until the sauce has been taken up by the chicken. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on paper towel. Place onion in wok, stir until onion starts to go transparent, remove, stand on paper towel. Make a 50:50 mixture of Bertolli Primavera (or the alternative) and Satay sauce (about ¼ cup in total). Spread this mixture onto the pizza base.


Over the sauce add a small dusting of pizza cheese. Add the diced bacon, the chicken, half the onion, green and red capsicum, the rest of the onion then top the lot with about 1 hand-full of cheese. Place the lot into a 220C oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.



Hawaiian  Pizza.


30 cm pizza base  

 2 tablespoons Bertolli Primavera* sauce,

440gram can pineapple pieces.  

 2 tablespoons Hawaiian sweet & sour sauce.

1 cup diced bacon.  

 Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus cheese,

White pepper.


Mix the Reguletto and sweet and sour sauce together. Spread the sauce over the base, then add a small amount of cheese. Add the diced bacon.  Spread the pineapple evenly over the top of the bacon, then cover the lot with about 1½ handfuls of cheese. Dust with white pepper.  Place the lot into a pre-heated oven (220C) and remove when the cheese has melted, and starts to brown, (about 10-12 mins).



Mexican Pizza.


425g can spicy chilli beans  

 1 large pizza base

150 g salami diced  

 ½ cup stuffed green olives, chopped

1 cup grated mozzarella  

 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and chopped

½ Spanish (red) onion, finely diced  

 2 tablespoons fresh coriander or parsley

1 lime, freshly squeezed


Spread the entire chilli beans over the base, sprinkle with diced salami, onion and stuffed green olives. Cover with the mozzarella. Cook the pizza at 220°C for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and turned golden. Remove from oven and scatter over the avocado, coriander and squeeze over the lime juice. 4



Mini Pizza.


1 pk English muffins  

 150g salami, finely sliced and quartered

1 small red capsicum, finely sliced  

 1 small green capsicum, finely sliced

grated mozzarella cheese  

 bar-b-q sauce

pitted, sliced black olives  

 thinly sliced pineapple, wedged

sliced button mushrooms.


Split the muffins, place in toaster and lightly toast. Spread bar-b-q sauce over muffins, sprinkle small amount of cheese over sauce, add 8 ¼’s salami, red and green capsicum, small amount of pineapple, few pieces of mushroom and more grated cheese. Top with few olives. Place on tray in pre-heated oven at 210 for 8-10 minutes until hot and golden.



Supreme pizza


400gr Bertolli Primavera Sauce*

70gr diced bacon

30 cm pizza base,

¼ green capsicum, finely cut

¼ red capsicum, finely cut

1 white onion, thinly sliced

15 thin slices Peperoni Salami

6 thin slices pizza salami, cut into ¼’s,

100gr button mushrooms, sliced

10gr sliced fresh black olives

tiny bit jalapeno, dried

Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus shredded cheese.


Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of sauce over the pizza base, then lightly sprinkle a layer of cheese over the sauce. Add the bacon, green capsicum, onion rings, salami, red capsicum, mushrooms, peperoni, black olives, jalapeno, spreading the ingredients evenly over the base. Top the lot with about 1½ handfuls of cheese. Place the lot into a pre-heated oven at 2200C for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the base has gone a golden brown.



Vegetarian Pizza.


1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly  

 1 small eggplant, sliced thinly, salted

1 red capsicum, sliced thinly  

 1 medium onion, sliced

12 small button mushrooms, sliced  

 ½ small pink sweet potato, sliced thinly

4-5 bocconcini cheese, sliced  

 150gr grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup tomato pasta base sauce  

 8 sheets of pita bread or similar bread wrap


Preheat oven to 200C. Brush bread sheets with a little water. Place sheets on top of one another to form 2 lots of 4 sheets (the pizza bases). Spray a little oil on a flat oven tray and place the pizza bases on the tray. Spread over the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, going right to the edges. Pile vegetables onto pizzasand spread evenly, top with bocconcini cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve straight away.   4



Vegetarian Pizza (2)


2 large wholemeal pitta bread

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon prepared pesto

4 flat mushrooms, sliced thinly

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

handful fresh thyme sprigs

60g mozzarella cheese, chopped


Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Place the pitta bread on a baking tray. Cut asparagus in half lengthways. Place asparagus into a pan of boiling water. Cook 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Spread pesto over pitta bread, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Arrange asparagus, mushroom and tomatoes on top; sprinkle with thyme and mozzarella. Bake pizzas about 15 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately


Seasoned Pizza Base

2½ teaspoons dry yeast ½ teaspoon brown sugar
355 mL warm water 1 teaspoon salt
30 mL olive oil 1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
3 ¾ cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in the warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, parmesan and olive oil. Mix in 3 ½ cups of flour. Add more flour until dough just loses its stickiness. Knead for 5 minutes with mixer. Place dough in well oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rise for about 1 hour. The dough should double in size. Punch dough down and form a tight ball. Allow dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Preheat oven to 220°C. Lightly oil pan and then allow dough to rise for 20 minutes. Prick dough all over with a fork and bake for 10 minutes without topping, top pizza with favourite toppings and bake for a further 10 minutes.



*     Bertolli Primavera Sauce is available from Coles  If you can’t get it use Raguletto’s Venetian, onion, herbs and spices Classic Tomato pasta sauce.



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