By Cat, July 2008, updated Jan 2012 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
- See also: 1. Pizza (About); 2. Pizza Dough; 3. Crushed Tomato Sauce;
- More pizza recipes: 1. Mediterranean Menu; 2. Savory Pies & Tarts Menu
- Includes: 1. General baking instructions for home oven; 2. Topping combinations
The topping combos for delicious pizza are endless; I tend to prefer those that are authentically Italian, or at least Mediterranean, such as those listed below. I highly recommend using a baking stone in a home oven; you would also need a pizza peel to make transferring the pizza to/from the stone easier. See Equipment: Baking Stone, Pizza Peel for more.
General baking instructions for home oven:
The home oven baking instructions using a baking stone on low rack is as follows for each (except where as noted with the topping combo):
- Bake in preheated 500°F oven for about 15 minutes (if using a baking sheet placed on lowest rack of oven, it may take longer to bake). Do not exceed 20 minutes, or the crust will simply dry out. [If using an 8000 F pizza oven, cook only about 2 – 3 minutes].
- Pizza is done when it is bubbling on top, and the cheese is completely melted (and possibly lightly browned). The outer crust should be lightly brown; the bottom should be dark brown (charred), but not burnt.
Pizza Topping Combinations:
Topping combos are endless. My favorites are traditional, and include the list below.
- Neapolitan Pizza Margherita (see my recipe): tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil & extra virgin olive oil
- Neapolitan Pizza Marinara: tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil
- Neapolitan Pizza Romana: tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano & extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t like whole anchovies, try blending anchovy paste with olive oil and drizzling over the pizza.
- Garlic & Rosemary Pizza: brown a few cloves garlic in olive oil, then pour flavored oil on dough with or without garlic. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary leaves and bake as detailed above. (From A Passion for Vegetables, by Vera Gewanter (1))
- Greek Pizza: Feta, spinach, sliced Kalamata olives, fresh oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. Chunky tomatoes may also be added. Bake as detailed above.
- Luigi’s Pizza with lox (cold-smoked salmon), capers and caramelized onions: Caramelize onion rounds in olive oil; arrange with lox over crust. Sprinkle capers on top, with a bit of feta (optional). Bake as detailed above. (From Chef Luigi at La Macchia, Portland OR)
- Pisciadela: Leave the dough a little thicker, so the pie is smaller. Sauté ¾ pound onions (in rings) and ½ pound chopped tomatoes in ¼ cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then spread on crust and dribble another ¼ cup olive oil over all. Bake at 475°F for 25 minutes. (From A Passion for Vegetables, by Vera Gewanter (1)).
- Pissaladiere: Simmer over very low heat: chopped leeks, onions and pressed garlic and herbs in a bouquet garni (thyme, bay and parsley) in olive oil, for at least an hour, seasoning with salt and pepper at the very end. Remove the bouquet garni, then spread remaining mixture over dough. Top with olives and/or capers and bake in preheated 450°F oven about 30 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden. (From A Passion for Vegetables, by Vera Gewanter (1)). See also Fine Cooking, Salade au Lardons Pissaladiere (2).
- For more than 50 pizza recipes, check out Food & Wine online (3).
- A Passion for Vegetables, by Vera Gewanter (see Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book);
- Fine Cooking, Salade au Lardons Pissaladiere recipe: finecooking.com/recipes/salade-aux-lardons-pizza.aspx
- Food & Wine online (foodandwine.com/articles/march-2007-perfect-pizzas)