Author Topic: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?  (Read 4128 times)

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Offline dmcavanagh

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Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« on: May 21, 2012, 10:19:49 AM »
I see more and more pizzas being topped with multiple toppings to the point where the flavors have to be muddled at best. What do you feel is the maximum topping ingredients you can put on a pizza. Cheese and sauce are givens, after that I'm a two to a max of three toppings man. What say you? ???


Offline Don K

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 02:42:46 PM »
I think it depends on several factors...what toppings, quantity of each, what type of pizza, oven temperature, to name a few.

If you really load a pie down with toppings and are doing something like a 3 minute bake in a really hot oven, I don't think it's going to cook all the way through.

If you load it down with meat it's probably going to end up way too greasy. If you load it down with vegetables it's probably going to be soggy.

I usually stick with 1-3 toppings but there are some exceptions. One of my favorite combinations has 7 different toppings--Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper, onions, black olives, and hot banana pepper rings. When I make it I usually have to throw a screen or two under it part way through baking to keep the bottom from burning before the top cooks through.
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Online TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 03:58:24 PM »
I agree with the Colonel. It's not a straightforward question and depends on the toppings themselves. You're right that lots of places overload a pie and everything can get muddled, but that may be a balance problem not a number problem.   

If pineapple is the topping, one is too many!  :-D
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Offline randyjohnsonhve

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 05:19:54 PM »

No more than three...Usually, one or two...May I suggest you make similiar pizzas and taste test them side by side, using several people to judge what is better...i.e. Margherta plus Italian Sausage v. Margherita plus Italian Sausage plus Roasted Onions...

Which is better...could you taste the Sausage...could you taste Onions...did one over power the other...and lastly, would they be better all by themselves...

On top of that, could you taste the Nuances of the Crust, the Sauce, the Cheese, the Basil...And has been stated, did they balance.

Really, less is better than more...The simpler the better...Combination pizzas attack the palate, Simple pizzas pleasure the five taste senses...Salty, Sweet, Bitter, Hot, and Umami...

Good Luck with your experimentation, and even then, it is what you and yours like...

RJelli :chef:


"Pizza Evolves...Our Best Pizza Ever is Not Today." It is 'what' is right, not 'who' is right that matters.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 05:39:39 PM »
No more than three...Usually, one or two...May I suggest you make similiar pizzas and taste test them side by side, using several people to judge what is better...i.e. Margherta plus Italian Sausage

Wouldn't that be 4 or 5 toppings? (tomato, cheese, basil, evoo?, sausage)

Part of this is is how you define toppings. When I make a mushroom pie, it has: mozz, mushrooms, parm, black peppr, and truffle oil. How many toppings is that? 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5?  

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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 06:07:03 PM »
Could you define a topping as something that will impact the baking characteristics, and a flavoring as something that will only affect the taste, without changing anything else?

I've no experience with truffle oil, but it sure sounds tasty.  Is it light? Heavy? Wet?  How does the pizza bake change when you use it?

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline randyjohnsonhve

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 06:27:56 PM »
Wouldn't that be 4 or 5 toppings? (tomato, cheese, basil, evoo?, sausage)

Part of this is is how you define toppings. When I make a mushroom pie, it has: mozz, mushrooms, parm, black peppr, and truffle oil. How many toppings is that? 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5?  



Could Be...May not Be!

But we need to agree on what toppings are...To me, a base pizza is the Margherita, the Marinara or the Bianco...From there, you add toppings, so the ingredients of those three pizzas are the base for the toppings...There are exceptions to these bases, but they are really the exceptions...

The toppings (1 or 2 per pizza), to me, pretty much are meats and vegetables..Your mushroom pizza has a base of mozz with a topping of mushrooms and accompaniments of truffle oil, pepper and parm.

It tis a matter of definition...

RJelli :chef:

Once again, it is what you like, not what others tell you you like...

"Pizza Evolves...Our Best Pizza Ever is Not Today." It is 'what' is right, not 'who' is right that matters.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 07:01:05 PM »
Could you define a topping as something that will impact the baking characteristics, and a flavoring as something that will only affect the taste, without changing anything else?

I've no experience with truffle oil, but it sure sounds tasty.  Is it light? Heavy? Wet?  How does the pizza bake change when you use it?



It's a light oil. I always add it post bake.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 12:32:33 AM »
A very interesting discussion.  I understand the "less is more" approach so that the flavors are not lost upon each other.  Individual tasting abilities vary so overload to one person is just getting interesting to another.  A professional chef pointed me toward the Flavor Bible as her numero uno "go to" book in the kitchen.  She was not looking for recipes but ideas for recipes, for flavor pairings.  That book looks at complementary flavors the way a color wheel can show complementary colors.

For me, higher numbers of ingredients means diminishing amounts used.  Smaller flavors not intended to predominate but add dimension come into play, roasted bell pepper, caramelized onions, I usually have only 1 or 2 primary flavors, say pepperoni and sausage (my favorites).  But I might dress it with balsamic onion "bits" after cooking. Or accent it with caramelized onion bits prior to cooking.  It depends on what is on hand. 

But it should be about flavor and quality, not quantity. 
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Offline Don K

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 12:55:53 AM »
For me, higher numbers of ingredients means diminishing amounts used.
Exactly.

Many years ago, when I worked in the business, we would occasionally have customers that would order a pie with "everything." We had 15 different toppings, and when we told them that the pizza would weigh several pounds and that they will probably need to eat it with a fork, some would change their mind, but some wouldn't. So we came up with a pizza called "The Blaster" that contained almost everything but in much smaller quantities and a lower price. We would usually try to down-sell the "everything" orders to the Blaster and most people were satisfied.
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Offline bakerboy

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 10:17:46 PM »
I good with 2 or 3 good quality toppings. Tatoosh is right. Quality over quantity is how I feel. I wrote an article for my local paper last year on pizza toppings. I'll post it if I can find it but it always comes down to defining a "topping". To me, sauce, cheese, salt and pepper is a given. A topping is something that goes on top of your plain pie. My mother loved the "everything" pizza. Pepperoni, broccoli, ham, green pepper, hamburger, onion, olives, mushrooms etc,etc ad nauseum. I couldn't make heads or tails out of it!  It was a train wreck of a pizza to me. WAY to busy tasting. WAY too much going on to appreciate.
I also think that the way you address the toppings is important. They should be exceptional before they go on the pie. I would be really interested to see how others treat their toppings pre pie.  I'm a little neurotic about it. Only because I've eaten too many cheap, thrown together, lazily made pizzas. One bite and your like "these people don't care about what they're doing"
It would also be interesting to see if others have found any unique ways that they get flavors to "pop" on the pie.

Offline Pizzamaster

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 04:14:36 AM »
When the pizza is to heavy to lift without assistance.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 10:08:29 AM »
@Tatoosh

I love your mascot, the little pig with the great dentures. My son is a dentist, he might like that picture to hang in his office!

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 01:29:23 AM »
Heh, it is an avatar I found on the internet.  There is a larger, animated version where the nose wiggles. 
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Offline Giggliato

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 11:22:07 AM »
It is my belief that there is no upper limit to the number of toppings on a single pie. The concern is making sure that every topping complements every other one. Surely as the number of toppings increases the relationships between the flavors will become more complicated.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Toppings....When is it too much?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 11:33:50 AM »
Obviously, the skin has to be able to support all of the toppings and that they bake correctly, or else risk getting an underbaked, pasty crust and possibly a gum line.

Peter