We love throwing our favorite toppings on the pizza crust, but is it enough?
Making pizzas isn’t over with a baking oven and Italian pizza ingredients. It depends on how to bake it – precisely put, the arrangement.
Now, the correct layering of your pizza depends on multiple factors. So, what is the order of putting toppings on a pizza?
We place the sauce at the bottom, then the cheese, and lastly, the toppings. Sometimes, we might also sprinkle some on top of the ingredients. The ordering depends on the size and moisture content of the toppings. Watery items are on top, while thin, easily cooked ones are below the cheese.
Wondering about the science behind this technique? Check out the details on proper layering with various toppings, what to do and avoid, and many other baking necessities.
What is the Order of Putting Toppings on a Pizza?
Placing the toppings on pizzas in the proper order is very important. It will ensure that you have an excellent pizza that looks elegant and has a balanced taste.
But how to layer pizza toppings in the recommended way?
Here are the steps. Typically it goes in the order of sauce, cheese, and toppings.
Whether it is your regular pizza sauce with tomatoes or marinara, or a white sauce, it always goes first on the prepared crust. The heat from the bottom will thicken your sauce. So make it a bit thin.
But remember, this moisture evaporation is essential so the pizza doesn’t become soggy.
Many of us makes mistakes at this step. We are debating whether putting cheese so early is a good idea since the pizza might not be cheesy enough. But sauce and cheese together are what make an authentic pizza.
You can add any cheese, including mozzarella, cheddar, gorgonzola, blue cheese, etc.
Cheese at this level works like glue for all the toppings to stay together.
If you want a delicious meaty pizza, then now is the time for your meat items. It can be chicken, pepperoni, bacon, ham, turkey, beef, or other. You can add fish to this layer if you want a seafood pizza.
You can add vegan pepperoni to this layer if you want a vegan pizza.
This works for a vegetarian pizza, and layering can be the third step. Otherwise, you can add bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. The veggies will be properly cooked, and the steam won’t affect your pizza.
5. Some Extra Soft Cheese
Before finishing off, you can throw in a little cheese, mostly grated. But better go for softer cheese like ricotta, mozzarella, feta, etc. Since these have more water content, as the cheese is on top, it will dry off while melting.
Besides, the moisture won’t ruin the crust.
If you want to add some extra flavors with any seasoning or herb, then now is the time. These always go last in the process. Even if you make Margherita with fresh basil, it should have been placed at this stage.
As you sprinkle some herbs on top, it adds a freshness and aroma to your pizza.
7. Some Exceptions
Since there are a lot of pizza recipes in the world, there are exceptions to the ordering for some.
For instance, the Chicago-style pizza is deep, with the cheese being the first on the crust. The same goes for Sicilian pizza.
On the other hand, if your pizza has Prosciutto, then it will go at the top.
Why does This Pizza Toppings Ordering Work?
For pizzas, the correct layering and texturing are essential. We don’t want the cheese to burn instead of turning crispy, and we also don’t want it to remain raw. So, the cheese is perfectly melted when they are at the bottom after the sauce.
Another reason is the presentation. The pizza looks very appetizing when the toppings and cheese are placed in this way. If the ingredients are all hidden under cheese, it doesn’t make us happy. We want to identify each ingredient and see the colors.
When the cheese is beneath, the moisture is removed from heat easily. The toppings also cook slowly, so they don’t release water vapor, which is the case for vegetables.
But most importantly, this ordering is very convenient. Use a pizza stone for baking to ensure that your layering works well.
Firstly, as you add a watery pizza sauce directly to the dough, it becomes damp. So the dough doesn’t become as crispy as your liking. It shows that cheese should go first on the crust before anything.
But then you might want to sprinkle a little more on top. This layering makes the pizza fat and overloaded. The cheese underneath may not put all the toppings together.
Which One Comes First: Cheese or Toppings?
Now comes the question of if you put toppings or cheese on pizza first. Personally, this can be a choice of taste preference. Sometimes, it depends on how the toppings get cooked – more heat for those that cook longer.
This rule is crucial.
Usually, cheese goes first before toppings, so the heat doesn’t burn the cheese from the top. Besides, the cheese can bubble and have a little crisp for taste. But some heavier toppings should go under the cheese, so they don’t make the pizza soggy.
Some topping rule also depends on the area and other considerations.
Italian pizzas have cheese on top, which is the most common way of layering pizzas. They use soft cheese with more moisture, often a little olive oil on top. As they remain on top, they are cooked well but are hidden.
Americans, on the other hand, follow the recommended rule and place cheese beneath. Exceptions are deep-dish, Detroit square, New York-style, or Chicago-style pizzas with cheese on top.
Deep Dish Pizza
A deep-dish pizza has a cheese layer on both the top and bottom. Since the crust is thick, cheese layering in this way is important to make the crust crispy and balance out flavors.
If your pizza has some vegetables, you need to put them after adding cheese. But don’t use raw ones; instead, cook them a little.
Check out some popular toppings for vegetable pizza.
Overall, the correct ordering of cheese will save your dough from getting soggy or damp.
Placement of Different Cheese on the Crust
Some cheeses are soft and more watery than others. So, the right layering works depending on the type of cheese.
|Type of Cheese||Under or Over Toppings|
|Mozzarella||Bottom layer after sauce|
|Swiss Cheese||Bottom layer|
|Monterey Jack||On top|
|Gouda||On top of the sauce|
|Cheddar Cheese||After sauce layer|
|Parmesan||Top layer after toppings.|
What Else To Consider For Layering The Ingredients?
You only need to keep in mind that all the toppings have to cook well. So, the layering will depend on how they handle the heat inside the oven. Not only does high heat burn cheese, but it can also shrivel other toppings.
So, thin ingredients like thin bacon or vegetable slices should go down.
Any topping that would burn easily, like bell peppers, should be beneath the cheese layer. The cheese will offer the required heat for them to cook properly. But if they need more heat, like pineapples, place them over the cheese. Then there won’t be much steaming on the crust.
Sometimes, we cook some of the toppings beforehand. These should also be under the cheese layer.
In addition, you must balance fat and moisture in pizzas as they bake inside the oven. Otherwise, it will result in a mushy dish that nobody wants.
As a general rule, low-moisture ingredients are placed under, and high-moisture ones are added on top.
Preparation of Pizza Toppings
Some ingredients like leafy vegetables, basil, Prosciutto, olive oil, or similar others that we eat raw should be added after you bake your pizza. But other ingredients, especially meat or fish, need some cooking before placing them on the crust.
If these are added raw, then they may remain undercooked. Then you will add more heat which will burn other ingredients.
Besides, uncooked toppings also make the pizza soggy. It is especially the case for chicken, pork, beef, or seafood. In addition, even though bacon is easily baked inside the oven, it needs some pre-cooking. Otherwise, the fat in bacon can make the pizza greasy.
You should also pan-fry or air-fry some vegetables, like mushrooms. It will remove their moisture so that they are crispy after baking. Besides, you should chop them into small pieces for toppings.
How Much Toppings To Put On A Pizza?
There is no end to adding toppings to your pizza. But this doesn’t mean we should overload the crust, especially on top. There won’t be any balance of flavors, and none of the toppings will cook properly. You should also avoid adding too many salty items or watery toppings together.
When it is too much, the pizza is either overcooked from extra heat or damp from the extra moisture. Better to limit the number of toppings to three or four. In addition, consider the fat, salt, and water content of the ones you pick.
Remember, you want crispy but not greasy.
- How to Prevent Toppings from Sliding Off?
Usually, the cheese glues the toppings in place. But to prevent them from separating, use a little sauce on top. Besides, you can also add cheese with the sauce layer. Don’t add too much oil on top.
Most importantly, don’t overload the pizza with toppings.
- Where does the pepperoni sit on the pizza?
Pepperoni is always seen on top of the cheese layer. Not only does this offer a nice touch to the pizza, but it also allows the pepperoni to cook well. The pepperoni will also add flavor in this way.
- How to layer a supreme pizza?
Firstly, you will add the sauce, then bacon and cheese, and finally, some olive, red and green peppers and chopped onions. Sprinkle some Parmesan and basil on top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 450 F.
Pizza toppings don’t happen at random, but with an order. Right layering equals to right flavors. The basic idea is to get all the toppings cooked properly to offer a balance. Otherwise, a finely baked pizza can get ruined.
So, what is the order of putting toppings on a pizza?
Well, some ingredients are meant to be cooked ahead before placing them on the crust. Others can cook from the heat but must be beneath the cheese to avoid burning and moisture. But some of them should be hidden or added after baking. Only then can you have a perfect pizza.