Ultimate Pizza Base Guide
Who loves pizza? If you’re being honest, pretty much everybody! The great news is that your pizza base can be as guilt-free as you like. Whether you prefer a gluten-free pizza base or one with a traditional handmade Italian recipe, all you have to do is add toppings, bake and eat! Our range of gourmet pizza bases, inspired by cherished family recipes and made from authentic Italian ingredients, makes Letizza the best in the business. And to give you the happiest pizza experience, we’ve prepared this ultimate guide, which answers all sorts of questions ranging from, “Are pizza bases vegan?” to “How many calories are in a pizza base?”
Pizza Bases, what are they?
In its simplest form, a pizza base is a flat, circular piece of dough. You add toppings to it and then bake it in your oven. For your convenience, Letizza provides a range of pre-baked gourmet pizza bases, such as original Italian recipe, wholemeal, olive-infused (with tasty black olives infused through the base), garlic-infused (with delicious herbs), as well as gluten-free pizza bases. Or, if you prefer to shape your own pizza base – maybe square is your thing – our dough balls can be rolled out to your heart’s content, such as thick, thin or deep pan.
How Long can you Cook a Pizza Base?
A pizza base is usually cooked in two stages:
- After you roll your dough into a pizza shape, many prefer to pre-bake the pizza base for 5-6 minutes. The idea is to give the crust a head start before the toppings get involved. If you skip this step and simply roll out the dough, add the toppings and bake, the top of your pizza might be well-cooked, but the bottom could still be a little bit wet and doughy.
- After you pre-bake the base, add your toppings and bake it in your oven. The time it takes to cook your pizza can vary. As a rule of thumb, in a regular domestic oven (250ºC), it might take around 8 to 10 minutes. But it can take longer if you have lots of toppings. You should always check to make sure that the crust has turned brown and crisp, and that the toppings are properly cooked.
Of course, you can omit Step 1 if you use a Letizza pre-baked gourmet pizza base.
Can you Freeze Pizza Bases?
Yes, you can freeze your pizza bases! When you make up a batch of pizza dough, you’ll usually have a leftover amount which you’ll then need to freeze. Remember, after you mix your dough, the yeast in the dough will start fermenting. So, after it initially rises, roll the dough into balls, freeze them on a tray for 24 hours (make sure they are covered), and then transfer the balls into zip bags or containers.
In summary, it’s always a good idea to freeze your pizza bases once they have their initial rise. After all, it’s the yeast you can do!
Are Pizza Bases Gluten Free?
Most pizza bases are not gluten-free because they usually contain wheat. Gluten is a protein which naturally occurs in all forms of wheat. The good news is that you can buy pizza bases which are specifically gluten-free. The better news is that our Letizza gluten-free pizza bases taste better than typical gluten-free bases, which are usually tasteless.
Are Pizza Bases Vegan?
There’s not a simple answer to this one. You really need to check the ingredients of an individual pizza base to determine if it’s vegan (not derived from animals) or not. While many forms of pizza dough do not contain eggs or milk, some might have a small amount of cheese.
Can you use Pizza Bases after the expiration date?
Using a pizza base after its expiry date is a risky idea and not recommended. A better solution is to buy pre-baked pizza bases with a long shelf life. Letizza authentic Italian-recipe gourmet pizza bases have a shelf life of 3 months in the pantry and 12 months in the freezer.
Can you use Normal BBQ Sauce for Pizza Base?
Normal BBQ sauce is an excellent choice to spread over your pizza base, because it’s delicious and not overly sweet. If you’re wondering, “What do you put on a pizza base after the BBQ sauce?”, it goes especially well with chicken and shredded cheese. We recommend our Chicken and Pumpkin Pizza recipe because it’s easy to make, starting with a handcrafted Letizza pizza base, plus the toppings are filled with protein. And you’re even getting some veggies!
How do you Make Pizza Bases Crispy in the Oven?
How long does it take to cook a pizza base to make it crispy? Well, it’s less a question of “how long” and more of a question of “how often”! Plus, you can take three other steps for a crispier crust. To explain:
- Pre-bake the base before you add the toppings, and then give it all a final bake. If you don’t pre-bake, the bottom of your cooked pizza could still be a little wet and doughy instead of crispy. To skip pre-baking, you can always buy a pre-baked pizza base.
- Roll the dough out a bit more thinly. The thinner you make the base, the better chance of it being cooked right through and being crisp. But don’t make it too thin.
- Adding a bit more water to your dough formula can help make it stretchier and become crispier during baking.
- Drizzle the dough with olive oil for extra crispiness in your pizza base. Hey, how can you top that?
Do Pizza Bases Contain Eggs?
If egg is off your diet, then you’re in luck! Typical pizza dough recipes do not contain eggs. The more common recipes have ingredients such as flour, yeast, water and a pinch of salt, which would also make them suitable for a vegan diet. However, if you really want to put eggs in the dough for your pizza base, you can. Just be aware that eggs will soften your dough and make it richer. Or you can add egg whites to your dough, which can help make your final crust a little crispier. But most people who want eggs with their pizza prefer it as a topping, such as with an Aussie pizza, using tomato paste, ham and bacon with the egg on top.
How Many Calories are in a Pizza Base?
The answer to this depends on the ingredients used in the pizza base and also the size. That is, will you be eating a 6” pizza or a 12” one? A 12” pizza has four times as much dough (400g) as the 6” pizza base (100g) and will therefore have four times as many calories. As a ballpark figure, 100g of pizza crust contains about 250 calories, depending on the ingredients. So a 6” pizza crust has 250 calories, and an 8” crust (200g) has about 500 calories. Note that a gluten-free pizza base can be quite different, and 100g (6” pizza) of this base could contain anywhere between 230 to 340 calories.
How to Make a Healthy Pizza Base?
Keeping the ingredients simple – wheat flour, yeast, water and maybe a pinch of salt or olive oil – helps to keep your pizza base healthy. If you prefer a gluten-free pizza base, you can use almond flour, rice flour or oat flour. You can also use recipes with healthy toppings, such as our Vegetarian Zucchini & Feta Pizza recipe!
Can you use Wraps as a Pizza Base?
Of course you can. But you need to bear a few things in mind:
- If you are using a tortilla wrap, you simply switch out the regular pizza base with the wrap, then add the toppings.
- It’s best to place the wrap directly onto a pizza tray before you add the toppings. This will avoid the problem of having to transfer the pizza after you top it, because the tortilla base is quite thin and could start tearing apart.
- If you want to use a lot of toppings on this thin crust, it might be best to pre-cook some of the toppings so that the pizza doesn’t become unevenly cooked. After all, who wants burnt crust or undercooked toppings?
Looking to Create your own Italian Pizza with Genuine Pizza Bases?
Make your own Italian pizza the quick and easy way. Pull your delicious pre-baked Letizza gourmet pizza base out of the fridge, and let your imagination run wild! We’ve got a swag of recipe suggestions to help get you started. Our handcrafted range of pizza bases includes our original Italian recipe, wholemeal, olive-infused and garlic-infused, as well as gluten-free pizza bases. You can get them online, and at various independent supermarkets, greengrocers, and delis throughout Australia.