Trends

Broaden your offering with variety of pizza bases

Key points
  • Wholemeal, sourdough, gluten free, flaxseed, spelt or chilli-flavoured are just some of the pizza base options now finding their way into foodservice outlets    
  • Each pizza base you add should have its own distinct flavour and texture and you’ll find some have a longer life than others
  • A little creativity goes a long way in developing recipes to go with bases and you can seek inspiration from other cuisine items
  • It’s best to start out with a nominal amount of each new base and build over time in response to customer demand        

OFFERING A VARIETY of pizza bases can boost your business by appealing to a broader cross-section of customers. Wholemeal, sourdough and gluten free pizza bases are becoming increasingly commonplace on pizza menus and more recent additions like pizza bases made from flaxseed or spelt or flavoured with chilli are now finding their way into foodservice outlets.

And with plant-based ingredients now trending high on foodservice menus, naturally grain-free pizza bases such as those made from cauliflower are in demand among consumers. These can be made by steaming fresh cauliflower until tender, then breaking it down in a food processor until it becomes rice-like in texture. You can even avoid this step by buying pre-riced cauliflower which is available fresh or frozen. Once the cauliflower is ‘riced’ you simply wrap it in a cheesecloth or porous bag and squeeze out the excess moisture, then add binding ingredients such as egg, some Perfect Italiano Grated Parmesan and season with some Italian dried herbs. Roll out and bake until it’s dry and golden and you’re ready to go.

Each pizza base you add to the menu should have its own distinct flavour and texture and some businesses strive to have up to five different bases on offer. But to do so, you need to have a system in place for keeping track of how many you sell so you can be sure supply meets demand.

You can develop your own pizza bases by experimenting with different types of flour and you’ll find that some bases have a longer life than others. Pizza bases made with wholemeal or sourdough tend to have a shorter life whereas gluten free pizza bases often cook better from frozen so they can be made in advance then kept in the freezer until required.

A little creativity goes a long way in developing new flavours and textures and you can seek inspiration from other cuisine items. For example, Club Perfect Ambassador and award-winning pizzamaker Theo Kalogeracos has created an Atlantic Salmon pizza with the base infused with Perfect Italiano Parmesan and fresh dill to impart a distinctive flavour and texture.

You too can come up with signature recipes by using different toppings with different bases – bearing in mind the flavours and textures must complement each other. For example, a sourdough base is an ideal accompaniment to a particularly moist topping (such as roasted porchetta) because the sourdough will absorb the moisture and add to the overall taste experience.

When adding new bases to the menu, it’s best to start out with a nominal amount and build over time in response to customer demand. Don’t be afraid to have a limited number and sell out – it’s better to do that and maintain quality rather than keeping extra on the shelf in the hope that someone will come in and order them. Work out how much stock you can afford to lose especially at the start. That way you can begin with, for example, 20 spelt bases per day and bump the number up to 25 or 30 once they start selling. And of course, keep an eye on how many are selling – because not all choices may work with customers in your area.