What kind of cheese goes on pizza?
What kind of cheese goes on pizza? This is the third most asked question I am asked. Right behind, how did you learn how to make pizza, and can I play with the dough? All are very good questions but today we are going to focus on what kind of cheese goes on pizza.
So really, what kind of cheese goes on pizza? Let’s see, there’s mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, romano, parmesan and even colby. The real answer is whatever kind of cheese you want. Most pizza shop use a blended cheese. My personal recipe calls for 2 parts mozzarella to 1 part lightly smoked provolone. I also add a pinch of romano cheese on top of the sauce.
The reason we use mozzarella is for its ability to produce big dark splotches of caramelization (the dark spots in the cheese on a cooked pizza). This is known as blistering. The image below is a great example of cheese blistering.
Mozzarella is made by repeatedly stretching and molding fresh curds. For that reason it has a lot of elasticity. Mozzarella melts great as well. However too much mozz and your pizza will look like a deep fried cheese stick that just came out of the fryer. You know when you’re hungry and your cheese sticks arrive, you try to break one in half and you produce a string of cheese that won’t stop. That’s the effect you will get with 100% mozzarella.
Lightly Smoked Provolone
Like I said earlier, my recipe is 2 to 1, 2 mozzarella to 1 provolone. Provolone is a semi-hard Italian cheese, it also varies in flavor depending on how long the cheese was aged. The provolone I use is lightly smoked. The smoking of this cheese takes the edge off and makes it a little less sharp. Provolone and mozzarella couldn’t be more different. That’s why they make a great team. It also lightly blisters (not as much as mozzarella).
Cheddar is a sharp-tasting cheese is sometimes used with traditional pizza. Most of the time we see it on specialty pies, like buffalo chicken, Philly cheese steak and many other pizzas. Cheddar blisters very quickly in the oven. It can make your pies look burnt or very well done. That’s why if you are going to use cheddar, it’s a good idea to blend it in with your regular pizza cheese.
Those are the three main cheeses I use in the pizza making process. There are literally hundreds of different cheeses out there so go ahead and experiment. Let me know what you think in the comments. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.