I’ve been meaning to try making my own pizza dough for the past couple of weeks but have been thinking it takes too long and my daughter would probably wake up in the middle of it. Well today I put that theory to the test. When she went down for her afternoon nap I did a bit of housework, then got my ingredients together for the dough. It only takes about 20minutes to make the dough and the rest of the time is spent waiting for it to rise. While that was happening I started on a simple tomato pizza sauce. That’s as far as I got and I heard a little voice whimpering on the monitor! I gave her something to eat, then the dough was a little over-risen perhaps but I ventured forth with the rest of the recipe. The dough had lots of stretch but was still relatively easy to shape. I had cooked chicken, mushrooms and onions left over from last night’s dinner so I chopped that up and put it on the pizza and popped it in the oven. I like my crust thin and crispy. After following the recipe as directed that’s exactly what I got. I grew up with Kraft pizza kits so I found the dough more yeasty than I was used to, but still good. I saved half the dough to make frozen mini pizzas. Directions for freezing and thawing pizza dough can be found at the bottom of this post.
Classic Pizza Dough
2 ½ to 3 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg regular or quick rise dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
Mix one cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add 3 tbsp of oil and the warm water.
Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, scrapping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Continue as directed below for thin or thick crust.
Thin crust: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets or 12 inch pizza pans with oil. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 12” circle on cookie sheets. Partially bake 7-8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Thick crust: Grease 2 square pans, 8×8 or 2 round pans 9 x 1 ½ inches, with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Dividew dough in half. Pat each into pans, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 30-45 minutes or until almost double in size. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Partially bake 20-22 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake another 20 minutes.
Quick Tomato Sauce for Pizza
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Fry the garlic in the oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Make Your Own Frozen Pizzas
To make your own frozen pizzas I found these tips from favouritefreezerfoods.com
1. Par Bake Pizza Crust
To par bake a pizza crust preheat your oven to 500 F and roll out your dough. Bake the dough for 3 minutes on a cookie sheet and then remove from the sheet to a wire rack, let cool, wrap, label and freeze.
I prefer par baking my crust because when I don’t sometimes the dough doesn’t cook through in the middle. By par baking the crust is firm enough that I can put it right on the oven racks and the crust is always cooked through in the center.
2. Freeze Pizza Dough
All of these pizza crusts should be cooled if necessary, wrapped in plastic wrap then covered in tin foil. I find this gives a tighter fit than a freezer bag for large bulky things like this. If your freezing more than one pizza crust make sure they have their own layer of plastic and wrap them in the same piece of tin foil.
Label with the stage they were frozen at and the date. For example “Par baked pizza dough, Mar 21,12” or “Assembled BBQ chicken pizza, Mar 21,12.”
After Rising Cut the dough in half and shape into disks. Freeze the two disks for later. The disk shape keeps them flat and even for storage and will help them thaw faster than a ball form.
After Rolling Place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and flash freeze the dough until frozen solid an hour or two.
Par baked Bake the pizza crust for 3 minutes and remove from the oven, set on a wire rack to cool before freezing.
Pizza Kit Put your sauce in a small freezer bag, in a second bag add your shredded cheese and in a third bag put all of your freezable toppings.
Add a par baked crust and put in a large freezer bag together or wrap the crust in plastic wrap and wrap everything inside a large piece of tin foil.
This is great for getting kids involved in dinner makes and also guarantees that when you want pizza you’ll have all the ingredients.
Assembled Pizza If your par baking let the pizza crust cool for a few minutes before adding topping, if your not just add them to the crust after shaping. Make sure the topping are not hot.
Cooked Pizza There is really no benefit to fully cooking your pizza before freezing unless you want a meal in less than 2 minutes. If you try to reheat it in the oven you’ll have a burnt crust so just use the microwave.
I recommend letting the pizza cool then slicing it and freezing the individual slices. This way you have single serving sizes that your family can grab and eat on the run.
3. Thaw and Reheat Frozen Pizza Dough
After Rolling Let the dough thaw at room temperature, roll, top and bake at 500 F for 10-15 minutes.
Par Baked Crust Preheat oven to 400 F and top pizza as desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Put the par baked pizza crust directly on the oven rack unless you’re using a pizza stone.
Assembled Pizza Preheat oven and bake at 400 F for a par baked pizza about 10-15 minutes until golden brown, no cookie sheet required. If the crust wasn’t par baked bake at 450 F on a cookie sheet or pizza stone until golden brown and bubbly about 15 minutes.
Cooked Pizza Let thaw in the fridge or heat from frozen in the microwave. Start with 30 seconds per slice at full power and adjust from there. I wouldn’t try to heat more than 3 slices at a time.