Frozen pizza is one of my guilty pleasures. I like frozen pizza. I eat frozen pizza often. For many years...Tombstone was my favorite pizza (hanging my head in shame). Actually, it still is. But a couple of years ago the Tombstone pizza supply became... unreliable.
I don't know what happened. Tombstone pizzas went from being everywhere to nowhere overnight. So I tried some different pizzas. I found a couple I like and ....reading the ingredients can be oh, shall we say, disconcerting.
The middle of last summer I took on a personal project to master frozen pizza. The trick is to pre bake the dough. So, starting with the dough. I honestly don't remember where I got this recipe but it's my "go to" pizza dough recipe.
100% Whole wheat pizza dough
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ cups of warm water
- 1 package of yeast (a tablespoon)
- pinch of salt
- 1 (generous) tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
I make each of those wedges into a ball and let them rise under a towel for 20 or 30 minutes.
I slap those balls of dough down flat, bag them and refrigerate them overnight. Believe it or not they'll rise again in the refrigerator.
Then I'll take those balls of dough, roll them out flat (I use a wine bottle) and then here's the secret. Dot the rolled out dough with a fork and bake it at 350 ° for 3 or 4 minutes. It's ready when you start to smell "bread", and the dough is dry and stiffened.
Let this cool completely.
Put a cookie sheet in the freezer.
Add sauce. To your pizza.
I like Hunt's 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce. I mix 4 anchovies and 2 cloves of chopped garlic with one 8 oz. can. I splash in some olive oil too. I get 4 pizzas from a can of tomato sauce. That's 2 oz. for each pizza.
Scatter some cheese and some toppings over the sauce. I use either a shredded Italian blend or a shredded whole milk mozarrella. On a couple of occasions I've used freshly grated Romano and Parmesan. Delicious but that can get expensive.
I find onions and bell peppers make the best toppings. Then I freeze the pizza on that cookie sheet in the freezer.
Then I bag the pizza and put it away.
Now, when I want a frozen pizza? I put one of those on the rack in a 450 ° oven for about 13 minutes. And I find they're actually pretty good pizzas!
The first couple of times I did this I thought well, this is hardly worth the trouble. But having had some practice now I can practically make these in my sleep. The dough is very forgiving. I've let the whole big ball rise, flatten it out and refrigerated it overnight and divided it up the next day. I've let it rise and rolled it out right away. The only real rule? Standard rule for pizza dough: if it "springs back" when you roll it? Let it rest a couple of minutes and try again.
While in the past I've found handling dough a pain I've found handling the dough is a pleasant and satisfying thing to do. And I'm inspired to make some rolls and maybe I'll even make my own hamburger buns! And my ingredients list is a *lot* shorter than the packaged pizzas!