When frozen pizza goes on sale, I stock up with the best of them. My favorite is the Tombstone Garlic Bread Pizzas–they weigh more, thus giving a more substantial meal when serving. However, I love homemade pizza. It’s rare that more than two weeks will go by without some variation on pizza dough. And I’ve always been a little curious about how far I could go to get the best of both worlds. I’ve made a double batch of dough and frozen half of it. Then I stretched it into a crust shape and froze that. The next step: my own frozen pizza. Could it be done? Yes, my friends, it can! It’s not as easy as the grocery store stuff, but I can guarantee it tastes good and is worth the effort when you want an easy but good pizza.
In a nutshell, it involved making the dough, baking the crust a bit, then cooling the crust, topping it, and freezing. I only topped this first one with sauce and cheese, but you could add the toppings before you freeze and wrap it. Otherwise, just top it with the extra stuff when you take it out to bake. The crust was crispier than I usually get it because of the prebaking before freezing, but it was good.
So, here’s my recipe. The dough is from my mom who got it from a teacher in Saginaw, Michigan (Mr. Stindt).
- 1 cup water
- 1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well till dough forms. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled (you can help this process by turning on the oven to warm, turning it off, and then placing the bowl in the warm oven for 20 minutes or so).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal, flour, or lightly grease it. Roll or stretch dough into desired pizza shape on the sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until dry and just starting to brown a little. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Top with desired sauce (I use the canned stuff because it’s easy) and about 2 cups of cheese. You may add other toppings at this time, if desired. Freeze on the cookie sheet for 3 hours or until very firm. Remove from freezer; wrap pizza in two or three layers of plastic wrap (foil would work, too, and if you really want to keep it rigid, use a cardboard circle wrapped in there) and freeze until you want to bake it.
To cook frozen pizza:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I also used a pizza stone to bake the pizza out of its frozen state). Remove pizza from freezer; top with other ingredients if you’d like. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Let sit for 2 minutes; cut and serve.
So the next time I make homemade pizza, I’ll probably make an extra to freeze. What a great thing to have on hand when you invite someone over for a spontaneous get-together! Or surprise a friend who could use a hand with a homemade meal they can make on their own time. My estimated cost of the plain cheese pizza (with ingredients like the cheese on sale) is somewhere around $3.00. Even if you top it with everything, it’s not going to run you more than $6 or so. Not bad for homemade convenience at its best!