Planning Ahead for Pizza Night

Friday night I made pizza, even though it was just me here for dinner. I happen to love pizza! I made my new favorite bread machine pizza dough recipe and divided it into 4.  I rolled three of the pieces of dough out and baked them one at a time at 450F on parchment paper and a pizza stone for about 4-5 minutes.

pizza crusts ready for freezing

Pizza Crusts

After they cooled off, I packed them into 1 gallon freezer bags. So now I have 3 other pizza shells that are as convenient as those Boboli crusts people seem so fond of that cost over $5 in my local grocery store.

Granted, you have to freeze them rather than keep them in your pantry but the cost factor more than makes up for that if you make pizza regularly.

I also bought a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese at Costco recently.  When I made the pizza from 1/4 of the dough, I counted out that it took me about 3 handfuls to get the amount of cheese I like, so I froze the rest of the cheese in 1 quart freezer bags in similar quantities.

mozzarella for freezing

Mozzarella for Freezing

 

homemade pizza

Making your Own Pizza

Here’s my new favorite recipe for pizza dough from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine. I use a Zojirushi BB-CEC20WB Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, White (affiliate link) but you can make it by hand as well, or mix it up in a Kitchen Aid mixer and let it rise. It’s only worth buying a bread machine if you make a lot of bread!  See my post about getting high usage out of a bread machine.  If you do commit, you can easily make it pay for itself.

Pizza Dough in a Bread Machine

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup semolina flour
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp SAF yeast

Add everything to your bread machine in the order recommended by your particular brand of machine. I often do this early and let it get an extra rise in by punching it down a bit at some point. At other times, I rush the process and don't let it a full rise. Just to say that you don't need to be tied down to the machine!

Once the dough is ready (or once YOU are ready!), lightly flour a board or counter and pull out the dough. This can make 4 thin crust 8" pizzas or 2 thin 12-14" pizzas or one 17x11" pizza.

Divide the dough into however many pizzas you're making and form into a disc shape by kneading a few times then flattening by hand. Cover with a slightly damp clean towel and let rest 30 minutes.

That 30 minutes is a great time to make your sauce, cut up your veggies, etc. Also, if you have a pizza stone, start preheating your oven to 450F or 500F with the stone in it.

Roll or press out your pizza (with your hands), Put a piece of parchment paper on a pizza stone (or the back of a cookie sheet!) and move the pizza dough onto it. Top with tomato sauce and then your cheese and then your toppings.

Slide onto the pizza stone and bake until done to your liking. It really depends on the size of your pizza. But likely 12-15 minutes. If you like a crispier top, switch to the broiler mode for a few minutes at the end.

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you. They looked to be about 12″ to me but I wanted to confirm my guestimate. when I want to freeze floppy things I put them on a piece of cardboard before placing in the freezer. When frozen I can remove the cardboard.

  2. June, I bake the dough before freezing because it’s easier to handle that way. The raw dough would be hard to keep in a circle and I want to be able to just pull it out and not mess with it. These pizzas fit in a 1 gallon freezer bag. Maybe close to 12″? You could freeze larger ones but you’d need something to wrap them in.

  3. I will have to purchase some semolina flour and so I can give this recipe a try.
    I have two questions:
    Why do you bake it before freezing instead of just putting the raw dough in the freezer?
    What size is the circle of dough?
    New to your blog but I am enjoying what I am reading
    June

  4. Betsy, I usually pull the pre-baked dough out of the freezer a few hours before dinner and just let it thaw on the counter. You could probably thaw in the refrigerator a day or two ahead, too. I just forget.

    Once it’s thawed, I put the sauce on and then the cheese and toppings while I preheat the oven to 450 or 500. I cook until it looks “done” and the cheese is melted, etc., probably 10 minutes. We tend to like ours on the “more done” side so sometimes I turn the broiler on near the end to get the top extra crispy.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Hi, Ellen! I enjoy your blog, and I thank you for this post. I’ve been beginning to make my own breads lately, and I have some pizza dough in the fridge right now, rising for tomorrow night. I was just thinking while making it how nice it would be to at least have homemade dough in the freezer, but your idea is WAY better. Your timing is impeccable!

    Will you please, when you have time, share your thawing process or instructions for using your frozen crusts? I’d sure appreciate it!

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