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Making and freezing your own pizza

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Has anyone done this? Do I just make the crust, dress it, wrap it and freeze it? Any limitations on what should go on top (like maybe spinach would get slimy or something)? Cook it from frozen?


I really want to spend the day doing this today (don't know why, just woke up that way) but I don't really think I know how!



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I make dough and freeze it in balls, rather than pre-cooking the crust and freezing.


My recipes all call for a preferment (usually overnight), so freezing them is just a longer, much slower version of this. You'll find your crust might taste even better than made-the same night crust, as the fermentation in the freezer will aid in flavor development.


Here are some hints:


-put a bit of olive oil in your ziplock before you add your formed dough ball. This will aid in removing the dough from the bag upon thawing.


-Make sure your ball is the amount you want it to be when you form your pizza after thawing (don't a big blob of dough - 2 pies worth in one bag. Freeze individual baggies of dough, each baggie for 1 pie.


-When you go to thaw them, take out of the freezer with ample time to thaw (will depend upon your room temp.)


-Unwrap balls, and place on an oil or parchment and flour-dusted cookie sheet. I've done this both frozen and thawed with equally good results.


-Spray with a bit of oil (I have a Misto sprayer where I add my own olive oil) or dust with a bit of flour, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to thaw and come to almost room temperature. Form into your crusts and bake as usual.

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My recipes all call for a preferment (usually overnight), so freezing them is just a longer, much slower version of this. You'll find your crust might taste even better than made-the same night crust, as the fermentation in the freezer will aid in flavor development.



Do you mean ferment as in sourdough? Or just a slow cool rise?


Would you mind sharing your recipe? The one I use is just a standard white/whole wheat, mixed in my food processer and then one rise.

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Not sourdough (there is no sourdough starter, barm, biga or poolish), a slow rise preferment.


This yields 4 individual pizzas, about 10 - 12 inches in diameter. I believe it is one of Peter Reinhart's recipe, but it's cut out of a magazine, and it's so old, and I didn't include the whole article!


It's best to mix the dough at least a day before you plan to bake. It keeps for 3 days in fridge, or 3 months in freezer.


1 pound (3 1/2 cups) unbleached BREAD flour; more as needed

2 tsp. granulated sugar or honey

1 1/2 tsp. table salt or 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (I have always used standard commercial Red Star with perfectly fine results)

1 1/2 TBS. extra virgin olive oil; more as needed

Water (see directions for amount)

Semolina flour (optional; for dusting peel or pans)



Combine the flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast and olive oil in a large mixing bowl or in bowl of of an electric stand mixer. Add 11 fl. oz (1 1/4 cups plus 2 TBS) cool (60 - 65 degrees F) water. With a large spoon or paddle attachment of mixer on low speed, mix until the dough comes together in a course ball, 2 - 3 minutes by hand or 1 - 2 minutes in the mixer. Let the dough rest, uncovered, 5 minutes.



If using electric mixer, switch to dough hook. Knead for 2 - 3 minutes, either by hand on a lightly-floured surface or with hook on medium-low speed. As you knead, add more flour or water as needed to produce a ball that is smooth, supple and fairly tacky but not sticky. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a Post-It note, leaving only a slight residue. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl, but the sides.



Lightly oil a bowl that's twice the size of the dough. Roll in the bowl to coat it with oil, cover tightly with plastic wrap and fridge for at least 8 hours, and up to 3 days. It will rise slowly in the fridge but will stop growing once completely chilled. If the plastic bulges, release the carbon dioxide buildup and then reseal.


To freeze the dough:

After kneading, divide into 4 pieces. Freeze each ball in its own zipper bag. They'll ferment somewhat in the freezer and this counts as the rise. Before using, thaw completely in their bags overnight in the fridge, or on the countertop 2 - 3 hours. Then tread the dough exactly as you would overnighted dough, continuing for pizzas.


Let the dough warm up:

Take the dough out of the fridge, set on lightly oiled work surface, and divide into 4 equal pieces about 7 oz. each. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly oil with olive oil or cooking spray. Set each ball at least an inch apart on the parchment. Lightly spray or brush the balls with olive oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough warm up and relax to room temp for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


Get ready to make pizza:

If you have a baking stone, put on middle rack of oven. If not, set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on middle rack. Heat oven to its HIGHEST setting. (Don't be afraid! This is the key!) Fill a small bowl with semolina or flour and dust a 12" square area of clean work surface with a generous amount. Prepare a peel for transferring pizzas to oven, or have parchment ready (I use parchment).


Shape dough:

With floured hands, transfer one of the dough balls to the floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with flour, and gently press into a round disk - not to squeeze out the gas, but to gently spread the dough. With flour hands, carefully lift the disk of dough and rest it on the back of your hands or knuckles. Stretch the dough slowly. Don't force it. Shape into circle on the back of your knuckles. Let gravity pull it downward by hanging off of your hands. It should remain thicker on the edges, than the center, which should be almost paper thin.


Top as desired:

I'll just say this: less is more :) with this crust.



Bake until edge is puffy and brown with a slight char, and the underside is brown and fairly crisp, 5 - 7 minutes. Rotate after 3 minutes for even browning. Let rest 1 - 2 minute before cutting.

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Well, I've only made and frozen bagel pizzas so far - and since they are for my kids lunch, they've only been sauce and cheese:glare:- but I'm planning on making and freezing some regular pizzas soon.


What I plan on doing is making the pizza as though I were putting it in the oven, and then putting it in the freezer and wrapping it after it is frozen. I would suggest pre cooking the watery veggies - wilt the spinach, saute the mushroom, peppers, onions, etc. Otherwise, if I look at a store bought frozen pizza it's an uncooked crust with toppings. Don't see why that shouldn't work for home.

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