October 27, 2012

Make Your Own Frozen Pizzas

If you are a normal person and you love pizza, then I have a feeling you are going to love love love this post. One night a few weeks when I was really dreading making dinner, David suggested that he go buy a frozen pizza.

There were two problems with that suggestion:
  1. I rarely enjoy a store-bought frozen pizza (especially not the cheap ones which are usually all we can afford anyway).
  2. Well... you know what happens when you send your husband on a quick grocery store run. One item turns into twenty. You get my drift.
So I bucked up and made whatever I had planned for that night. But it got me thinking, "Can I make a more delicious freezer-ready pizza than a high quality store-bought one?". I have learned that the answer is undoubtably yes! I am so excited to share this knowledge with you. It is going to save your wallet and your taste-buds from buying something less wonderful than you should.

Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
A-hem. Well I suppose we should just get right down to business. That is why your visiting this blog, right? Here is what you will need:

  • 2 (12-inch) disposable aluminum pizza pans
  • 1 recipe fail-proof pizza dough 
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • yellow cornmeal
  • 1 pizza stone*
  • your favorite pizza toppings
  • plastic wrap
  • aluminum foil
First, prepare your pizza dough. It takes 1-2 hours to rise so plan ahead. When dough is ready, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees, placing the pizza stone in the oven before you even turn it on (the stone will heat up as the oven does). *Tip: If you do not have a pizza stone you can use an upside down cookie sheet instead.

Spray your pizza tins with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. 

Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Divide your dough in half. On a floured surface roll each dough half out into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to prepared baking pans.
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Now here is the most important step. Place the dough in the pan on your pizza stone and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until the dough just barely pulls away from the edge of the pan. Poke any bubbles with a knife. 

Want to know why this step is so dang important? It is going to ensure that the dough can no longer continue to rise while it freezes in your non-commercial freezer that technically cannot really "flash" freeze. Understand? Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
While the crust is cooling, prepare your toppings. Here are some topping tips and guidelines:
  1. Some vegetables need to be blanched before they are frozen. To do this bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Clean and cut veggies. Drop into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl filled ice water (this will stop the cooking process). After veggies have cooled remove from water and pat with paper towel to dry. Blanching vegetables ensures that they will keep their color in the freezer and will not be damaged by freezer burn. You do not need to blanch bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, or zucchini. Tip: For a quicker cook time, use store-bought frozen vegetables.
  2. Meats must be fully cooked.
  3. Not all cheeses are freezer friendly. For example delicate, crumbly cheese like bleu cheese or feta do not freeze well and can actually lose flavor while in the freezer. Stick to cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, and colby jack.
  4. You want all of your toppings to have cooled so that when you wrap the pizza for the freezer there is no steam trapped in the packaging. Steam will make freezer burn more likely.
For the first layer of toppings on our taco pizza, I spread some cold canned refried beans.

Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Next comes a mixture of cooked ground turkey and enchilada sauce (also cooled). Last time I made this taco pizza I also put taco seasoning in the ground turkey mixture, and it made the pizza taste way better. I forgot to add it this time. So do add taco seasoning if you are making this version of taco pizza. 
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Lastly we topped the pizza with fat-free cheddar cheese, olives, and green onions.
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Now all that is left to do is prep the pizza to go in the freezer. To prevent freezer burn you will need to double seal it, first with plastic wrap...
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
and then with aluminum foil.  
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
Dum-dah-da-dum!
Make a freezer ready pizza (there is more to it than you'd think!)-- cheaper than store-bought, better than DiGiorno, and they make an excellent gift for new moms :)
This delicious little sucker can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

When you are ready to finish cooking your pizza: Place pizza stone (or upside down cookie sheet) back in oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unwrap frozen pizza, but leave in disposable aluminum pan. When oven is heated, cook pizza in pan on stone for 15-18 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and hot. Remove from oven. Brush crust with melted butter.

The crust tastes better that DiGiorno, I can promise that much. Plus these are far more cost effective than buying frozen pizza. They are perfect for those nights when you are tempted to order pizza and they are sooooo convenient. Have I changed your life forever? Have I, have I? I hope so.

Another plus + Make a cute printable tag and tie this with some ribbon and you have an awesome meal for a new mom or a sick friend. If no one has brought them dinner already when you bring it to them it only takes a quarter of an hour to reheat from frozen. If they already have dinner that night just slip it in they're freezer. They'll be grateful.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough

Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 cups bread flour (give or take half a cup depending on heat and humidity)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and sugar into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.
  2. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding in remaining flour bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands.
  3. Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away. Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes!
  4. Remove finished dough from mixer and shape into a ball. Lightly grease a bowl & the dough (so it doesn't dry out). Put dough in prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours.
Recipe by Lauren's Latest
5 out of 5 stars

Taco Pizza

Ingredients
  • 1 recipe fail-proof pizza dough
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions
  • sliced black olives
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare pizza dough according to recipe directions. Split dough in half and roll into two twelve-inch pizzas.
  2. Brown ground turkey with taco seasoning until fully cooked. Add enchilada sauce.
  3. Spread half of the can of refried beans on each pizza. Top with half of the meat mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, and olives.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes if fresh and 15-18 minutes if frozen.
Recipe adapted from So Very Blessed
4 out of 5 stars w/o taco seasoning (add the taco seasoning!!!)

To read more about making a frozen pizza visit Home Made Simple.
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1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant idea! I was thinking about how nice it would be to have a frozen pizza ready when needed -- now I know just how to do it!

    ReplyDelete

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