Store Bought Pizza Crust
Even though we have some great pizza places in Philly, I'd ike to try making some at home. But every time I start to read the recipe for homemade pizza dough, my eyes glaze over and I reach for my delivery menus. The whole process (kneading, proofing, etc.) just seems too time consuming, although I'm sure it is worth the effort.
Has anyone found a decent store bought crust (Boboli?) that they like to use? If so, do you still use a pizza stone with it?
The only way I'm happy using Boboli is if I grill it (with toppings) for about 10 minutes at 400 on my gas grill. Otherwise I think it's kind of flabby. If you have Trader Joe's in your area, they sell pizza dough for about a dollar a pound. I've gotten around this whole problem by getting take-and-bake pizzas from a couple local pizza places. That way I can cook them whenever.
I love making personal pizzas on unsliced pita bread. There's a local bakery here (Holy Land in Minneapolis) that makes these delicious garlic pitas that make perfect crusts. I just top 'em like a pizza and bake directly on the oven rack (so they're crispy). Top with dried tyme for an extra zip and good looks.
The Trader Joe's pizza dough is a pretty average, in my opinion, but still better than getting take out. I noticed it needed WAY more sitting-on-counter proof time than claimed.
Another option for a less traditional crust is that boxed Jiffy pizza crust. Costs like 30 cents and it pretty good if you bake the pizza in a pie pan instead of pizza sheet (makes it thicker) with a good bit of olive oil and corn meal. Also allow more rise time than directed.
And do you have a bread machine? Most will make pizza dough for you.
Many pizzerie will sell you raw dough.
Trader Joe's is also fine.
Definitely use a pizza stone. Even with a half-baked takeout pizza it gives much better results.
Yes, your local pizzeria may sell it to you; I recently called our favorite place and they sell it, though I forgot to ask "how much?" In addition, our Publix grocery stores sell one-pound bags of fresh pizza dough in the bakery and they do nicely for $1.49 per bag and they usually sell out on Friday nights.
I make mine in a bread machine using the dough setting. I store it in the fridge in a gallon ziplock bag. Straight from the machine it's ready to form, top and bake. To use later from the ziplock you may just have to punch down. It's really easy. Here's the recipe I use:
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 olive oil
3 1/4 flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
Put in your bread machine in that order, making sure the flour covers the water completely so the yeast won't touch the liquid. Run through dough cycle. Top with desire toppings and bake either with or without pizza stone. I can't remember what degrees I set my oven, whatever happens to run through my head at the time. Usually hot. I don't always use red sauce. To me, some of the best pizza is brushed with olive oil, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes and chunks of mozzerella. I also love chopped prosciutto with carmelized onions. Good luck
Make the dough!! You'll be happier in the long run. It's like a lot of procedures that seem too involved when reading the instructions but end up as enjoyable processes once we've done them a few times and get used to the pacing of the activity. Not hard, just another little learning curve.
Once you've done it a few times, you get the benefit of making it what ever way you want. Add herbs to the dough, use some whole wheat flour - what ever.
Plus you get the self-satisfaction after even your very first pizza that you make.
I dunno if you have a TJ's near you, but I've been happy using their pizza dough... Although NOTHING beats homemade... :)
I buy our pizza dough at an Italian bakery. Like others said, you could also ask your favorite pizza place if they'll sell you raw dough. It tastes better than anything you could buy in the supermarket (i.e. Boboli).
And yes, still use the pizza stone.
TJ's is OK, but of course homemade is much better. I make Wolfgang Puck's recipe, bake the crusts partially, and freeze them for quick meals later on.
Here in SF you can buy Vicolo's (sp?) cornmeal crusts, which are ready to fill and bake. They are very different from regular pizza crust, but we like them a lot. Actually, I'd like to find a recipe for that kind of crust - at $4.99 for 2 crusts, I'm pretty sure I could make something similar for a lot less money.
TJ's dough definitely works for me, although of course homemade is better. Just get that oven hot! I do mine at 550, which is my max. Both whole wheat and plain versions at TJs are good.
Boboli works, I like the thin crusts best. And yes, as The Librarian said, they taste best charred on the grill, but you can get a good effect using a pizza stone too. Rub the crust with a garlic clove before doing anything else!
My local supermarket sells pizza dough. It has no instructions. I let it rise. It will not even start to rise until the entire thing reached room temperature. Since it is purchased from the refrigerated section and I store it in the fridge, that means putting it in a lightly oiled covered bowl in my kitchen overnight.
I get up in the morning, punch it down, kneed it a bit and do the oiled bowl thing again. Each time it rises (doubles in size in the bowl) I go through the same procedure until it is time to eat.
To my experience the dough, right from the store, is unworkable. The more often you go through the rising procedure the more easily it is to work into the shape you want without pulling back and the better the dough turns out.
If you are in the mood for super thin pizza, try using lavash. If you go to Trader Joe's, they carry white and whole wheat versions (our household prefers the whole wheat).
Here is an example:
I change up the toppings, so the last version I made was first brushed with garlic oil, then topped with small amounts of drained, grated whole milk mozzarella, jarlsberg, caramelized onions, very thinly sliced andouille sausage and greens on the side.
If you like charred crackerbread-type pizzas, you can put it on the grill, and get crispy, charred to your taste results in just a few minutes.
We prep and cook them on parchment paper to ease moving to/from cookie sheets or grill.
Giant and wegmans sells the dough refrigerated in a bag. Giant has it near the deli and I think Wegmans might be near the bakery. The flat prebaked crusts are terrible! The dough is good and takes all the proofing and needing out of it. Nothing rises at my house other wise I would make it myself.