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Jan 18, 2008 06:30 PM

Frozen pizza dough

The last few times I bought frozen pizza dough (from a reputable, local Italian market) it just does not rise! I don't have the patience or desire to make my own dough, so please don't suggest that, but what the heck am I doing wrong?

I let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then mid afternoon put it in an oiled bowl and leave it on the counter or in my gas oven, depending on the room temp. Today I gave up on having pizza for dinner after it hadn't moved in 3 hours. Here it is almost 9 hours after I set it out to rise, and it's still as flat as anything.

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  1. I have a frozen pizza dough defrosting overnight in the fridge right as we speak. My guess is that your dough's yeast has become inactive unfortunately. You could very well have purchased dough where the yeast was *already* inactive. Dead yeast means no rise. No rise means sad pizza. Sad pizza usually triggers a hundred questions like 'What the heck did I do wrong?', and 'Honey, should we get a quart or a *pint* of chow fun?'.

    It's not your fault.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      If it was a one time deal, I wouldn't be so perplexed, but this is the third or fourth time! It's not always the same source either,which led me to think it's me.

      Should know better than to try home made pizza ever again

      1. re: irishnyc

        Can I ask how warm the dough is, as yeast will not become noticeably active until the temperature is over 45°F? I have never had much luck with freezing home-made dough or purchased yeast dough.

        I am intrigued as to why you don't want to make your own dough, as it is very easy to make. You can make a better dough than you can ever buy with 5 ingredients that you probably already have, plus 3 hours rising time.

        My avatar is a pizza that I made 3 weeks ago, and I will give you a time tested recipe if you are interested.

        1. re: Kelli2006

          ??? Whenever I use store pizza dough, I never expect it to rise. Isn't it put out for sale 'after' it has already risen?

          irishnyc, doesn't it make a very good pizza if you roll it out, top it and bake it?

          1. re: dolores

            It should rise at least 25%. If the dough does not show any activity, you will not get the essential oven-spring when it is baked.

            1. re: dolores

              That's what I thought, too... I always just roll mine out and top it.

              It's perfect every time!

            2. re: Kelli2006

              Kelli: Please post your recipe. Thanks

              1. re: nemo

                2 cups tepid water
                2 tsp or 1 package of yeast
                1 tsp of salt
                2.5 to 3 cups of bread flour. (AP is ok, but bread flour will result in a chewier texture)
                3 TB of olive oil (EVO isn't necessary)

                Mix the yeast and water and let bloom for 2-3 minutes. Stir in oil flour and salt and knead to a soft dough in your mixer or food processor. The dough should be slightly sticky but not able to be lifted by placing your palm on it. This can be kneaded by hand (approx 10 minutes)

                Place in a oiled bowl and cover with plastic, and let rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place. Punch down and knead for a minute, and let rise while covered for another hour in the bowl. Spread the dough on a oiled baking pan or a floured peel and let proof for 30 minutes while your oven/stone preheats.

                I like to prebake it for 5 minutes before topping, as this will result in both a chewy crust with a crisp bottom, but that is a personal choice. Top and bake for 12-15 minutes at 400.

                Rising time=yeasty flavor in the crust, so the longer you can let it rise the more flavor the crust will develop. 1-2 hours will suffice, but up to 8 hours at room temp is possible.

                You can flavor the dough with 1 tsp each of onion and garlic powder, but if you use onion/garlic salt, cut the added salt in 1/2.

                If you like a softer crust, you can add an additional Tbl of olive oil. You can also remove 1 TB if you like a crisper crust

                My amounts of flour are approximate, as it will vary depending on your chosen flour, the gluten content and the humidity of the day. My preferred flour is King Arthur bread flour.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  Thanks for this, Kelli. I can't wait to try it. A few questions. I'm assuming in the beginning you want to let water and yeast bloom, not flour? When you spread the dough on an oiled baking sheet or floured peel, are you spreading it pizza size or do you shape it after the 30 minute rise? Any hints on spreading? I usually just pull gently but not sure if that's optimal (given that I can't spin it). Finally, do you bake 12-14 minutes in addition to the prebaked 5 minutes? Thanks.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Chowser, I corrected the yeast/flour/water typo, Thanks for the hint.

                    You want to spread it as close as possible to finished pizza size. The gluten will usually cause it to shrink somewhat, but that can be corrected just before the blind baking. I use my knuckles on the underside to get to to the rough shape and then I tug at it with my palms and fingers on the pan.

                    You can use a rolling pin, but that doesn't give you the proper edge, if you care about that. I can't spin pizza dough either.

                    1. re: Kelli2006

                      Thanks. I've always had problems w/ the shrinkage but the 30 minute rest should help here. I do use that technique for spreading it out but need to do more to perfect it. I've heard that rolling pins will push out the air bubbles so I haven't used them but I will push down gently w/ my fingers (or not so gently if the gluten fights and I'm not in the mood to deal w/ it :-0 ).

                  2. re: Kelli2006

                    I'd like add a comment on tepid... Yeast is killed at temps. over 115, I believe, so if not sure use a thermometer the first couple times. To me the correct temp on my skin is warm, but not not.

                    1. re: scuzzo

                      The water should be skin temp or lower. I tend to use water that is approx 65-70°F. I tend to use cooler temp water in summer as I prefer long (8-12 hour) ferments.

          2. It's so, so easy and fast to make. I do it and I have a toddler! I generally use the cook's illustrated / ATK recipe subbing 1/2 the flour with whole wheat (makes it chewier and heartier, but still quite tasty). It's a food processor recipe. Here's a link to the one on the ATK website. Try it! You'll never buy frozen again...
            good luck!

            1. Thaw it room temp,stretch it out,put sauce and cheese on it,cook till done.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bobfxd

                That's what I do, and have never been disappointed.

              2. Hello with all the problem you're having with you frosen dough,,you should reconsider making your own,,it will be faster and taste better,,using rapid rise yeast you'll have your dough ready in less than 2 hours.. and you can make different type of dough like whole wheat etcc,,,

                1. As I said, I don't have the desire to make my own. Why? I have zero counter space. Not enough room to knead. The joy of apartment living. And no, I don't have a stand mixer to knead it for me or anything else like that. So yes, I know it's easy, it's just not logistically possible. Hounds are always good for answering the question you didn't ask. ;)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: irishnyc

                    irishnyc, when I can't get dough from the market, and have yeast in the house (I try to buy rapid rise, unless I don't read the package correctly), here's what I do. Very lazy, but effective and hubby said my last was a really good pizza.

                    I make the pizza by the sink, so I don't make a mess of the counter. I put the flour and other dry ingredients in a bowl (I think I read here that you're supposed to put the dry in the wet? I haven't tried that yet) -- let me know if you want my recipe -- then I put the yeast plus some sugar in a measuring cup of hottish warm water, wait a bit for it to foam, then add it to the dry ingredients.

                    I then put the bowl in the sink, plunge one hand (one hand free for more flour) in the bowl and whale away at the dough, adding more flour if it gets too sticky. Like my pie dough, I can tell by 'feel' when it's done. I then get another bowl, pour in some olive oil, coat the dough, cover, and let it rise. Even if it doesn't rise spectacularly, it usually always makes a good dough.

                    Easy, no? Lazy, yes? No mixer, no kneading on a counter, but I have always had good (sometimes very good) results. Last pizza I made had fresh mozzarella, homemade gravy, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms and lots of grated cheese.

                    1. re: irishnyc

                      I have a better suggestion for you. Stop at a local pizza shop the day that you want to make the pizza and ask to buy a ball of dough, most places will sell you one and that problem will be solved.