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Trader's Joe Pizza Dough, A Catastrophe

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Super wet, impossible to handle and flavorless to boot. Is this a joke? I had such a terrible time with this dough tonight that I wanted to put it out there and see if anybody had a different opinion. BTW, I bake my pizzas on a stone in an oven heated to 500F.

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  1. hmm, perhaps they've changed the recipe in the past couple of years, or you got a bad one...? i did a quick search, and there were a few posts from '08 & '09 that indicated it was a decent product - no mention of the issues you described:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/535825
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5947...
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/612994

    1. purchased frozen or thawed?

      i'm not a big fan of tj's dough - i've had some turn out great and others not so, sometimes the fresh (thawed) stuff has sat too long and is spent. yours sounds a bit like that.

      1. i didn't like it either. bought "fresh" in the refrigerated section. it was blah-tasting and very hard to manage. it fought back !

        2 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          It fought back? How "fresh" of it.
          So did you manage to subdue that crusty crust?

          1. re: Tripeler

            i really was not successful, hence my trepidiation about another "round."

        2. They've been selling it for years now and I buy it at all times of the year. I've learned to look at the date sticker, make sure it isn't risen in the bag (i.e., is small and smooth/no bubbles showing and it isn't really sticking to the plastic) and to get it home and into the fridge quick.

          I cook it on the BBQ (propane) grill in the summer and in the hot oven w/ stone in colder months. It does have a good flavor. I don't like the 'herb' one though-weird flavors in the dough. Don't knead the dough - pretty much just flatten it out.

          I have found that in the summer/hot months/days, the individual store may have had a problem storing the dough before putting it out for sale and the whole batch in the fridge is bad- or dated.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            maybe i'll give it another chance. pizza on the grill is great!

            1. re: alkapal

              It is so easy to make really great PIZZA DOUGHS. The book "AMERICAN PIE", by Peter Reinhart has several variations. Starting with Napoletana, neo-Napoletana,NY style, etc. I have found, making a batch for 4 pies and freezing each works very well.
              The book is entertaining as well; as
              reinhart depicts his hunt for the best Pizza in the world. New Haven, NYC, L.A. all produced contenders!!!

              1. re: ospreycove

                oh, i know it is easy -- esp. when i use our breadmaking machine. just lazy sometimes.

                1. re: ospreycove

                  Yes, that book is wonderful and I do have a copy of it. However, the dough has to wait at least a few hours, or better yet, overnight in the fridge. I didn't have time to whip up a batch and let it slowly rise. Lesson learned, however. Not more TJ's vile pizza dough!

                2. re: alkapal

                  yeah, if you get it while it's fresh it's not bad dough - the plain stuff, not the herb, which i agree is weird.

                  if you can get it frozen, and keep it in your freezer until ready to thaw, my experience is this is the best dough. i'd say this applies as a general rule for all store-bought dough, though.

                3. re: Cathy

                  If they use a heat activated yeast, you want to make sure you get the dough up to room temperature 60-70 degrees prior to using it. And in all actuality, those bubbles you see are a very very good thing. Fresh dough hasnt had the time to rise yet (no bubbles) and the finished product I would equate to cheap no-name english muffins. Older dough (preferably 3-5 days old) has plenty of little bubbles formed in the dough which makes your crust light and airy - just like a Thomas english muffin, lots of nooks and crannies.

                  1. re: joe777cool

                    Slow fermantation will produce a mellower finished product, even better, pull off part of the current aged second rise and use it for your next batch.(Pugliese).

                4. i have always had great results with the tj pizza dough. i find that if you let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes, it will behave beautifully, and not fight you in the way you describe. if the dough is nearly room temp, instead of fridge-cold, it won't shrink back as you roll or hand-form it. i almost always do mine on the grill, and it's a reliable dough for that purpose. last night's version had trader giotto pesto, some burrata and a little serrano ham. so, so good!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chez cherie

                    I did bring it to room temperature both of the times I tried this dough. The problem wasn't that it shrank back. It was super wet and stuck to my hands and messed up my paddle, no matter how much flour I used.

                  2. I agree that it can be a little difficult to work with. I leave it on the counter at least 1/2 hour before tackling it. BTW, I like the wheat dough--it has a little sweetness to it.