Friday night is usually pizza night at our house. I always like to serve “fun food” on Friday night, and pizza is actually the easiest fun food I know how to make. Hands-on time is about 10 minutes, and what comes out of my oven tastes like we paid $40.00 for it.
(I don’t know why I have pics of not-quite-done pizza, just know that the crust gets nice and brown and crispy.)
The down side is, sometimes on Friday afternoon I don’t really feel like making the dough. I mean there’s all that measuring (we’re talking 5 ingredients here people) and then there’s the mess to clean up (two bowls and a measuring spoon; this could set me back at least 3 minutes!). And some days I’m not going to be home around the time the dough would need to be started. (That’s a much better excuse isn’t it? You do have start the dough on time.)
So, on those days when I need a different way to get the pizza on the plates by 7:00, I turn to the freezer. Oh yeah… my friends, you can make pizza dough and freeze it. The trick is knowing at what point in the process to freeze it.
Here’s how I do it:
A word about yeast: The only way you can hurt your yeast (and totally ruin your pizza dough) is to get it too hot. The water you use should be quite warm, but not hot. It’s better err on the side of too cool. Yeast will eventually do its thing even in the fridge, but it won’t ever do anything if you kill it. So, if you couldn’t very comfortably leave your finger in that water, it’s too hot.
If you have 5 minutes, go ahead and let that rest a bit.
If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid, you can totally still make this dough. I did it in a bowl, using a fork, for many years, even after my grandmother gave me her Kitchen Aid! It’s not a stiff dough, so it’s pretty easily done the “old fashioned way”. (But if ya got it… use it, right?)
When you’ve let it mix a while (2-5 minutes) transfer it from the bowl to a floured surface.
At this point I knead it just a few times just to get it all combined nicely, and because I actually enjoying kneading dough… for about the first minute.
If you’re going to make the pizza now, just leave it in one ball and follow these steps on my Pizza recipe.
If you’re making this to put in the freezer for later, follow these steps.
If you’re cooking for 2-3 people, freeze them in separate freezer bags. If you’ll use both; making 2 pizzas that will feed 2-4 each, then freeze them together in one freezer bag. Label it and get it in the freezer right away, you don’t want the yeast to start working.
*Note; this bag says “thaw 3-4 hours” but I think it’s safer to say 4-5 hours, depending on how warm your house is. The thawing time includes the time for it to rise.
To defrost the dough:
Remove from freezer.
Click over and follow the steps in my pizza recipe, scroll down to where it says “Let it rise”.
And there it is, the world’s best pizza dough, right in your very own freezer. (Incidentally, I’ve tried many pizza dough recipes. I don’t know why, I’ve had this one forever. My aunt, who makes the best pizza in the world, taught me how. I guess I’m just a sucker for a new recipe. I even tried one by a very popular blogger and guess what? It doesn’t get crispy! I can not eat homemade pizza that doesn’t get crispy on the edges. It’s sacrilege. So take my advice, and go with this one.)
Now I want some pizza!
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 TBSP oil
- 1 tsp salt (don't be cheap here. If it's course salt use a little extra.)
- 3 cups flour
- Mix all ingredients well.
- On a lightly floured surface, kneed dough to combine and form into a ball.
- Cut dough in half, reshape each piece into a ball, and then press into a disk.
- Label and freeze.
- Let thaw on the counter for about 4 hours, making sure it doubles in size before making your pizza.
- Cook pizza on 425° for about 15 minutes.
- See post for more detailed instructions.
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