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Minnesota Cooking: Homemade Pizza - The Crust has Risen Indeed

Updated on November 30, 2017
Frozen Ball of Crust
Frozen Ball of Crust

Home Made Pizza

I got frozen pizza dough ball from the butcher shop.

The idea of having delicious, home made pizza is appealing to me. My husband suggested that I make some pizza, and I resisted, remembering the days of old when my sister would get out a box of Jeno's Pizza maker and mix the dough and the results were less than wonderful. One time, the pizza dough tasted like soap. I suppose she could not be accused of not washing her hands, but, the cooked dough had a horrible flavor.

So, I have been skeptical of homemade pizza, for almost my entire life. Well, at least, until today, when I took that ball of frozen dough out of my freezer and contemplated scenarios.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen dough ball, thaw and raise to double
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, Contadena
  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch, Garlic and Herb
  • 1/4 cup onion, microwaved
  • 1 beef stick, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, frozen
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Thaw and raise dough. Stretch and spread over pan. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Add sauces. Fill crust. Put toppings on pizza. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cook Time

Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 12 hours 15 min
Yields: pizza for 1, two or 8
Cast your vote for Home made Pizza

Dough Raising

I almost jumped into pizza toppings first, but, that doesn't solve the problem of this frozen dough ball I have.

When I make homemade bread, you know, the bread dough comes in a bag and you spray the outside of the dough ball with cooking spray and you put it in a plastic, air tight box, and you put it somewhere warm.

As I pondered, my feet were on an air register from our furnace, and the heat was blowing up through my feet and was nice and warm. Click. Why not use that heat source to raise my crust?

Why not?

spray dough  ball with cooking spray. Close lid.
spray dough ball with cooking spray. Close lid.
Place near or on the furnace grate
Place near or on the furnace grate

Cooking Spray

When I first raised bread dough, years ago, I had to put oil on it, and wrapped it in a piece of plastic wrap. Plastic wrap was never very friendly to use.

But now, I have plastic containers that hold a gallon of food and they are air tight and, what a great place to raise dough. It's air free. It can sit on the register without melting. And, as I found out, works perfectly.

I sprayed the ball and closed the lid. I sat it down on the register and let it thaw, and raise. This morning, when I got up, the dough ball had thawed and had expanded to cover the entire bottom of the box. It was in there for a full 12 hours.

It was double its original size.

Perfect!

Dough Has Risen - Now What?

Well. I'm partially successful. My dough ball has increased to double its original size. I was pretty proud of myself, but then, reality hit.

What the heck do I do with it, now? There were no cooking instructions with the frozen ball. Apparently, they expect you to Google what you don't know.

And, I did.

Dough, after being thawing and being in a warm place for 10 hours.
Dough, after being thawing and being in a warm place for 10 hours.
Heat register is 112 degrees.F.
Heat register is 112 degrees.F.

Organizing Your Dough and Toppings

I sprayed it with cooking spray to make sure it was plenty greasy. Then, I picked it up. Now mind you, I have a large pizza pan that I'm planning on putting it on. I have some pizza sauce, some Hidden Valley Ranch garlic salad dressing, a large bag of mozzarella cheese that needs to be used, some pepperoni sticks, some onions, and olives.

The onions need to be chopped and softened in the microwave for a minute. The olives need to be sliced into thirds. The pepperoni stick needs to be sliced thin. The mozzarella cheese shreds are frozen and I have a partial bag of cheddar cheese shreds. I also have some Italian seasoning, which has a few spices mixed together.

So, I'm ready.

This is a very large pizza pan.
This is a very large pizza pan.

Stretching the Dough

I remember going to the pizza parlor and you could watch the pizza man through the window, as he lifted the dough and swirled it around. When you are stretching pizza dough, gravity is your friend.

So. I picked up that dough ball,and it was a little heavy. It sagged immediately. I turned it sideways. A lot of people online were terrified of holes in their dough. A hole is simply a bubble that has popped. Those stretchy spots are the gluten. Just squish the hole back together and continue.

If you don't like your dough, you can start over from a ball. You'll have to pop the air bubbles. Kinda like chewing gum gets bubbles.

It's a slow process, since the gluten is stretching and gravity pulls it, and finally, after turning and stopping, squishing and hanging, lifting up and turning, you finally get a roundish square shape that fits pretty well on your pan. Be sure to overlap the edges.

Gluten is stretchy and gravity is your friend.
Gluten is stretchy and gravity is your friend.
Turn and let stretch
Turn and let stretch
Turn and let hang and stretch
Turn and let hang and stretch
Roll it Up and start over. It's okay.
Roll it Up and start over. It's okay.
Squish it in a partial circle
Squish it in a partial circle
If you grab the top corners, you can lift and stretch.
If you grab the top corners, you can lift and stretch.
holes are just a popped bubble
holes are just a popped bubble
squish the dough together and close the hole
squish the dough together and close the hole
lift and pull the crust to the edges
lift and pull the crust to the edges
lift  underneath and pull
lift underneath and pull
again. lift underneath and pull. This is a slow process.
again. lift underneath and pull. This is a slow process.
overlap the edge of the pan. You'll need the overlap for stuffing the crust later.
overlap the edge of the pan. You'll need the overlap for stuffing the crust later.
pan hidden now? Time to move to next step.
pan hidden now? Time to move to next step.

Sauce

Sauce goes on the dough first. I used an instant pizza sauce that I just squirted on the entire crust, and I used my hand to smear it around. Kind of like using finger paint when I was a kid.

I even smeared it way out to the absolute edges of the crust. Then, after I finished smearing the pizza sauce, I then took a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch Garlic and Herb and squirted that around, and smeared it with the pizza sauce.

Pizza sauce goes on first
Pizza sauce goes on first
swirl with fingers, like finger paint
swirl with fingers, like finger paint
get it out to the edge of the crust
get it out to the edge of the crust
Add the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
Add the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
smear it around
smear it around
These are the two I used.
These are the two I used.

Cheese Filled Edge

The actual cheese goes on last, but when I started, I used a bunch of mozzarella cheese and went around the outside perimeter, or edge of the pizza, and left a trail of cheese around the edge.

Then, I rolled the edge of the crust in, so it covered the cheese. Voila. Stuffed crust.

make sure you add a thick layer of cheese to edge where you will roll it over and enclose the cheese, hence making a stuffed crust
make sure you add a thick layer of cheese to edge where you will roll it over and enclose the cheese, hence making a stuffed crust
Remember the long edge and overlap I had you leave at the side of the pan? This gets flipped over the cheese
Remember the long edge and overlap I had you leave at the side of the pan? This gets flipped over the cheese
truck into cheese
truck into cheese
there. sauce on. crust filled with cheese.
there. sauce on. crust filled with cheese.

Toppings

Toppings are entirely up to you. And, actually, from this point, even the sauce is up to you. You could have put an alfredo sauce on, instead of the pizza sauce. Or, even a buffalo sauce/ranch sauce. But, that's next time's pizza.

Today, we're concentrating on my toppings, which were onions, slightly cooked in the microwave, pepperjack beef stick, green olives and, oh, I think that was it.

I sliced my pepperjack sticks and placed the pieces on in a pattern just so they were evenly spread out. Then, the onions were sprinkled around and then, the olives were placed between the pepperjack pieces.

Cheese was sprinkled across the entire pizza, being careful to get some on the top of the stuffed part as well. I did have some shredded cheddar, which I added as well.

The last step, was to sprinkle some Italian seasonings across the entire surface of the pizza.


butcher shop pepperjack stick
butcher shop pepperjack stick
cut into four pieces and slice in thin slices
cut into four pieces and slice in thin slices
look. they look like mini pepperonies
look. they look like mini pepperonies
space evenly around pizza
space evenly around pizza
chop some green olives
chop some green olives
place olive slices in between pepperoni slices
place olive slices in between pepperoni slices
onions
onions
make sure your cheese covers your ingredients and goes to edge of pizza
make sure your cheese covers your ingredients and goes to edge of pizza
don't be afraid to use a lot of cheese
don't be afraid to use a lot of cheese
a little shredded cheddar for color
a little shredded cheddar for color
Italian Seasoning for a bit of spicy flavor
Italian Seasoning for a bit of spicy flavor
Into the oven. Preheat broiler. 500 degrees F.
Into the oven. Preheat broiler. 500 degrees F.

Heat 500 Degrees

Apparently, it's best to heat your oven at the highest temperature and your pizza gets cooked in 15 minutes.

I didn't look at the pizza before I opened my door, so the first look was a shock. It almost looked like I overcooked it, but, it was just the top cheese had caramelized. The cheese below the puffiness was delicious.

15 minutes under broiler cooks the crust to a nice golden brown and cooks the cheese to a caramelized coating. It looks almost burned but actually, the cheese bubbled up and the majority of the cheese is just fine underneath the bubble
15 minutes under broiler cooks the crust to a nice golden brown and cooks the cheese to a caramelized coating. It looks almost burned but actually, the cheese bubbled up and the majority of the cheese is just fine underneath the bubble
that blackened cheese just adds to the flavor.
that blackened cheese just adds to the flavor.
See how the underside is gently browned
See how the underside is gently browned
Melted cheese inside the crust
Melted cheese inside the crust
Supper time!
Supper time!

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