Hubby asked me if it's possible to make pizza crusts ahead. I was pretty sure it can be done, so I jumped right into the project.
Many years ago in Michigan we used to buy pizza kits from Little Caesars Pizza through our soccer association. They were delicious, and so easy to make for dinner: pull a crust, a bag of sauce, a bag of cheese, and a bag of toppings out of the freezer, assemble and bake. This is what I tried to duplicate, rather than a frozen, already-assembled pizza.
The main problem, I had previously thought, was how to package a rolled-out crust for the freezer. They are too big for gallon-size freezer bags. Hubby suggested dividing the recipe in half and just making smaller crusts. Light-bulb moment! Plus, he said, we could top them differently. He likes supreme pizza, sausage pizza, pepperoni pizza, and so on. I prefer extra cheese, and Hawaiian-style pizza. We both like chicken with onions and BBQ sauce.
So on this day I made two batches of crust - one was for dinner that night. The other batch I divided into 3 pieces and after letting them rest for 20 minutes, I rolled them into crusts that would fit into a gallon-size ziploc bag. I put them on lightly-oiled foil and stuck in the freezer for awhile. I'd intended to remove the foil and then put it in a bag, but instead I folded the edges of the foil up over the crust and slid the whole thing inside.
The flecks in the crust are herbs. I use my Herb Bread dough recipe, which includes a teaspoonful each of basil, thyme, and marjoram.
Next I chopped up a red onion, boiled a chicken breast and shredded the meat, and shredded a block of cheese. I use BBQ sauce instead of spaghetti sauce on this kind of pizza; we both like it better. I spread this on the pizzas we were having for dinner that night so I'd know how much to use in the future.
The following week I pulled the frozen crusts from the freezer and let them thaw on the counter, then put into a warm oven to rise for about 30 minutes. I topped them and turned the oven to 375, and switched their positions halfway through baking. They were done in about 25 minutes, but this will vary depending on the crust recipe you use and how thick it is.
Experiment: successful. Don't you love being able to make your life easier?
By the way, when I first began making my own pizza crust, I had a lot of trouble rolling them out. They'd shrink up; it was as though they were made of elastic. I finally learned that patience is the key: you have to let that dough rest before you roll it out. You can't rush this step; you have to wait 15-20 minutes.
I wish I'd taken a photo of the finished yummy pizza, but it disappeared really fast when it came out of the oven. Maybe next time?
An earlier post on making pizza crust.