We seem to eat a lot of pizza. I often make Flat bread Pizza and Stovetop Pizza for a quick lunch, whilst a more traditional pizza will usually appear at dinner on Friday nights. Sometimes though, all I really want to do is open a box and throw a ready made pizza into the oven. Unfortunately, as most frozen pizzas taste like cardboard, and have a myriad of mystery toppings, pizza from a box is not an option. With good take-away pizza (my fall-back option) being quite expensive, you can imagine how happy I was to discover Homemade Frozen Pizza.
I first came across the idea of making my own frozen pizzas in this post from The Kitchn. Homemade frozen pizzas are very handy for weekend lunches and dinners, or for those days when I don’t feel like cooking. I also have complete control over what we are eating, whilst maintaining the convenience of a box from the supermarket.
Everybody knows how to make pizza, and I am not re-inventing the wheel here. However I felt I should highlight a few key points that will ensure frozen pizza success.
1. The Crust
The key to good pizza is a good crust. I typically use a bucket of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day as my base. This is my preference for two reasons: I can make at least seven pizzas from one batch of dough, and I can make the dough a few days in advance so am not waiting for it to rise in order to make pizza. Your favourite pizza crust recipe will work just as well.
The trick to avoiding soggy pizza is to lightly cook the base before adding the toppings. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced) and cook each crust for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until it is dry and slightly puffy. The base should be just cooked, but not allowed to brown. Allow the bases to cool slightly before adding the toppings.
2. Topping The Pizza
I almost always have a batch of my Homemade Pizza Sauce in the fridge, though I have also used Spicy Kale Pesto, and even a thin smear of bechamel, on occasion. Use anything you fancy that can be frozen.
When it comes to the toppings, stick to the old adage “less is more”. The greater the depth of the toppings, the higher the likelihood of a soggy pizza. I chop all my toppings before I start assembling pizzas. This allows to me to top a number of pizzas at once, thereby limiting the time it takes to get them in the freezer. Short on toppings? Freeze the base with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese, then add the desired toppings just before the pizza goes into the oven.
3. Freezing The Pizza
Initially, you should freeze the pizzas individually. This ensures that the toppings aren’t squashed, and that the pizzas don’t stick together. I freeze the assembled pizzas on trays, then stack them once frozen. The number of pizzas I can freeze at any one time depends on how full my freezer is at the time.
4. Storing The Pizza
Once frozen, wrap the pizzas individually in plastic wrap or foil, and label each pizza with the ingredients and the date. This is particularly important if you have used a variety of toppings, or have made pizzas for particular family members. If the pizzas are to be consumed quickly, and if you have the freezer space, stack the pizzas together, separated with baking paper, and store them in one large plastic bag that can be reused.
5. Cooking The Pizza
The key to good pizza is a hot oven. Pre-heat your oven to 230C (210C fan forced). Unwrap the pizza, slide it into the oven, and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the pizza is bubbling and browned. Enjoy!
If well wrapped, frozen pizzas should last up to three months in the freezer.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced). If using a pizza stone, place this in the oven before pre-heating.
- Roll out the pizza dough to the preferred size. Place on a tray if not using a pizza stone.
- Bake the base in the hot oven for 3 - 5 minutes, until the surface looks dry, and the top of the base has slightly puffed.
- Remove the base from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If large bubbles develop in base, just pierce them with a knife.
- Place the base back on the tray.
- Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the base.
- Scatter over the mozzarella cheese.
- Arrange the selected toppings over the cheese. I like to press them slightly into the cheese and sauce to help everything stick together.
- Place the tray into the freezer, and allow to freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until solid.
- Remove the frozen pizza from the freezer.
- Wrap in plastic wrap, and label with the pizza type and date.
- Return the wrapped pizza to the freezer.
- Pre-heat the oven to 230C (210C fan forced). If using a pizza stone, place this in the oven before pre-heating.
- Unwrap the pizza and place on a tray if not using a pizza stone.
- Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown.
P.S. Looking for more Pizza Recipes? Try my Homemade Flat Bread Pizzas or Mushroom & Blue Cheese Stovetop Pizza.