Pizza is a favorite at our house and I absolutely love to make homemade pizza. I worked to find the perfect crust, make the sauce and combine it with favorite toppings to make the pizza we all love. As a mom though, I will admit I love the convenience of a good frozen pizza though not the unhealthiness of the ingredients of a store-bought one. That is when I learned that even homemade frozen pizza is not only possible, but easy! After some experimentation I figured out how to make a yummy and nutritious homemade frozen pizza which makes me one happy momma and still gives my family happy tummies on busy nights!
There are a few steps to making homemade pizza so it seems like a lot but each step is very easy and the results are fantastic! It is not nearly as time consuming as it looks either. The great thing is that you can make pizza for dinner one night and with a little extra time invested you can have a delicious meal plus 3 extra pizzas in the freezer by time the night is over!
Below I will give the directions for homemade fresh pizza plus the steps for putting pizzas in the freezer and how to cook those as well. I will share also the order I do things which has streamlined things for me helping me to get it all finished more efficiently. I will give my recipe for pizza sauce too but if you are in an extra hurry you can always just use store bought pasta sauce for an extra short cut. Choose your family’s favorite toppings and you are ready to bake! Also at the end I will tell you how to add one of our family’s favorite special touches-cheese stuffed crusts!
The original crust recipe came from The King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion cook book and is the recipe for Hot Buttered Pretzels. I only wish I could claim this recipe as my own! This is a great basic recipe that can be so versatile! I have taken the recipe and not only used it as is for the best hot buttered pretzels I have ever had, but also for hot pocket style sandwiches, hamburger buns, cheese stuffed pretzels and of course pizza crust. So here we go!
-First prepare the crust:
*NOTE: The recipe for crust below makes 3 pizzas. If I am simply making them for dinner this is perfect for us. However, if I am making some frozen pizzas with it I make 2 separate batches, one for dinner and one for frozen pizzas, as a double batch wouldn’t fit in my mixer bowl.
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or a combination of whole wheat and white flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups warm water
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Turn the mixer to low and slowly up the speed until the dough is mixing well. Allow it to mix for 10 minutes or until a soft dough forms. You can also simply knead all the ingredients together if you do not have a mixer. Dust the entire ball of dough with flour and place in a gallon Ziploc and seal or place in a bowl and cover with plastic. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While your crust is rising, prepare the pizza sauce and gather your cheese and favorite toppings:
*NOTE: This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce! It is plenty for 6 pizzas and if you have extra you can put it in the freezer for your next pizza baking or it is great on pasta too!
3 quarts diced tomatoes (or you can use 3- 28oz cans store bought diced tomatoes)
2 small cans or 1-12oz can tomato paste
¼ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons dried basil
1 ½-2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
¾ Tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine. Place burner on medium low and allow to simmer, stirring periodically to prevent scorching.
This is a recipe that I usually throw things in to taste but worked to measure out for the sake of having an actual recipe! This being said, feel free to experiment with the spices so that it has the taste you like!
-Mozzarella cheese: you need about 2-3 cups per pizza depending on how thick you like your cheese.
-Toppings are whatever you like! There are probably enough pizza lovers out there that I don’t even need to give suggestions, but here are a few anyway: turkey pepperoni, sausage, pepperoni, onions, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, chicken, bacon, olives. You can even do fun combinations like BBQ Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Veggie, Meat Lovers and Fresh Mozzarella with Tomatoes and Basil.
Making the Fresh Pizza:
This is if you are making the pizzas fresh for immediate eating! By now you should have all of your toppings lined up, the sauce ready and the crust risen and ready to go.
- Preheat the oven to 495 degrees.
- Oil a pizza stone or cookie sheet with olive oil or oil of choice.
- Punch down your dough and divide it into 3 pieces. Roll one piece out to the size desired (size of pizza stone or circle to fit on cookie sheet) and place crust on prepared pan.
- Spread sauce over crust to desired thickness.
- Sprinkle on cheese and add toppings.
- Place pizza in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust edge is lightly golden and cheese is melted.
While one pizza bakes you can prepare an additional pan and prepare the next pizza to bake. These pizzas bake quickly enough that you can just keep putting them in and have the next one ready as the first one comes out. So delicious!!
For Frozen Pizzas:
- Follow steps 1-3 above for fresh pizza.
- Place the crust in the oven with NO TOPPINGS and bake for 4 minutes to lightly prebake.
- Remove crust from pan and place on cooling rack allowing to cool completely.
- Once cool place the crust on a clean cookie sheet or large plate so that it can be placed into the freezer.
- Add sauce, cheese and desired toppings to pizza and place the entire thing in the freezer for 1 hour allowing it to freeze so that it can be wrapped.
- Remove the pizza from the freezer and take pizza off of pan. Wrap the pizza in plastic wrap and place in a 2.5 gallon freezer bag.
- Place pizza back in freezer. You now have frozen pizza!
- WHEN READY TO BAKE: Preheat oven to 480 degrees. Oil a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Remove pizza from freezer and unwrap completely. Place pizza on prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted. Enjoy!!
For a little extra specialness you can make your pizza with cheese stuffed crust. Using mozzarella cheese sticks or a chunk of mozzarella cut into long logs; roll your pizza crust out a few inches larger than desired. Line the edge of crust all the way around the perimeter with cheese sticks making a circle around the entire pizza. Carefully roll the crust around the cheese pinching closed to completely enclose the cheese. Now proceed with the sauce and toppings. You can even have garlic butter ready to dip the fresh pizza into!