Simple, tasty, and perfectly crispy thin crust pizza dough that can be made ahead and put in the freezer!
Pizza is one of my favorites! My dad served a mission in Italy, and I grew up eating lots of Italian food. Pizza included.
I love having a pizza night, and it is nice to not always rely on take out. Don’t get me wrong. I love delivery and take-out pizza, but sometimes I want things to be a little healthier. Sometimes I want things to be a little cheaper. Sometimes I don’t want to take my pajamas off or put my bra on so that I can be presentable to get delivery or take-out. So basically, sometimes I just want to make my own pizza!
The toppings are the easy part. There are only so many different ways you can top a pizza, and with ooey-gooey cheese it is pretty hard to mess up. But the crust is a different story. I have been spending a lot of time testing pizza dough recipes to find a crust that I love. Tough sacrifice! I know! But here’s the thing, there are a lot of preferences when it comes to pizza crust, and different definitions of what makes pizza dough “perfect”! So before I go any further I want to explain what I was looking for.
- A dough I could make in advance and freeze in dough form, so I could pull it out the day I want it and use it.
- I wanted a thin crust. That would be nice and crispy, and hold together well.
- I wanted a crust that had flavor, but was still somewhat healthy. In other words, I wanted some whole wheat to be in the crust.
- I did not want to have to buy any special flour, like durham flour, semolina flour, etc. I just wanted an all-purpose and whole wheat flour crust. Is that too much to ask?
Basically I wanted it to be a healthy version of the delicious crust you get from a pizzeria. An Italian pizzeria!
My husband and I love to travel. Love it. And my favorite city to visit is Rome. Probably because I heard about Italy all growing up, the first time I visited I soaked in every single thing. But my favorite was all the little pizzerias on every corner. There are just as many pizzerias as there are gelato joints!
Every time we go to Rome, I have to get pizza and gelato. And since there are a billion places you can get pizza in Rome, it is not hard. They have everything you can think of for topping the pizza, even potatoes! But one thing each little place has in common is this awesome crispy thin crust! With the perfect amount of chew!
So that is what I was trying to recreate here. And you guys, I think I finally got the perfect crust. It was a lot of trial and error, and I learned a ton in the process. But now that I have it down, it has been no fail, and so so good.
Amazing Freezer Pizza Dough:
Here are my tips for making amazing pizza crust.
- You NEED to Knead: Kneading the dough will help to evenly distribute the yeast, but more importantly, it will also help the gluten to develop, which is what makes it nice and stretchy so you can make your crust without tearing holes. The gluten also gives it that chewiness that is so awesome in pizza dough. So knead for at least 5 minutes. Also using a gluten-rich flour helps. So go with a whole wheat for at least part of the crust.
- Slow rising = more flavor: Let the dough rise in the fridge over-night. This is a slow rise method, and it is going to help you get optimal flavor. By giving it time to rise, you help the dough develop more flavor. However, you can do a quick rise method with this dough, I just prefer the slower rise.
- Let dough come to room temp before shaping. When you slow rise your dough it is done in the fridge, so about an hour before you are ready to put your pizza in the oven, pull that dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temp. This will help the dough be more elastic.
- Don’t add flour after rising. Even if your dough is a little sticky, if you add flour this will make it tough. Chewy is good for pizza dough, tough is not!
- Use a pizza stone when cooking. Preheat your pizza stone in your oven for at least 30 minutes at 450-500 degrees F, this will help the pizza cook evenly and give you that crispiness you want!
- Bonus tip: Use a food scale to measure ingredients so that you get the same results every time!
I would say if you are going to freeze this dough, you probably don’t want to leave it in the freezer for more than about a month, as you don’t want to ruin the yeast. I have been using it A LOT and it works great from frozen. You won’t be able to tell any difference between fresh and frozen. Just make sure to pull it out the day before or morning you plan to use it so it has enough time to slow rise in the fridge. Then shape, top, and bake! This is perfect for Friday pizza nights. Just make a double batch at the start of the month, and you will have dough for the whole month!
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