Happy Monday, friends!
Disclaimer: This post will change your life.
Ok. That might not be entirely true. But, it will definitely change the way you look at store-bought frozen pizza.
So, a few years ago, I went a little crazy when Amazon had this amazing magazine subscription sale right before Christmas. $5 and $10 year long subscriptions for really great magazines. I could not help myself. I swear I lost consciousness and when I woke up, I had 15 magazine's coming in each month. And, no, 15 subscriptions is not an exaggeration. And may God have mercy on me if Amazon decides to hold another sale, so help me.
One of the magazine's I subscribed to was Vegetarian Times. I'm not a vegetarian, but we do attempt to have meatless meals weekly, as well as paring down the amount of meat we use in recipes. In the April/May 2011 edition, there was a great article on Mario Batali and his pizza. It is here that I first heard of the term "parbaking."
Parbaking has revolutionized Pizza Night in our house.
Like many of you, I used to buy frozen pizza at the grocery store. And let's be honest: it's never quite what you are looking for: the taste is off, the texture isn't quite right. It's never like getting pizza from the pizza shop. And it's far too easy to under or over cook.
Hubby and I recently took a chance and tried making our own homemade pizza, utilizing the crust partaking method.
OH. MAH. GAH. It was amazing.
Sure, it's not quite as simple as preheating the oven, cutting of the plastic and popping pizza in to cook. But it's almost that simple. I was surprised how easy the technique was, and how much money it saved us. YES! It's economic to make your own pizza!
And let me tell you, you cannot beat the authentic taste.
You can use Mario Batali's recipe for pizza crust dough and parbaking, but I like SIMPLE. So I used fresh already made dough. I had no idea that my local grocery store sold fresh (not frozen) pizza dough. I found it in the deli section where you find ready-made hoagies and sushi. Here is the financial breakdown:
Your Average Frozen Pizza:
$7 (anywhere between $4 and $10)
Homemade Pizza Ingredients:
2-cup Bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese - $3
14-oz Jar of Pizza Sauce - $2
1 lb ball of Pizza Dough - $1.50
You might be looking at those prices and say, "Steph, they are roughly the same price." What you fail to see is that the bag of Mozzarella Cheese will make 2 pizza's, and the jar of pizza sauce will make about 3. So with my rudimentary mathematic estimation, you can make a homemade pizza for around $3.
Like I said, economic.
Have I convinced you yet? Now onto the recipe/how-to!
Simple Supper Monday
Homemade Pizza with Parbaked-Crust
- 1 16-oz ball of pizza dough (I prefer fresh)
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less to your liking)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of pizza sauce (more or less to your liking)
- Assorted topics (I like chopped green olives!)
**Place oven rack to top rack and preheat oven to broil**
1) Heat a large cast-iron pan or skillet (does not have to be cast-iron, but they work GREAT - but it MUST be able to go from stovetop to oven) on the stovetop over medium heat. Spray with non-cooking spray. While pan is heating, roll out pizza dough into a 16-inch circle (or smaller, if you are using a smaller pan). Flour surface and hands if you find the dough too be sticky to work with.
2) When pan is heated, place your rolled pizza dough into the pan. Let it heat in the pan for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is slightly browned.
3) When bottom is nicely browned, use a spatula (or 2) to flip crust so the other side can cook. It will be like flipping a very large pancake.
4) WHILE THE BOTTOM IS BROWNING, make your pizza! Spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese and add any additional toppings. Do this quickly so the bottom doesn't burn.
5) Using a potholder, grab your pot and place it in the oven to broil. WATCH CLOSELY. You'll want to broil it for roughly 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. When the cheese is melted, take the pizza out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Feel free to check the doneness of the crust with a knife to be sure it is cooked through.
~ If you try this once and find you are not comfortable with the broiling method, you can cook the pizza at 400* for 20 minutes. Hubby is more comfortable with this method, but I find you do not get the browned and bubbly cheese affect
~ Be creative! I want to try using fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese. YUM!
~ This would be a REALLY great way to have fun with your kids in the kitchen!
The taste of this pizza blows any store-bought or frozen pizza out of the water. Seriously.
I REALLY want to hear about your parbaking pizza experiences! How did the pizza turn out? What creative toppings did you use? Leave a comment to share!
I'm a visual learner, so I took some pics the other night while we were making a pizza. I had to use my phone's camera (seriously, does anyone want to buy me a Canon DSLR?), so the quality isn't great. But it works. See a picture tutorial below!
|Dough in the heated pan|
|Browned on one side, flipped and browning the other. Ready to make the pizza!|
|Spreading sauce, sprinkling cheese. Yum!|
|Pizza assembled (1/2 olives for me, 1/2 grilled squash for Hubby) and parbaking complete. Ready for the oven|
|Voila! Finished product! |
If only I had smell-o-vision, you're mouth would be watering...