Prepared pizza "crusts"

sushipup1

Here are my basics:

I do not do dough. Not even ready-to-bake stuff (that was a mess.) I am trying Boboli or Trader Joe's crusts. I do not have a pizza stone or a peel. Not do I want to buy those items, not in my Swedish death-cleaning phase of life. I do have a pizza pan. I have a good sauce, cheese and toppings.

So how might I get a some-what crisped crust? Maybe bake the dough in the oven on the rack for a few minutes? Then put on the pan to cook? (Will never be able to get a loaded pizza off the rack without a peel, right? and risk a bigger mess.)

Any ideas will be a help. And please be kind.

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lindac92

Oil your pizza pan, put on the crust and add your "stuff" ane pop it into a preheated 425 oven ( heated for at least 20 to 30 minutes) and cook until cheese is browning a little bit.


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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Depends on how loaded your pizza is. I never use a peel nor a pan (crisper crust without it) but have no difficulty managing a pizza directly on a rack. And that's not even using a fully baked crust like Boboli!!

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I don't have a peel either. I use a cookie sheet, the kind that only has 1 raised edge. Works pretty good, I haven't dumped anything in the oven or on the floor (yet!) But I do use a pizza stone for baking them. I would suggest that if you want a crispier crust that you go with your idea of baking the Boboli or whichever brand you have, on your pizza pan for maybe 5 minutes, carefully put your sauce and toppings on then bake just long enough to melt the cheese.

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amylou321

I sometimes use the small ready made crusts. Especially since I can't eat bread right now, and SO would never eat a whole giant pizza by himself.I just cook the whole pizza on a (pink) pizza pan. It gets crispy with no mess. You don't have to cook it directly on the rack to get it crispy.

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sushipup1

Linda, that's what we did, still a totally limp crust. Gardengal, we tried that once, and we must be more loaded or less coordinated than you! Ediej, I think that's what we'll try the next time. It's been ages since we did home pizza, and we should do it more often to test out methods.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Pizza 101. If the results are not they way you like it, then you are doing something wrong. You do not need a stone or a peel. Your pan is fine. Cookie sheet is fine.

Pre-made crusts are fine. I don't shop at TJ's but I bet they have a good crust. So they would already be partially baked. No fussing with wet soft dough. Yes, you could put a pre-baked crust in your oven for 2-3 minutes on your pan, pull it out onto your stovetop, then pile on the toppings.

Find the sweet spot in your oven. Try middle rack placement. 400ºF. No oil on the pan. Go easy on the sauce and not all over. Do not cover the entire bottom with sauce. Swirl around with the back of a spoon, thick/thin. Easy on the toppings. Watch the oven. 5-8 minutes when the cheese has melted but still pale, not bubbly, crank on the broiler. Leave the pan on that middle rack.

If you like loaded with toppings, a pre-heated 10 inch cast iron works. But too much sauce=soggy dough. Same science using a stone. It is pre-heated.

Homemade, purchased dough ball, pre-made crust is all the same ingredients. Flour, water, yeast. You'll just pay a bit more for pre-made but don't sweat it. Do what ever is the least frustrating.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I've never cooked anything directly on my oven racks. Always a sheet pan. Just about everything has the potential to ooze over. What a mess, lol.


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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

LOL!! Well, I have done this countless times and I have yet to generate any kind of mess as what is illustrated above. IME, having a pan under the pizza reduces the crispy bottom crust, not encourage it.

btw, I do use a long handled, fairly flat spatula to help shift my cooked pizza out of the oven. I guess this works similarly to a peel. But no stone and no pan....that's what works best for me.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

To go with our soup last night I used a couple of leftover pita flats, very lightly brushed the tops with a few drops of olive oil, sprinkled a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and baked on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 350° for about 8 minutes. We both thought that that would make some really good individual pizzas. Gonna try it sometime next week!

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Lars

I use a pizza screen instead of a pan, and this helps, especially if you are not using a stone. I use a stone, but I still use a screen or else a cast iron pizza pan.

If you are using a pre-made crust, then a cast iron pan might help. A pizza steel would be even better, but they are somewhat expensive.

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chipotle
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shambo

Using a pan does make for a less crisp crust, but it’s easier to shape the dough and doesn’t involve dealing with a peel or stone. I have a stone on my oven’s bottom rack, and those days when I’m really not up for making the best pizza, I’ll use a pan and bake it directly on the stone. It doesn’t come out as crisp as when dough is baked on the stone, but it’s better than if it’s baked on the middle rack. Maybe you’d get better results if you baked on the bottom rack and just switched to a top rack for the last few minutes. Just a thought. Have you tried removing the partially baked pizza and finishing it (sans pan) on a lower rack?

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adellabedella_usa

I haven't made this for a while, but I use a flour tortilla for the crust. We all have individual pizzas. Brush on some olive oil on both sides of a tortilla. Heat in the oven at 300-350 degrees for a few minutes until it starts to look crisp. Repeat and flip. Add your sauce, cheese and other ingredients and heat for a few minutes at 400. Can put on broil for about a minute if you want the cheese a little bubblier.

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Lars

I've also made individual pizzas with flour tortillas, but I call them pizza quesadillas and make them in a cast iron skillet, which I generally cover while heating. The tortillas still get crispy in about 4 minutes.

Another way I make them is to use ciabatta bread or focaccia, but I prefer ciabatta, which I slice in half lengthwise to get two very large pieces. Then I put cheese on the cut side, heat that up until the cheese is melted and then add other toppings and return to the oven. It does not make a crisp crust, but it is still very good.

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foodonastump

OT - I barely got through the question and haven’t read the responses yet; got stuck on “Swedish death cleaning” and had to look that up. That lead me down a helpful path as I’m struggling to empty a house. Thanks sushipup!

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sushipup1

FOAS, cleaning out is one thing, but the other side is to not add more things. Every time it's suggested that a piece of equipment is necessary to do a job, I cringe. I will purchase new to replace an item that's worn out or broken, up to a point. Right now, I'm debating what to do if the handle continues to separate from the bowl of the 1980 model Cuisinart that is no longer available. I only use it a few times a year. A couple of good sharp knives are certainly more versatile!

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lindac92

Was your oven really hot? Preheated for at least 20 minutes? I make my own crust but shouldn't be any different....raw dough is raw dough.

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sushipup1

These are precooked crusts. Yes, oven is hot.

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arkansas girl

My crust is the opposite, I always end up with a crispier crust than I would like. I use parchment paper and one of those pizza pans with holes all in it. This give a crispy crust. I usually am making a frozen pizza that I have allowed to thaw and I have put all my own toppings on it. I put the oven at 375 and cook for 15 minutes and then I put the cheese on it and cook another 10 minutes. I put the rack in the middle if that makes a difference. I'm going to start using a regular pizza pan to hopefully have a less crispy crust.

I think in your case, you can use some parchment paper and put it on the rack. If you have no peel, you can easily use a cookie sheet to act as a peel, those cookie sheets with flat sides would be the best.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Pizza likes and dislikes remind me of the basic cup of coffee, bbq, a burger, a steak...your morning egg.

I have my favorite preferred way, but don't mind others. I like my own coffee, black, but will have a cappuccino, an expresso shot, or an oatly/cold brew. And enjoy them.

I believe the point is trying to achieve that at home consistently. Can sushipup get to that place with a TJ's frozen par-baked or a shelf stable flatbread or a Boboli, without sogginess, ?. And 'loaded'. Pre-bake the 'par-baked'. Add some sauce, bake, 3 min, add more sauce and toppings, bake 5 min. on the rack just below the middle...the move to the second down under the broiler....?...who knows, but something will work.

My oven has five rack positions. Never use the top. My broiler is to strong. Seldom use the bottom where my stone lives. (some breads and homemade pizza crust if I need to par-bake)

I can have pizza in the oven in 15min after getting home late 7-8pm Friday or wake up Sunday morning same, 15 min for a breakfast pizza. But I've been making it this way for 30years in a few dozen different ovens.

I did a google image search for TJ's pizza crust. (tons of ready made as well) but they often discontinue. One blogger added what looked like an entire can of sauce and complained sogginess. One put a crust directly on her oven rack and it stuck and part of it fell through...so many variables.

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tigereye

I like this pizza crust. It just uses bread flour and no odd ingredients. It makes two 12 inch pizzas. I use King Arthur flour, no cornmeal, and a Pyrex glass pizza pan. I usually cut in half for two. It makes a thick crust and I cook, in an electric oven, on the second from the bottom of five rack locations. No pizza stone. I don't make Elise's sauce, I use Rao, 1 jar for two pizzas. If only making one, I freeze the rest in the jar.

The only time I mess it up in when I put way too many toppings and cheese. Then it will be soggy. Precook all the topping especially mushrooms or spinach.

I am going to try splitting the dough for two in half and freezing the spare. If that works, I will have a thin crust for my husband.

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/homemade_pizza/


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Trader Joe's has organic frozen crusts that came out cracker crisp for me. I used parchment on the rack, positioned the rack closer to the bottom, but not at the bottom most position, and followed the baking directions.

No way will I put pizzas directly on the racks if I can avoid it. Hubby does that and it always results in burnt cheese on the racks and on the bottom of the oven - which stinks! And guess who winds up cleaning it?

Parchment makes it easier to pull the pizzas out of the oven too.


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lindac92

so your crust is precooked? And firm not floppy when you put it into the oven?
Then your sauce is too wet and you are using too much and probably you are allowing it to sit too long before baking and soak into the crust.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

This is my lunch today. Margherita pizza on a pita bread. (Substituted provolone for mozzerella.) Storebought pink cardboard tomatoes are not so good but at least I have fresh basil for flavor! (I'm still astounded that I have a basil plant still going from last summer; it might not be heartily thriving but it is surviving and I use on it pretty often!)


I did not do it on the stone, as little as it is it was not worth heating the big oven up, heated in toaster oven just until warm enough for the cheese to melt. I like soft chewy crust rather than crispy.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

When I was a tiny tot, 5-6 yrs old, I made English muffin pizzas. (kids like tiny food, lol). Pre-teen I made French bread pizzas. Teen years were all about Grotto, Rehoboth beach, and frozen whoever. Or fast food/delivery style.

Then it was pita, or any flatbreads. It all works.

Make what you like and find the method that works for you.




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chipotle

Carol, have you tried the fresh pizza crust at TJ's? If so, which do you think is better --- fresh or frozen?

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sushipup1

Not too much sauce. I'll try another brand of crust. Boboli is better than TJ's.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I only buy organic, so haven't tried the fresh stuff they sell. I used to make my own crusts and prebake them - maybe 6"-8" diameter for ease of fitting in the freezer - but I haven't made my own in awhile now, since I can get the ones from TJ's. I've also made larger ones and prebaked as well, since we've come to prefer crisp to soft.

I also sprinkle some of the shredded cheese over the crust before adding sauce or fresh tomatoes, and it seems to help keep the crust from getting too soggy.

I used to make pita pizzas when our kids were young, since it was so convenient and easy to make in the toaster oven.

A tip for a quick and satisfying cracker crust is Ak-Mak flatbread. It makes a good substitute for regular crusts, as long as your toppings aren't too wet. I put a bit of olive oil on them first. I used whole sheets and placed them side by side together on a parchment covered baking sheet.


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Nana H

I place a piece of parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet, one with one side works best but it's not needed, load my pizza and then use the cookie sheet to slip directly onto the rack of a very hot oven. Works for me.

Eta... Still on the parchment paper.

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sheilajoyce_gw

I have used flour tortillas for after school pizzas.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Yes - I do pretty much the same as Nana, but do not turn over my cooky sheets, since they have no lip and only have a turned up edge at one end. I use them like a peel.

Mine look like this - but not this shiny and clean😄:



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