How do you prepare store bought pizza dough?

What ingredients do you need to prepare store bought pizza dough?

When preparing store bought pizza dough, you typically just need the dough itself and a few additional ingredients to shape and top the pizza. The main ingredients you’ll need include:

  • Store bought pizza dough (fresh or frozen)
  • Flour for dusting
  • Olive oil
  • Pizza or pasta sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, etc

The dough itself already contains the basics like flour, yeast, water and salt. You just need to let it come up to room temperature, shape it into a crust, and add your own toppings.

How do you thaw frozen pizza dough?

If you are using frozen pizza dough, you will need to properly thaw it before stretching and shaping:

  • Take the dough out of the freezer and let sit sealed at room temperature for 30-90 minutes. A thicker crust may take longer to thaw.
  • Do not try to accelerate thawing by microwaving or placing in hot water. This can damage the dough structure.
  • Once dough has thawed and is soft, you can lightly flour a work surface and the dough to prevent sticking as you shape it.

Tip: For faster thawing, you can place the sealed frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Then take it out 1-2 hours before needed to let it finish rising to room temp.

How do you prepare fresh refrigerated pizza dough?

For fresh pizza dough that is kept refrigerated:

  • Take the dough out of the fridge about 1 hour before you plan to use it.
  • Let sit sealed at room temperature to allow dough to come to room temp and “wake up.”
  • The rising action will activate the yeast and help dough regain its elasticity and softness.
  • Once dough has risen and relaxed, flour a work surface lightly to shape and stretch.

Note that high-moisture fresh dough may take even longer than an hour at room temp to revive and become workable after being chilled.

How do you shape and stretch refrigerated pizza dough?

To stretch and shape refrigerated pizza dough:

  1. Start by lightly flouring your work surface – this prevents the dough from sticking as you stretch it out.
  2. Place dough ball in center and press down to flatten slightly.
  3. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, start pushing the dough outwards from center.
  4. Move and rotate the dough, stretching it evenly until it reaches desired size and thickness.
  5. You can also use a lightly floured rolling pin if dough is resisting stretching with hands.
  6. Try to get dough into a nice even circle or rectangle – this will help it bake evenly.
  7. Use bench scraper or spatula to lift and check underside – add a bit more flour if needed to prevent sticking.

Go slowly and gently to avoid tearing the dough. Add a bit more flour if it gets too sticky.

What thickness should you roll or stretch pizza dough?

How thin you stretch the dough comes down to personal preference:

  • Thin crust: Roll out to 1⁄8-1⁄4 inch thick.
  • Classic hand-tossed: Aim for 1⁄4-1⁄2 inch thickness.
  • Deep dish or Sicilian: Keep dough on thicker side, closer to 1⁄2 inch.
  • For soft-baked doughy crusts: Use a thicker 3⁄4 to 1 inch dough.

In general, thinner dough will make a crispier crust while thicker dough bakes into a softer, chewier crust. Adjust based on the texture you prefer.

How do you prevent pizza dough from shrinking back as you shape it?

To prevent rolled or stretched pizza dough from shrinking back to a smaller shape:

  • Make sure dough is fully thawed or at room temp before shaping – this relaxes the gluten so it can stretch.
  • Work quickly but gently – avoid over-handling that can activate gluten and make it shrink.
  • Let shaped dough rest 5-10 mins before adding toppings – allows gluten to relax.
  • Use bench flour to prevent sticking to work surface.
  • Press edges of dough outward after stretching to help “set” shape.
  • Do not over-flatten dough which expels air and causes shrinking.

It’s normal for dough to shrink slightly. If needed, gently re-stretch to desired size after topping.

How long should you let pizza dough rise after shaping?

After shaping the dough, a short rest is recommended:

  • Let dough rest 5-10 minutes after stretching allows gluten to relax.
  • This helps reduce shrinking when sauce and toppings are added.
  • If dough was refrigerated, it may need longer like 15-30 mins to come to room temp.
  • Don’t let dough rest too long or rise significantly – can make dough difficult to handle.

Tip: Lightly oil or coat the shaped dough with olive oil to prevent drying out during the rest period.

What is the easiest way to shape pizza dough into a crust?

The easiest methods to shape pizza dough include:

  • Using a rolling pin – Roll out on floured surface into thin, even layer.
  • Stretching by hand – Press dough slowly from center outward.
  • Using a tortilla press – Flattens dough evenly with minimal handling.
  • Stretching on knuckles – Stretch over closed fists to thin out.
  • Tossing dough – Spin vertically to gravity stretch, takes practice!

For beginners, using a floured rolling pin on a floured surface can shape dough quickest and most consistently. Stretching by hand takes some practice but gives an authentic hand-tossed look.

What are some tips for stretching pizza dough by hand?

Hand stretching pizza dough takes some technique but creates a nice handmade appearance. Tips include:

  • Start with round flattened dough ball in center of floured surface.
  • Press dough outwards from center using fingers and palms, moving around circumference.
  • Let dough relax 5-10 seconds between stretches if shrinking.
  • Rotate dough and continue stretching until desired size is reached.
  • Add flour sparingly to prevent sticking but not too much that dough can’t bind.
  • Try not to tear dough – go slowly and gently.
  • Use body weight by pressing hands down into work surface for leverage.

With practice, you can learn to properly stretch dough into an even circle for homemade pizzas. Take your time and use flour to prevent sticking.

What are some pizza dough shaping tools that can help?

Some useful tools when shaping pizza dough include:

  • Pizza peel – For sliding stretched dough onto pizza stone or pan
  • Pizza wheel – Roller cutter for trimming edges or cutting rolled dough
  • Bench scraper – Square edge to lift and move dough off work surface
  • Rolling pin – Roll out dough quickly into desired thickness
  • Dough docker – Roller that prevents air bubbles in dough as you roll
  • Measuring guides – Plastic guide for getting specific pizza size

The right tools make stretching and prepping dough easier. Investing in a few specialty pizza making tools can really improve the dough shaping process.

Should you oil pizza dough before topping?

Lightly oiling the shaped pizza dough prior to topping can be beneficial:

  • Prevents dough surface from drying out.
  • Allows toppings to slide around for even placement.
  • Promotes browning on bottom crust.
  • Use olive oil or oil spray to lightly coat surface.
  • Too much oil can make dough slick and affect rising.

You can skip oiling if using sauce and toppings immediately after shaping dough. But for a rest period, a light coating of oil helps keep the crust in optimal condition.

How do you add sauce to pizza dough without making it soggy?

To prevent pizza sauce from making dough soggy:

  • Use a ladle to spoon on sauce, don’t pour directly from jar.
  • Spread sauce gently starting from center outward.
  • Avoid pushing sauce through dough which makes it soggy on bottom.
  • Apply sauce in a thin, even layer so dough is not oversaturated.
  • Let sauce sit for 5 mins so dough absorbs some moisture before cheese.
  • Pre-bake plain dough 1-2 mins before adding sauce and toppings.

The key is controlling the sauce portion and spread to keep dough from getting waterlogged. Light sauce layers and short rest periods allow dough to hold its structure.

What are some tips for layering toppings on pizza dough?

Strategic layering creates a properly baked pizza with integrated toppings:

  • Apply cheese first so it seals in sauce and acts as a moisture barrier.
  • Use a thin first cheese layer, then add meats, veggies, herbs.
  • Place meats like sausage and pepperoni under veggies to prevent burning.
  • Distribute toppings evenly to edges to prevent burnt outer crust.
  • Heavier items like mushrooms should go on before lighter items like spinach.
  • Drizzle olive oil over finished toppings to promote even browning.

Plan layers wisely based on ingredient densities and tastes. Aim for structural integrity and moisture balance.

How long does it take to bake pizza dough?

Baking times for pizza dough depend on several factors:

  • Oven temperature (standard is around 425-450°F for pizza)
  • Dough thickness – Thinner crusts bake faster
  • Toppings – More toppings increase baking time
  • Pizza stone vs pan – Stones promote crisper, faster baking
  • Convection vs standard – Convection shortens bake time slightly

In general, expect pizza to need:

  • 8-12 minutes for thin crust
  • 10-15 minutes for hand-tossed
  • 15-20+ minutes for deep dish or thick crust

Monitor bottom browning and cheese melting rather than time alone. Adjust temperature and time as needed for your specific dough and toppings.

How can you prevent pizza dough from burning on the bottom?

To avoid burnt crust on homemade pizza:

  • Use a pizza stone – mimics commercial pizza oven.
  • Place dough on parchment paper or silicone mat before sliding onto hot stone.
  • Cook at lower temp like 400°F to slow bottom browning.
  • Ensure proper oven rack placement – middle is ideal.
  • Rotate pizza halfway through baking for even cooking.
  • Keep toppings from edge to prevent burning.

Managing heat distribution and exposure are key. A pizza stone helps immensely for crispy, browned crust without burning.

What are the different types of pizza crusts?

Common varieties of pizza crust include:

  • New York style – Thin, crisp crust that can fold.
  • Chicago deep dish – Thick, buttery crust with tall edge.
  • Neapolitan – Soft, pillowy crust using 00 flour.
  • Sicilian – Rectangular with a thick focaccia-like crust.
  • California – Focaccia-based crust with oiled surface.
  • Stuffed crust – Dough wrapped around cheese edge.

The options allow you to customize texture from a cracker-like crunch to a doughy chew. Pick based on your preference!

What is the difference between pan pizza and hand tossed pizza?

Pan Pizza:

  • Dough is pressed into a greased pan or deep dish pan
  • Bottom and side crusts are tender and golden brown
  • Texture is bread-like instead of crisp
  • Often has a thick, buttery crust
  • Uses oil both in pan and on top of dough

Hand Tossed:

  • Dough is stretched by hand or rolled out
  • Baked directly on oven surface, stone, or steel
  • The crust puffs up with air pockets
  • Has a thinner, crunchier crust
  • Often uses cornmeal rather than oil on bottom

The baking method and surface create two very different crust textures and appearances.

What are the best store bought pizza dough brands?

Some top recommended brands for store bought pizza dough include:

Brand Highlights
Pillsbury Widely available, reliable results
Boboli Pre-shaped crusts, various sizes
Udi’s Gluten-free pizza dough
Trader Joe’s Affordable, preservative free
Against The Grain Gluten and dairy free dough
Rana Flash frozen, premium ingredient dough

Focus on doughs without artificial additives or preservatives for best flavor and texture.

What tips make rolling pizza dough easier?

Tips for easily rolling pizza dough include:

  • Lightly flour surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking
  • Start from center and roll outward, turning dough as needed
  • Apply even pressure with the pin
  • Lift and turn dough over periodically
  • Soften thicker areas by massaging with rolling pin
  • Add flour sparingly – too much affects dough texture
  • Chill dough if it keeps shrinking back

Taking your time and flouring properly will allow dough to roll out smoothly and evenly for a well shaped crust!


Preparing store bought pizza dough for baking is simple with the right techniques. Allow dough to come to room temperature, then shape into desired crust using a rolling pin, hands, or pizza shaping tools. Add flour lightly as needed to prevent sticking. Top as desired and bake until crust is crispy and cheese melty. With the proper preparation and handling, store bought dough can make delicious homemade pizza that’s as good as any pizzeria!

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