Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to make your own Frozen Pizzas

I don't know about your house but we eat some serious amounts of pizza over here. My husband has a standing order for frozen pizzas each week when I go to the store. They are quick and easy for him to prepare for the kids while I am out running errands during lunch time.......... or when he gets home from work at midnight and doesn't care for the dinner I made. Not that he would ever openly tell me he doesn't like something I have made....he likes eating too much to do that.

Anyways back to the topic Frozen Pizzas. Have you looked at the price tag on these pizzas lately? They are $5 per pizza which doesn't sound bad until you realize it takes 3-4 of these bad boys to fill up our crew. That is $15-20 for ONE MEAL. That is out of our budget for sure. The alternative? Making our own frozen pizzas. Stay with me now, it really isn't that hard and so much cheaper!

My recipe is for 12 pizzas you can cut it down or increase it as you need for your family.

First up is the crust. We like a really thin crust here. I wasn't originally a fan....but then I realized a thin crust means no rise time for the dough and less calories  for those of us on a diet. Yeah, I was in.

Thin Crust

5 cups Water
5 tsp Salt
13 1/3 cup Flour
10 tsp Yeast

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

I start mixing all the ingredients together in my kitchen aid mixer. It is a lot for my machine so once it starts to come together I turn it out onto a floured surface and bring it together into a smooth ball of dough.

Once I have it all together I cut it equally in half. I then cut each half equally into 6 pieces. Then repeat with the next half. You should then have 12 equal portions of pizza dough.

After you have your equal portions of dough it is time to prebake them. I line my cookie sheets with tinfoil and then lightly oil them. Using the tinfoil makes them much easier to handle once they are prebaked and ready for toppings. Plus I get out of having to wash any pans this way!

I roll the dough out very thin, if you have a hole pop up just pinch it closed and move on.

Bake each crust for 5-7 min depending on your oven. I have found that the longer I run my oven the hotter it gets and the less time I need to keep the crusts in. If you see your crusts start to brown more and more with each cycle start cutting the time down. You want the finished crust to be cooked through but not overly brown.

While your crusts are cooking it is time to mix up your pizza sauce. You could go crazy here but I like to keep it pretty simple.

Pizza Sauce

6 cups of tomato sauce
4 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp garlic
4 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano

Stir together and add 1/2 cup sauce to each prebaked pizza crust. I use a measuring cup to do this step. Otherwise you end up with a few REALLY saucy pizza's and several with just a smidge.

Next comes the fun part.....the toppings!! We use 16 cups of cheese. I know this is quite a bit of cheese. We buy the 5lb package of cheese from Costco and we are left with about 2 cups after we are finished. I have mostly cheese pizza lovers in our house so we only made 4 of the 12 pizzas pepperoni. As you can see the topping stage is quite the crowd drawing experience......

The last step is to package them up for the freezer. I use plastic wrap for this step. I cover the entire pizza with the plastic wrap making sure I have several layers and that all the sections are covered.

You are DONE! Simply pop them into the freezer till you are ready to bake them. I heat them just like any other frozen pizza. I preheat the oven to 400 and bake 12-15 min till they are cooked through and the crust has finished browning.

So what does the cost analysis look like on these guys?

Pizza Crust: $1.20 or $0.01 per crust
Sauce:  $1.50 or $0.125 per pizza
Cheese: $12.44 or $1.03 per pizza
Pepperoni: $2 or $0.50 per pizza

That is a total of $17.14 or $1.43 per pizza. The retail cost for 12 store bought pizzas is $60. That is a savings of $42.86 per month.

**I keep my costs down by shopping in bulk at Costco and getting select items from Aldi.**

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