freezing pizza crusts + 3 cheese pizza!



Walnut Acres Organic Tomato-Basil Marinara, Shredded Parmesan, Feta, Baby Buffalo Mozzarella & Fresh Basil

I wish everyone could get their hands on Kinnikkinnick's frozen, pre-made pizza crusts.  These pass my test for pizza dough that taste like pizza dough, not to mention they are already made, & you don't have to pre-bake them.  I also like that they come in rectangles, which anchors me to the "stacked focaccias" I used to pick up at Grace Bakery in Albany.  Come to think of it, they would be fabulous topped with paper-thin slices of lemon, caramelized shallots, shredded organic chicken & a good drizzle of olive oil.  That would be Nice.  If you don't have this product nearby, at least grab some of their mail-order items here.  (Never mind!  Here they are!  Right here!)  

And in the meantime, I do love Arrowhead Mills pizza dough mix. Sometimes you want to cook from "scratch" but, well, not really.  It depends on the day, right?  Whatever you use, you can make freezer-ready pizza crusts without too much fuss when you're home for  2 hours on a Saturday.  You won't be "working" more than a half an hour, actually, but the yeast needs to warm up & the dough needs time to rise. If you make at least 3 batches, it's absolutely worth it, because you'll have 3 meals hooked up without much thought.  Use a separate bowl for each batch, just to keep everything under control.:)   It's all foolproof, by the way.

For large pizzas, you'll need several large plastic zipper bags, kitchen scissors & a roll of parchment paper.  Cut the parchment paper into circles that will easily fit inside the bags.  You'll be storing 2 in one bag, so cut 3 circles for each batch.  For single-sized pizzas, pick up a box of wax paper envelopes & masking tape.  We love these.  Just make smaller crusts that fit into the wax paper.  You'll need some fresh or dried rosemary, sea salt & corn meal for both.  You can substitute sesame seeds for the corn meal.

Just mix your dough according to the package instructions.  Scatter some of the corn meal, sea salt & rosemary onto a work surface & pull out a large baseball-size chunk of the kneaded dough.  Form a ball, flatten & press out into a disc.  Place on a parchment circle.  Repeat with the other half.  Stack two, then top with another parchment circle & place them into the zipper bag.  Pat yourself on the back!  It's easy, but I think it really takes something to take the time to try out something new, even if we know it will save us time later.  Okay, do the rest!

Keep a couple of sauce jars, toppings & your scissors handy, & you can knock out dinner in your sleep.  I let the kids do it.  We like to take them out frozen & place them right onto the oven rack, which I put onto the table.  We preheat the oven to 400', the kid's top them off & we pop 'em in, watching closely.  It usually takes about 14 minutes.  We use the high heat because it gets everything golden with a bit of crisps without losing moisture or too many nutrients.  And we serve it fast by keeping the scissors handy.

For extra fast kid-friendliness, we like to copy our fishmonger & cover the table with craft paper & forego the plates, even the paper towels!  Then we just shake it off & use it for kindling or recycle it.  

And how could I forget?  Ginger Beer.  Yes.