If you want a homemade pizza without the hassle of making dough, store-bought versions can be a great compromise.
You can go to town with the sauce and toppings and create something delicious and individual. But you won’t have to worry about yeast temperatures, rest times, and the best technique for dough stretching!
Do you feel convinced with the no-frills option? If you do, here’s the follow-up question: What’s the best store-bought pizza dough? We’re going to find out! And we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make a perfect choice. So step this way to learn more!
Different Pizza Crust Options
Let’s start by looking at the options that exist when it comes to avoiding making your dough.
You can choose ready-made dough in a range of different forms. Some come in a can. Other types are in bags.
And you can even ditch the raw dough and choose a ready-made pizza crust instead. Find newly-fermented versions in bakeries and baked goods aisles in supermarkets. Some stores also carry frozen crusts.
But if you want more of the authentic pizza-making experience, the ready-made dough will be perfect. You can have fun practicing your stretching technique. And if you mess it up, it will be much easier to buy another than if you’d made it yourself from scratch!
But if speed is of the essence, a ready-made crust can be ideal. All you need is to remove it from its packaging, and it’s ready to be topped with your favorite ingredients. No stretching or rolling is required.
1. The Case For Canned Pizza Dough
Canned pizza dough is a breeze to use. And because it’s in a completely air-tight container, it will keep fresh for ages. If you’re looking for an option to keep in your store cupboard for pizza emergencies, it’s hard to beat.
The texture isn’t quite the same as you’ll get from other forms of pizza dough – but it’s still delicious. It will give you a pizza base with a similar feel to puff pastry.
That will work brilliantly for pies with lighter toppings and sauces. Combinations like goat cheese and pear or blue cheese and figs work beautifully with this.
One of the classic brands of canned dough is Pillsbury. It comes in two options: classic version and thin crust. It’s foolproof to manipulate, and it can give you the best result with minimal effort.
2. Frozen Options
Ideally, you have to place it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw before you use it. But don’t worry if you don’t have time for that. Leaving it on the countertop for a few hours will do the trick. Just don’t forget about it! It can overproof if you leave it at room temperature for too long.
As well as frozen dough balls, look out for frozen fresh and part-baked crusts. The latter is a good bet if you want your pizza in a snap. After preheating your oven, you can take the dough straight from the freezer to the oven, where it’ll cook in just a few minutes.
Pizza crusts (whether fresh or part-baked) tends to have a slightly shorter shelf life than dough. The latter can last for about nine months in the freezer. Once stretched into crusts, however, the shelf life is more like six months.
Lamonica makes excellent versions of frozen dough, as well as fresh and part-baked crusts. Their products are made with 100 percent natural ingredients too.
3. Fresh Dough
Many grocery stores will have fresh pizza dough in their bakery section. Most of the time, it provides a superior flavor since it does not contain preservatives.
But the downside is that it won’t keep fresh for as long as canned versions. To avoid over-proofing, keep it in the refrigerator and use it as quickly as possible after purchase.
Conversely, you can freeze it if you’re not using it within the week. You have to place it in the freezer immediately once you reach home. And aim to use it within three months.
4. Gluten-Free Options
There was a time when a gluten-free diet meant saying goodbye to pizza. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Today, there’s a whole range of gluten-free doughs and crusts on offer.
The absence of gluten, however, does present a challenge. Choose the wrong brand, and you may find your pizza stringy and unpalatable. The good news is there are plenty of good ones out there.
One of our favorite gluten-free doughs is the one from Trader Joe’s. The flavor is hard to distinguish from ordinary pizza crust. And while the texture is undeniably different, it’s nonetheless enjoyable. The mouthfeel here is chewier than a standard pizza.
But you can still get crunchy and crispy bites at the edge. And if you rub the dough with a little salt and olive oil before baking, you’ll get a crisper finish. Make sure you bake it before adding the toppings. Then put on your chosen extras and give it another ten minutes or more in the oven.
This dough springs from rice and tapioca, and it’s cholesterol-free and gluten-free. There aren’t any added herbs – but that does give you a blank canvas for your sauce and toppings. And it will work equally well with thin or deep-crust pies.
Trader Joe’s is one of the most popular brands of pizza dough out there. In addition to their gluten-free recipe, they offer classic, whole-wheat, and Italian styles. They’re all excellent options, and they’re not expensive either.
5. Check Out Your Local Pizzeria
Another option for buying pizza dough is to see whether your favorite pizzeria sells it. Many will, so don’t be afraid to ask! And doing so can often get you an ultra-fresh and tasty dough ball. After all, for the chefs there, making pizza is their specialty!
As with fresh pizza dough from other sources, correctly storing it is crucial to get the best results. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator and use it as soon as possible. It will keep there for up to a week, but you’ll get the tastiest pizza if it is used within four days.
How To Choose The Best Fresh Dough
If you’re choosing fresh dough from grocery stores, there are a few things to look for before purchasing it.
First and most obviously, there’s the expiration date. Try to choose a pack with the expiration date as later as possible. That’s the dough that will be freshest and will give you the best flavor.
For the bulk, dough shaped into a ball will be easiest to roll out for your pizza base. That can save valuable time if you’re in a rush.
And if the packaging is transparent, take a close look at the surface of the dough. You want to avoid dough that has lots of bubbles on the surface. These bubbles give you a hint that the gases have escaped from the dough and are an indication that it may be over-proofed.
That will mean there’ll be little or no air left when you come to work it. And that can lead to a flat crust and uninspiring flavor with a tough texture.
Lastly, avoid any packs where the dough is sticking to the container. That means it’s wet, making it hard to work with once used.
Alternative Pizza Bases
There are other options besides dough for your pizza base if you want to mix things up. Flatbreads and tortilla wrap both work brilliantly. Flavored flatbreads, like those with tomato and garlic, add an extra dimension to the taste. And the lighter base means you can fit in more pizza!
If you prefer something more substantial, how about French bread or naans? Naans work particularly well with strongly spiced toppings. Try chicken tikka and rocket for a pizza with an Indian twist.
Or slice some French bread and add a jar of sauce and some discs of mozzarella. It couldn’t be easier, and it makes a terrific cooking project for kids.
And if you’re looking for a healthy alternative, consider polenta. Mix it with boiling water, cheese, and a pinch of salt. Then add mozzarella, broccoli, peppers, and cherry tomatoes on top. Delicious!
Serve Up A Side
The best thing about using store-bought pizza dough is that it will free up your precious time! If you want to, you could use some of that to rustle up a side dish to accompany your pizza.
The fresh flavors of a simple green salad will work brilliantly. Or make a Caprese with avocado, mozzarella, and fresh tomatoes. It will be ready in minutes. And it will add an authentic Italian flourish—as well as healthy vitamins and other nutrients—to your meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is store-bought pizza dough as good as homemade?
In terms of taste and cost, homemade pizza dough is a no-brainer winner! It offers a fresher and lighter taste, given that you follow the dough recipe perfectly. Another thing to love about it is that you know it does not contain any unwanted preservatives.
But with regard to time, store-bought is a better option than homemade. Or unless you have a make-ahead dough stored in the freezer for weeks.
2. What is the best pizza crust on the market?
Aside from Trader Joe’s, Pillsbury, and other brands we’ve mentioned, here’s another to look out for:
- Brrittella’s fresh pizza dough for an impeccable crunch.
- Pizza buddy pizza dough which is applicable for beginners.
- Whole Foods Market white pizza dough if you feel like splurging on quality goods.
- Simple Mills almond flour pizza dough mix for another gluten-free option.
3. What is the trick to Trader Joe’s pizza dough?
Oh no! Got a sticky situation with your store-bought do? Here’s a tip: drizzle it with a bit of olive oil. Once you add it to the bag, you can expect the dough to unstick from the packaging.
But wait, it is not yet ready for use! You still have to wait about one to four hours while it is at room temperature. It will help the dough to rise and double and size.
4. How do you elevate the taste of premade pizza dough?
Seasonings are the answer to level up a store-bought dough. You can baste the crust with butter, parmesan cheese, or herbs like parsley. Feel free to experiment with the flavors and see what matches your palate.
Ready For Your Next Pizza Evening?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best store-bought pizza dough! Whether you’re looking for tinned, fresh, frozen, or gluten-free, there are loads of options. And they make creating your pizza – pardon the pun – as easy as pie!
But if you fancy something a little different, why not try out one of our alternative pizza bases? A flatbread, naan, or French bread pizza can be delicious too.
Whichever option you choose, we hope you enjoy your next pizza night. Happy baking – and happy eating!
Barbara is an enthusiastic food-exploring person that goes through different culinary experiences. She got inspired by creating a pizza blog post after she tasted one of the best-selling pizzas in Toledo.