Nothing beats capping a long day with a slice of pizza in hand — especially one that you prepared yourself! Learning how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough is easier than you think. It’s a simple way to enjoy pizza at home while practicing your culinary skills and creativity.
Why use store bought dough in making homemade pizza?
Making your pizza at home is fun and puts your skills in the kitchen to the test. However, not everyone has the time to make everything from scratch.
Using store bought dough is a convenient alternative to creating your own. In fact, it’s a lifesaver as it makes the pizza-making process easier. All you have to do is prepare your dough and start building your pizza the way you like it.
How do you store the pizza dough you bought? How long can pizza dough sit out before cooking? If you’re ready to start making your pizza at home, you’re in the right place as this article will share all there is to know about making homemade pizza with store bought dough.
Where to buy store bought dough
Store bought dough can be easily found anywhere. You can get it at the grocery or supermarket near you. These are usually stored in the refrigerated section where ready-to-bake pizzas and other premade goods and pastries are.
You can also go to local bakeries and pizzerias as some sell their premade pizza dough. Are there Italian specialty stores in your area? Better check those out too. There are shops that offer a selection of dough with herbs and may even give you tips on how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough.
If you’re planning to experiment in the kitchen, better buy more than one dough. Double-check the expiration date to ensure that you can still use it at a later date. To store your bought dough, all you have to do is put it in your fridge or freezer. Putting it in the freezer will give it a longer shelf life than keeping it in the fridge.
Let your store bought pizza dough rise
Already have pizza dough on hand and ready to start making your homemade pizza? First thing’s first: let your pizza dough rise. Good pizza is not only made with good toppings but also good dough. The quality of your dough is just as important as that of your other ingredients.
You need to let your pizza dough rise to make it easier to stretch and shape. It can be a challenge especially when you’ve just removed your dough from the freezer. Patience is key when it comes to letting store bought pizza dough rise as it may take 30 minutes up to hours.
Put your store bought dough in a bowl and add a bit of olive oil on top. Be sure to wrap it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Leave your bowl on your kitchen countertop or by the window at room temperature. If you have plans of cooking right after you buy the dough, simply leave it out to rise instead of storing it in the refrigerator.
The rule of thumb is that the longer you thaw your dough, the more air there will be and it will come out much tastier. If you’re not familiar with how the dough rises, the yeast ingredient feeds on the sugars and starches releasing carbon dioxide and ethanol. This causes air bubbles to get trapped in your dough giving the effect of it “rising” or doubling in size.
Stretch and shape your store bought pizza dough
After giving your dough enough time to sit at room temperature, it’s time to put your hands to work! Shaping your store bought dough is one of the fun steps in this pizza-making process.
First, add some flour to your flat workspace. This prevents your dough from sticking to surfaces which can cause a mess. Also keep a small bowl of flour by your side so it’s accessible whenever you need it.
Press the dough against the surface to flatten it out. Start from the outer sides by pressing it with your fingers to create the crust. Prefer crispy crusts? Roll your dough thin so you will end up with a crispy crust.
Once you’re done with the crust, move onto the middle of your dough. Push it outward to expand your pizza dough to your desired size and thickness. If it feels sticky to manage, flour is your best friend. Just lightly sprinkle it with flour from time to time.
Pick up your dough and put your hands under it. The center of the dough should be on top of your palm while the outer edges are hanging. Stretch the dough with your knuckles in circular motions. Don’t dwell so much on the shape of your pizza as it does not have to be a perfect circle.
There are different ways of shaping your dough. Watch this video for a visual guide of the techniques you can use on
Using a rolling pin to shape your dough
Shaping store bought pizza dough by hand may be a struggle for some. If that’s the case for you, feel free to use a rolling pin. Be sure to coat your pin with a generous amount of flour to avoid the dough from sticking.
Use an outward motion when rolling your dough — start from the middle then roll towards the outer edges. Rotate the dough as you roll to keep the circular shape. If you plan on using a rolling pin, consider letting it rise about 10 minutes longer.
Prepare pizza dough for baking
Now that you’re done creating your base, it’s time to move to the next steps in how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough.
Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper. You may want to drizzle olive oil as it not only stops your dough from sticking to the paper but also adds flavor to your pizza.
Slowly pick up your dough and lay it on the baking sheet. Be gentle as you don’t want to break or fold your dough. With your fingers, push your dough outward until it covers the baking sheet up to the edges.
Here’s a tip: Use a fork to poke tiny holes in the dough. Called docking, this process stops big bubbles from forming. This is one of the issues commonly encountered when people learn how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough.
Par-baking: the secret to a good crust
Want to know the secret to coming up with a really good crust? Par-bake your store bought dough first!
Par-baking is a common technique used by bakers and chefs around the world. You will definitely thank yourself for not skipping this step as it will prevent toppings from falling off and your base from turning out soggy.
To par-bake, put the baking sheet with your dough inside the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the timer to bake for only seven to twelve minutes to firm up your crust.
Add your toppings
This is another step you will surely enjoy. After par-baking your crust, let it cool for a few minutes then add your toppings. The sky’s the limit when choosing your toppings.
Before anything else, the sauce comes first. There is really no right or wrong choice when talking about pizza sauces. You can go for the all-time classic red pizza sauce or try other flavors such as barbecue sauce or white sauce. Go easy on the sauce so your pizza will stay crisp and not soggy.
Cheese is one ingredient you don’t want to miss out on in pizzas. Different types of cheese give out different flavors. The most common is mozzarella, followed by cheddar and fontina. If your tastebuds want to experiment, consider gorgonzola, provolone, smoked gouda, goat cheese, or bleu cheese.
Herbs and spices
In packing flavor to any dish, nothing does the job better than herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, garlic, thyme, paprika, fennel, and black pepper. Delicate herbs like basil can be added after baking the pizza to avoid getting burnt.
If you’re a meat lover, feel free to overload your pizza with pepperoni, sausages, ham, bacon, and even chicken.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables also make good toppings. Add pineapples, roasted cherry tomatoes, pears, and even apples to your pizza. Caramelized red onions, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, and other vegetables are good topping choices too.
Bake your homemade pizza
After unleashing your creativity through the toppings, load your pizza creation into your oven. Put your pan on the lower third of your oven to cook both sides.
High temperatures are best for baking pizza. You can go from 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to ten minutes. However, thick crust pizzas cook better at a lower temperature for a longer baking time.
Once your cheese has melted and your crust looks golden brown, feel free to take out your pizza from the oven. Viola, you have made homemade pizza with store bought dough! Slice and enjoy your pizza masterpiece!
To summarize the steps on how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough, watch this video:
Experimenting on homemade pizza with store bought dough
In conclusion, using premade dough makes the entire pizza-making process easier and more fun. When you learn how to make homemade pizza with store bought dough, you will go through several trial-and-error situations.
Remember: The more you experiment and practice, the better you will get the hang of it!