The Fresh Loaf

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Pre-cooked pizza crust?

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

Pre-cooked pizza crust?

In order to mass produce pizzas for a Labor Day party, can I pre-cook a bunch of crusts so they're easier to prepare, handle, etc.? Or will the pre-cooked crust burn when I put in the pizzas for final cooking?


thanks for the advice! 

rainwater's picture

Pre-cooked pizza crust is about the only way to feed large amounts of people for a big's not quite as good in my opinion, but no one will crust and one ever complains.  Pre-cook the pizza crust but don't cook it really dark.  When you put the tomato sauce, cheese and toppings you only  cook until the cheese melts nicely....sautee any veges you might use, and pre cook any animal products (sausage, chicken, shell fish).  You will finish the pizza in a relatively not so hot oven ....maybe about 400 degrees.  I  wouldn't pre cook very hot either because you want to crust to cook without getting dark.   You will probably have to roll the crust very thin, and poke holes in the crust so it doesn't blow up too thick without the toppings on it????

ClimbHi's picture

I do this all the time. As a bonus, it's easier and faster to top and load the pizzas into the oven, since the pre-cooked crusts don't stick to the peel or the oven floor and trash the fillings.

Pre-cook them till they just start to brown. Let them cool & put 'em in a tightly closed plastic bag and load 'em into the freezer until you're ready to use 'em.

If you're doing these in a masonry oven, just cook at the normal, or a bit lower than normal, temps but, as rainwater points out, you will probably want to pre-cook the toppings a bit since the final pizza won't be in the oven as long. Also as rainwater says, untopped crusts have a tendency to form bubbles when they're cooking. I just pop them with a bubble-popper -- a stainless steel screw driven through the end of a long stick. Alternatively, you can also put a metal pie pan with a bit of weight in it (pie weights, stones, whatever) on top of the crust to keep it flat in the center.

Pittsburgh, PA

PS: From  your name, I gather you're into sourdough. FWIW, SD ciabatta makes a great pizza crust.

deblacksmith's picture

Because it fits our lifestyle and can be made at the last minute we do a lot of pizza shells. I cook them on air bake cookie sheets for about 8 minutes in a 400 F oven. I do 2 at a time and switch them half way through.

I have found that adding about 5 percent potato flour keeps them from being dry on the "second" bake. Also I use a high hydration dough 77 to 80 percent -- the same dough that I make for ciabatta. I also add a very light coating of mixed cheese to the dough top for the first bake. It gives a nice roasted cheese flavor. I roll these "shells" on parchment paper and then bake to what I would call 80 percent done. Then freeze as soon as they cool to room temperature.
Carol then makes the pizza with precooked toppings. Bakes them on a stone at about 425 -- very good pizza.


nbicomputers's picture

when you pre cook be sure to ether dock the crust to prevent it from blowing up to much or put a thin layer of sauce on the crust.  when you finish it add more sause and toppings.

AnnaInNC's picture

Having to pre-cook the shells, pre-cook the toppings, worrying about the correct heat settings, etc.  isn't that more time-consuming vs. making the shells ahead of time and just freezing them rolled out and not pre-cooked ?