Protips: chefs explain how they dress up frozen pizza


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/24/protips-chefs-explain-how-the.html


#2
McCroskey: Johnny, what can you make of this? [hands Johnny a [frozen pizza]] Johnny: This? Well, I can make a hat; I can make a broach; I can make a pterodactyl!

#3

Feta cheese and calamata olives are the standard “go to” around my rancho.


#4


#5

Fresh garlic on pizza can make a huge flavor difference

Yum!

you can also sauté the garlic in olive oil and drizzle the garlic-infused olive oil on the pizza after

Yum!

Chopped up fresh basil or jalapeños are very tasty too

Yum!

We also love spicy honey

Bleurghh.


#6

Except the real problem with frozen pizza, at least the ones I’ve tried, isn’t the sauce, cheese, or toppings, it’s the crust. A par-cooked crust that’s been frozen just will never have the chewy, crunchy goodness of even a quickly risen crust. By using rapid-rise yeast and more of it, a kitchenaid mixer for the kneading, I’ve found I can mix up the dough and get it to a nice gluten level (windowpane) in about 5-10 minutes, let it rise for half an hour while the oven heats up to 500, and make pizza. Then again, I’ve been making pizza like this for decades, I imagine it would be more difficult and take longer for someone not used to it – but it’s well worth the effort.


#7

The best topping for frozen pizza is whatever you throw in the garbage can after it.


#8
  1. Open frozen pizza.
  2. Place in trash can.
  3. Open pizza dough…

What kind of a chef would “dress up” frozen pizza?


#9

A chef looking for a challenge?

There seem to be plenty of them out there…


#10

I often get the aldi frozen pizza. They aren’t par-baked. i just get cheese, then use decent pepperoni, make some fresh fennel sausage from ground pork and put a dollop of ricotta for each slice, then top with freshly grated parmesan and some crushed red pepper flakes. cook on a 500 degree preheated pizza stone


#11

they make a self-rising crust for frozen pizza nowadays that is… not horrible. I can even get my cheap supermarket brand frozen pizza with it. It ain’t anything like fresh-made dough, but it is crispy on the outside/puffed-up and soft on the inside; the crust is noticeably doubled in size after baking. Since you’ve got your process down, you have a mixer and keep all the supplies on hand, there’s no reason for you to switch–your pizza sounds awesome–but just to put it out there, over the decades you’ve been making your own, the frozen offerings have gotten a little more advanced, which is nice for me.

I’m going to have to start doing the garlic thing. I’ve been putting a healthy shake of dried thyme and basil picked off my neighbor’s plants over my pepperoni supermarket pizzas, makes a world of difference. lucky I’ve got a nice neighbor!


#12

I know a couple of professional chefs. They work long, inconvenient hours, which often mean getting home late, eating whatever is on hand, then falling into bed because they have an early shift the next day. Frozen pizza would count as one of their better food choices. What they feed themselves and what they are capable of cooking don’t intersect very much except at family dinners.


#13

We sure this isn’t a list of things that don’t go on a pizza?

Black salt? Pea shoots? Whatever the hell spicy honey is?

What in the actual fug, seriously.


#14

It’s not hard to make pizza dough.


#15

If there is one thing that will get me argumentative (of course the peanut gallery groans, “one thing!?”), it’s pizza. Specifically the crust.

While I completely believe you can get a window pane in less than ten minutes, the crust flavor is greatly improved with a low yeast, cold ferment. Ironically the raw pizza dough that many stores sell is great because of this–low yeast, eight hours in a cooled walk-in, and low salt.

Couple other tricks, skip long kneading times and fortify with commercial vital gluten. Second, do a “mash” with your flour at 140F for an hour. I can provide details if you are interested, it is neat. Third, spike the dough with a small amount of SCOBY. This works best with the mash method, so the acidifying bacteria have something to chew on.


#16

Truth.


#17

On pizza?


#18

Two things.

There is a pizza place in Phoenix that had a great Thai basil, peanut pizza.
Second, I knew I could count on you :smiling_imp:


#19

Ideally, don’t eat frozen pizza. Having said that, drown that mofo in your chili sauce of choice, problem solved. I always do that with take-away pizza slices (yeah, bad habit) and the giant bottle of Tabasco they usually have on the counter. Earned me some odd looks though.


#20

Sounds like you’re living in Flavor Country.