Homemade Pizza School

Updated: October 19, 2023

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

Can I use Pre-made Crusts in my Pizza Oven?

Pizza has always been a go-to comfort food for many people. It’s perfect for game nights, family dinners, and impromptu gatherings. The process of making pizza from scratch, however, can be a bit daunting for some.

That’s where pre-made pizza crusts come in handy. These crusts are a perfect, time-efficient option for those who want to create delicious homemade pizzas without the hassle of kneading and rolling the dough. So, can I use pre-made crust in pizza oven?

Key Takeaways:

  • Pre-made pizza crusts are a convenient and time-saving option for making homemade pizzas. A hot pizza oven and a pizza stone or pan are essential for achieving a great pizza using pre-made crusts.
  • Pre-made crusts may have limited texture variety and experimenting with different brands may be necessary.
  • The key to a great pre-made crust pizza is finding the perfect balance of flavors and textures with the toppings you choose.
can i use pre-made crust in pizza oven for pepperoni pizza
Photo by Drew Perales on Unsplash

Using pre-made crusts is quite simple. Start by preheating your pizza oven, as a hot oven is one of the secrets to a great pizza. Then, choose your desired toppings and get creative with the flavors. You might also want to add a variety of textures with sliced meats, veggies, and gooey cheese.

Once your pizza is assembled, bake it on a pizza stone or baking sheet, and within minutes, you’ll have a tasty homemade pizza that you can be proud of.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-made pizza crusts make it easy to enjoy homemade pizzas without the hassle of preparing dough from scratch.
  • A hot pizza oven and a pizza stone are key components for achieving a great pizza using pre-made crusts.
  • Customize your pizza by adding various toppings and textures, including meats, vegetables, and cheeses.

Pre-Made Pizza Crust: Pros and Cons

In my experience, using pre-made pizza crust can be a convenient and time-saving option when making pizza at home. One of the best pre-made crusts I’ve come across is the Boboli Original Pizza Crust. It has a distinct yeasty flavor and chewy texture, reminiscent of homemade dough.

This crust is on the thicker side and has browned edges sprinkled with a bit of Parmesan, which adds a nice touch to the overall pizza experience.

However, there are also downsides to using pre-made pizza crust. For one, the thin and crispy texture may result in a dry and crumbly pizza depending on the brand. To achieve a satisfying pizza experience, you may still need to experiment with different pre-made crust brands and kinds.

When it comes to baking pre-made crusts in a pizza oven, I’ve found that using a baking stone or a pizza pan can greatly affect the outcome of your crust. A baking stone will give you a thin, crispy crust, while a pizza pan produces a crisp-bottomed, chewy crust. If you’re a fan of deep-dish pizza, a round cake pan can also be used for that purpose.

In terms of cost and space, using pre-made pizza crusts can be quite similar to making your own dough. While you’ll save some time in the kitchen, the cost might be roughly the same as making dough from scratch. Additionally, while you’ll lose a bit of freezer space by storing pre-made crusts, you’ll gain it in other areas of your kitchen.

To summarize, using pre-made pizza crusts offers advantages like convenience and time-saving, but it also comes with some disadvantages, such as limited texture variety and the need to experiment with different brands. Choosing the right equipment for baking the crust, like a baking stone or pizza pan, can significantly affect the outcome and make a noticeable difference in your pizza experience.

pre-made crust in my pizza oven
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Choosing the Right Pre-Made Pizza Crust

To create a delicious and satisfying pizza from a pre-made crust, I focus on several factors when choosing one. There are many options available in the market, and making the right choice ensures a better pizza-making experience.

The first thing I consider is the texture and thickness of the crust. Some people prefer a thin, crispy crust, while others like a more substantial, chewy base. For those who enjoy a traditional crust, I recommend trying Boboli Original Pizza Crust.

It offers a good balance between crispy and chewy texture. However, if you’re looking for a thinner crust, Molinaro’s Thin Crust Pizza Kit, Golden Home Ultra Thin Pizza Crust, or Pastorelli® Ultra Thin Pizza Crust are worth trying.

Next, I take into account special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan options. Whole Foods is a great place to find a variety of pre-made pizza crusts catering to different dietary requirements. Whole Foods’ bakery section usually stocks both traditional and alternative crust options.

Taste and flavor also play a significant role in selecting the perfect pre-made pizza crust. A good crust should have a fermented, slight yeasty flavor like brewed beer, and be well salted so it doesn’t taste bland. I always ensure that the crust isn’t overpowering, as it should complement the toppings rather than compete with them.

Lastly, I consider the ease of use. The main advantage of using a pre-made pizza crust is the convenience it offers. I look for crusts that are easy to handle, quick to bake, and don’t require additional steps like resting or shaping. Needless to say, they won’t be exactly like classic Italian pizzas.

The best way to find your ideal pre-made pizza crust is to try a few and discover which one suits your taste preferences and pizza-making style. So, grab your favorite crust, some toppings, and start creating mouth-watering pizzas right in your own pizza oven.

Using the Pizza Oven Correctly

When I bake a pizza using a pre-made crust, the first thing I do is preheat my oven to the correct temperature. For most pre-made crusts, it’s recommended to preheat the oven to around 425-450º F. I allow the oven to preheat for at least 15-20 minutes, ensuring it reaches the desired temperature for a perfectly baked pizza.

For pizzas with a crisp, flaky crust, I always use a pizza stone inside my hot oven. I place the stone in the oven while it’s preheating, allowing it to absorb the heat and create a perfect surface for baking my pizza. Once the oven and pizza stone are ready, I carefully place my pre-made crust on the hot stone and pre-bake it for about 3-4 minutes. This step ensures that the crust is partially baked and ready for sauce and toppings.

After pre-baking the crust, I quickly remove it from the oven and add my desired pizza sauce and toppings. Then, I return the pizza to the hot oven on the pizza stone and bake it for 10-15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on the pizza during this time to prevent overcooking or burning.

For those without a pizza stone, I recommend baking the pizza directly on the oven rack without any barriers. This allows the heat to reach the crust without any obstacles, ensuring a perfectly cooked pizza. Remember to follow the pizza crust manufacturer’s instructions for baking times and temperatures.

While using my pizza oven, I always maintain a consistent temperature. A hot oven is crucial for achieving a crispy crust and properly cooked toppings. And finally, I practice safety measures like using oven mitts when handling the hot stone and a pizza peel for transferring the pizza in and out of the oven. This way, I can enjoy a delicious homemade pizza with a perfect pre-made crust.

Kitchen Tools for Pizza Baking

When I bake pizza using a pre-made crust, there are several essential tools I use to achieve the best results. A pizza stone or baking sheet is crucial for ensuring the crust bakes evenly and turns out crispy. To use a pizza stone, I place it in the oven while preheating, giving it time to get up to temperature.

If I’m using a baking sheet, I often line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking while also making cleanup easier. If you don’t have a pizza stone or baking sheet, a pan or rack can work in a pinch, but they might not provide the same crispiness as the other options.

A pizza peel is my go-to tool for transferring the prepared pizza to and from the hot oven. This long-handled, flat tool allows me to safely and effortlessly slide the pizza onto the heated stone or baking sheet. If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a large, flat spatula, but be cautious when maneuvering it in the hot oven – a pizza peel is much easier to handle.

When it comes to prepping the crust and toppings, a stand mixer can be very useful, especially if I’m making my own dough. The mixer enables me to combine the ingredients evenly and quickly, though this might not be as relevant when using pre-made crusts. Even so, having access to a stand mixer can make it easier to whip up sauces or shred cheese for the perfect pizza.

Finally, having a brush on hand is great for applying olive oil or sauces onto the crust. I like to use a silicone brush with a long handle, as these are easy to clean and don’t shed bristles onto the pizza. After the pizza has finished baking, I carefully remove it from the oven using the pizza peel and allow it to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

In summary, having the right kitchen tools – including a pizza stone or baking sheet, pizza peel, parchment paper, and brush – ensures that my pizza endeavors always result in the best flavors and textures.

vegetable pizza crust in a pizza oven
Photo by Sarah Elizabeth on Unsplash

Best Recommendations for Pizza Toppings

As an avid pizza lover, I decided to share my favorite topping options for pre-made crust pizzas. Whether you’re looking to create a classic pie or something more unique, these suggestions will help you craft the perfect pizza at home.

Cheese Options

In my opinion, cheese is the foundational element of any great pizza. Here are my go-to choices:

  • Mozzarella – A classic pizza cheese, mozzarella provides a mild flavor and beautiful, melty texture.
  • Parmesan – For a nutty, savory flavor, I like adding a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
  • Fresh Mozzarella – This cheese offers a creamy, delicate flavor and adds an authentic touch to your pizza.
  • Cream Cheese – To elevate a white pizza, consider dollops of cream cheese, which adds a rich, tangy creaminess.

Meat Choices

Protein-packed and flavorful, meats can bring a delicious heartiness to any pizza. My top picks include:

  • Pepperoni – A beloved classic, pepperoni adds a slightly spicy and smoky kick to any pie.
  • Italian Sausage – With fennel, garlic, and other savory seasonings, Italian sausage pairs well with a variety of toppings.
  • Bacon – Crispy, smoky, and salty, bacon adds a fantastic texture and complementary flavor to many veggie toppings.

Fresh Vegetable Options

Complement your cheese and meat selections with fresh, vibrant vegetables. Here are some tried-and-true favorites:

  • Mushrooms – Earthy and umami-rich, mushrooms add depth and pair well with nearly any topping.
  • Onions & Red Onions – Whether caramelized for a sweet touch or charred on the grill for a smoky flavor, onions can enhance your pie.
  • Olives – For a briny, salty element, I like to toss on a mix of green and black olives.
  • Pineapple – A controversial but personally loved option, pineapple adds a sweet, tropical twist.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves – To add a pop of color and bright, herbaceous flavor, I love scattering fresh basil over my pizzas.

When it comes to sauces, you can’t go wrong with classic tomato sauce or savory pesto. Alternatively, consider alfredo sauce for a rich, creamy white pizza. Finally, I always recommend a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavors and create a crispy crust in the pizza oven.

Remember, the key to a great pre-made crust pizza is finding the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Experiment with my suggestions and don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!

Preparing the Pizza

When I prepare a pizza using pre-made crust, I begin by ensuring my dough has properly risen. Ideally, homemade or store-bought premade pizza dough should be allowed to rise until it has doubled in size. I typically let my dough rise for about an hour in a warm area, covered with a clean cloth or plastic wrap.

Once the dough has risen, I knead it gently to release any air bubbles and create a smooth texture. I then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or between sheets of parchment paper to my desired thickness. This could vary depending on the type of pizza I’m making, such as thin crust or deep-dish.

Before adding my toppings, I sprinkle a bit of salt over the dough to enhance the flavor. For a classic pizza, I’ll spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, leaving about an inch of space at the edge of the dough for the crust. Toppings can vary based on personal preference, and I love to get creative. Some of my favorites include traditional pepperoni pizza, Hawaiian pizza, gourmet white pizza, and BBQ chicken pizza.

The sauce used can also add some variety to my pizzas. For a white pizza, I might use a garlic cream sauce and for BBQ chicken pizza, a good quality barbecue sauce. Homemade sauces are always a great option to elevate the flavors of the pizza.

After placing my toppings on the pizza, I’ll sprinkle a mixture of dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavor. I also like to brush the crust with olive oil or melted butter to achieve a golden, crispy finish.

When I’m making other types of flatbreads such as focaccia or naan, I’ll adjust the toppings and seasonings accordingly. For example, I might top a naan with light olive oil, minced garlic, and fresh cilantro, or a focaccia with rosemary, salt, and thinly sliced onions.

Once my pizza is prepared, I’ll slide it onto a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in an oven that’s preheated to a high temperature, typically around 425-475° F, for about 10-15 minutes or until it reaches my desired level of crispiness.

After the pizza is cooked, I let it cool for just a minute or two before slicing and serving. I love sharing my homemade pizza creations on Instagram and enjoying them with friends and family.

Reheating Pizza

When it comes to pizza night, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot slice of homemade pizza. But sometimes, we might have some leftovers that need to be stored for later, or maybe we’ve experimented with pre-made crusts and want to reheat them for a quick meal. In either case, the goal is to achieve a crispy crust while maintaining the quality of the toppings. I’ll go through the process of how to achieve this.

Firstly, when storing leftover pizza or a pre-made crust, make sure to place it in the freezer. This will help maintain the integrity of the crust and toppings. Be sure to use a freezer-safe container or wrap the pizza tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

Now, when it comes time to reheat the pizza, there are some key steps to follow to ensure a crispy crust and evenly heated toppings. Preheat your oven to 375° F, allowing it to heat up fully before introducing your pizza. This will prevent a soggy crust and uneven heating.

Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, line a baking sheet with foil. This will help with easy cleanup and prevent the crust from sticking to the pan. If you have a pizza stone, it can also be used to mimic the environment of a pizza oven and create an excellent crust.

Place the frozen pizza on the prepared baking sheet and bake it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to prevent overcooking. The pizza should be warmed through, with the cheese melted and toppings heated evenly. A crispy crust can be achieved by increasing the baking time slightly or placing it directly on the oven rack for a few minutes once heated.

And that’s it! No need to be a pizza expert or invest in a professional pizza oven. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your reheated, homemade pizza or pre-made crust with a satisfying crispy texture on any pizza night.

classic pizza on a table with cutting board and wooden spoon
Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash

Specialty Pizza Recipes

Using pre-made crust in a pizza oven is a fantastic way to make delicious homemade pizzas with minimal effort. In this section, I will share three recipes using pre-made crust that you can cook in your pizza oven: BBQ Chicken Pizza, Hawaiian Pizza, and Classic Pepperoni Pizza.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

For the BBQ Chicken Pizza, I first preheat my pizza oven according to the crust directions. Then, I lightly brush the crust with olive oil to ensure a crispy, golden base. Next, I spread a layer of BBQ sauce over the crust, followed by shredded mozzarella cheese.

To prepare the toppings, I cook some chicken breast using the sous vide method to ensure a tender, juicy result. Furthermore, I caramelize red onions for a sweet and savory flavor, and chop some fresh cilantro and parsley for a burst of freshness.

I arrange the cooked chicken, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs on the pizza, adding some additional BBQ sauce drizzled on top for extra flavor. Finally, I bake the pizza in the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

Hawaiian Pizza

When making Hawaiian Pizza, I start by preheating the pizza oven as per the crust instructions. Then, I brush the crust with olive oil for a nice, crispy texture. For the sauce, I opt for a classic tomato sauce spread evenly over the crust. After that, I sprinkle a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.

For the toppings, I use sliced ham, pineapple chunks, and even add some Hawaiian pineapple BBQ meatballs for an exciting twist. To complement the sweet and salty flavors, I also add some chopped green bell peppers and thinly sliced red onion.

Finally, I place the pizza in the pre-heated oven and bake until the crust is perfectly crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Classic Pepperoni Pizza

The Classic Pepperoni Pizza is a crowd-pleaser. I begin by preheating the pizza oven according to the crust’s directions and brushing the crust with olive oil. Then, I spread a generous layer of tomato sauce over the crust, followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.

As for the toppings, I use thinly sliced, high-quality pepperoni, which is the star of this pizza. To add a touch of freshness and flavor, I scatter some fresh basil leaves over the top. For some extra crunch, I sprinkle a handful of bread crumbs over the pizza as well.

Finally, I bake the pizza in the pre-heated oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted and golden.

Making Pizza a Social Event

When it comes to hosting a pizza party, using pre-made pizza crusts can make the experience much more enjoyable for both the guests and me. As a host, I find that preparing the crust ahead of time allows me to spend more quality time with my guests, and it offers me the freedom to get creative with various toppings based on everyone’s preferences.

I’ve learned that one way to make pizza parties more engaging and fun is by setting up a “topping station” with an array of ingredients to choose from. This way, my guests can customize their pizzas to their liking. I usually bake the pre-made crusts for 5 minutes or until air bubbles form and the bottom begins to brown. Then, I remove them from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature.

While the crusts are cooling, I set up the topping station with a variety of items, such as different types of cheese, meats, vegetables, and sauces. During the party, my friends can assemble their dream pizzas using the ingredients provided, and I can easily manage the oven and bake their creations to perfection.

One aspect of using pre-made pizza crusts that I appreciate is the ability to bake multiple pizzas quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful when hosting large gatherings, as it ensures that everyone has a chance to enjoy their personalized pies without having to wait too long. Additionally, the pizzas can be cut into smaller sizes to encourage sharing and make the event even more communal.

Overall, using pre-made crusts in pizza ovens is a great way to guarantee that my pizza parties are always a hit. The ease of preparation and customizable nature of the event helps to create an enjoyable, social atmosphere that everyone can appreciate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pre-made crusts in my pizza oven?

Yes, you can use pre-made crusts in your pizza oven. Pre-made crusts are convenient and can save you time when preparing pizzas. They come in various sizes and styles, including thin, thick, and whole wheat options, allowing you to customize your pizza according to your preferences.

When using pre-made crusts in a pizza oven, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for temperature and cooking time, as these might differ from traditional oven baking. Keep a close eye on the pizza as it cooks to ensure it doesn’t overcook or burn. With the right approach, pre-made crusts can yield delicious pizzas with the same crispy texture and authentic taste as those made from scratch.

How long should I bake a pizza with a pre-made crust?

In my experience, the general recommendation for baking a pizza with a pre-made crust is to preheat the oven to 450° F (232° C) and bake it for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted. However, make sure to check the instructions on the packaging of the pre-made crust for specific cooking times and temperatures.

What is the best pre-made dough for a wood-fired oven?

I have found that the best pre-made dough for a wood-fired oven is one that is meant for high-temperature baking. Some store-bought doughs are specifically formulated for such ovens. Look for mentions of compatibility with wood-fired ovens on the packaging while choosing the dough.

Can I use store-bought dough in an Ooni pizza oven?

Yes, I have successfully used store-bought dough in an Ooni pizza oven. Most store-bought doughs work well in these ovens, as they are designed to handle high temperatures. However, be sure to check the instructions on the dough package to ensure it’s suitable for high-temperature cooking.

How do I roll out store-bought pizza dough?

Here’s my method of rolling out store-bought pizza dough: First, let the dough come to room temperature, as this makes it easier to work with. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into a circular or rectangular shape, according to your preference. Rotate the dough and flip it occasionally to make sure it’s evenly flattened.

Are there YouTube tutorials for making pizza with store-bought crust?

Indeed, there are numerous YouTube tutorials available that demonstrate how to make pizza with store-bought crusts. Some of these videos provide step-by-step instructions, while others showcase creative topping ideas or specific cooking techniques tailored to pre-made crust users. Simply search “making pizza with store-bought crust” on YouTube to find various tutorials.

Is it possible to use Boboli crust in an Ooni pizza oven?

I believe it is possible to use a Boboli crust in an Ooni pizza oven, as long as you follow the baking instructions specified on the packaging and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Be aware that the Ooni pizza oven may cook the crust faster than a conventional oven due to its high temperature, so monitor the cooking process closely to ensure the crust doesn’t burn.

Questions based on the emails we receive from readers like you! Please contact us at any time with any possible questions you have.

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Authors

DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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