Author Topic: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza  (Read 3047 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BDoggPizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Location: Davenport, IA
  • Go Hawks!
Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« on: February 20, 2012, 07:40:54 PM »
I am interested in selling frozen par baked Chicago style pizzas at my local farmers market this summer.  Basically like my own version of Lou's To Go (Lou Malnati's Frozen Par Baked Pizza's you can get at their carry out locations).  The problem with this idea is I have know idea how to do it.  How long to par bake the pizzas, how to properly freeze them, disposable pans, etc.  I can make a great Chicago style pizza but I want to expand my idea into this area.

If anyone has any experience in this area or knows a direction that they can point me in that would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help.

BDogg


Offline jeffereynelson

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1216
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 10:50:58 PM »
Could you sell them take and bake fresh instead? I just ask because I wouldn't buy par-baked frozen.

Offline vcb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 441
  • Location: Chicago
    • Real Deep Dish
Re: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 07:09:21 PM »
I am interested in selling frozen par baked Chicago style pizzas at my local farmers market this summer.  Basically like my own version of Lou's To Go (Lou Malnati's Frozen Par Baked Pizza's you can get at their carry out locations).  The problem with this idea is I have know idea how to do it.  How long to par bake the pizzas, how to properly freeze them, disposable pans, etc.  I can make a great Chicago style pizza but I want to expand my idea into this area.

If anyone has any experience in this area or knows a direction that they can point me in that would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help.

BDogg

All great questions and concerns. I hope to do this someday soon as well.
I know people have discussed in this forum the differences between the frozen Lou-to-Go pizzas and the ones you get from their restaurant, so there may be some clues as to any ingredient variations, but I think others in here may know if we talked about freezing our own deep dish pizzas and the results they've gotten.

I do know that it's not just the freezing process, but also how you unfreeze, prepare, and bake the previously frozen pizza.
I remember seeing someone posting an alternative method to the Lou-To-Go reheating instructions that resulted in a better baked pie, but I can't find it in the search. I think there were suggested steps for moisture control, such as taking the pizza out of the aluminum pan and wiping off any frost or ice, then drying out and oiling the aluminum pan before returning the pizza to the pan.
Hopefully someone will remember and post links to the relevant threads.

When I start my own freezing test-runs, I plan to try these two methods first:
PHASE A)
1) Bake a deep dish pizza as you normally would until almost-done.
   Don't let anything char. Remove from oven about ten minutes early.
2) Allow the pizza to cool to room temperature in the pan.
3) If you used an aluminum pan, cover the top with heavy duty aluminum foil.
If you did not use a disposable pan, remove the pizza from the pan
and wrap the entire pizza in heavy duty aluminum foil.
Then cover the whole thing in plastic wrap
 (or a ziploc or use a foodsaver, removing as much air as you can)
4) Place the wrapped pizza in the freezer. I'd recommend using a freezer that does not have a defrost cycle.

PHASE B)
1) Par-bake an empty deep dish pizza crust until the crust sets, about 15-20 minutes.
2) Let the crust cool to room temp, then add the rest of the ingredients
3) If you used an aluminum pan, cover the top with heavy duty aluminum foil.
If you did not use a disposable pan, remove the pizza from the pan
and wrap the entire pizza in heavy duty aluminum foil.
Then cover the whole thing in plastic wrap
 (or a ziploc or use a foodsaver, removing as much air as you can)
4) Place the wrapped pizza in the freezer. I'd recommend using a freezer that does not have a defrost cycle.

Phase B will probably be more difficult to do, since you'll have a lot of loose ingredients going into the freezing process.

Also, I might reserve the adding of pepperoni to the top of either phase until right before wrapping.

As soon as I get my second freezer so I have space for freezing a 12" deep dish, I will be sure to add to this thread and tell you how my trial and error goes. Goodness knows, my friends and relatives in other cities are waiting for me to be able to send them a pizza. :chef:
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
http://www.realdeepdish.com/
http://facebook.com/realdeepdish/
http://virtualcheeseblogger.com/

Offline northsider

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3
Re: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 03:58:35 PM »
I think it's Handi-foil that manufactures the black-bottomed pans that Lou Malnati's uses for their frozen deep dishes. Restaurant Depot in Chicago may have them. Check with your health department for regs on selling anything with meat. May be best to work with a pizza joint and let them bake for you. Insurance is another thing you have to carry. Dish it up, and they will come!

Offline mel83422

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
Re: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 05:03:22 PM »
Not sure if any of you are still interested or if you figured it out already, but I have had success. I found this post a few weeks ago when I had enough dough for a second pizza but didn't want to eat both. I cooked the pizza in a cast iron skillet as per recipe and took it out 10 minutes early. I then let it cool, put the skillet directly in the freezer and left it there for a couple of hours. I took the skillet out of the freezer, popped the pizza out of the skillet (next time I might line the skillet with foil) and wrapped the pizza in foil. I did not double wrap it with plastic wrap, though I would have if I thought it would be in the freezer more than a couple of weeks. I preheated the oven to 425 per Lou Malnati's website and baked the pizza straight out of the freezer, directly on the rack (no foil or pan) for 35 minutes. PERFECTION. The pizza was an 8" sausage and mushroom. You might need to add time if the pizza is larger or take some away if it is just a cheese pizza. The crust actually tasted better after the second baking. I am definitely doing this again in the future.

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9609
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Par Baked Frozen Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 09:24:10 PM »
The crust actually tasted better after the second baking. I am definitely doing this again in the future.
This does not surprise me...congratulations on your frozen pizza experiments mel.
Look forward to seeing some pics of your future bakes.... ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"