Author Topic: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?  (Read 303 times)

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Offline pythonic

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How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« on: June 01, 2014, 11:36:09 PM »
The pizza is not partially baked at all before frozen?  How would you do it and please explain why?

Nate
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 01:43:00 AM »
Is it meant to be baked frozen, or did you freeze a raw pizza not originally intended to be frozen? If the later, I would place in fridge for 24 hours, then pull it out and put it on the counter for 2-3 hours.

Offline pythonic

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 12:23:27 PM »
Is it meant to be baked frozen, or did you freeze a raw pizza not originally intended to be frozen? If the later, I would place in fridge for 24 hours, then pull it out and put it on the counter for 2-3 hours.

Flash froze it raw. 
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 03:23:06 PM »
next time try half-bake it before freezing.  this is how some of the shops in Minneapolis/St. Paul sell frozen, and is also how HRI does their frozen pies.  I've never tried baking a pizza that was frozen while raw, but I imagine there are some issues which is why all of the pros half-bake them first.

Offline Garvey

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 04:41:03 PM »
 ^^^

Parbake is the way to go.

Offline vcb

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 10:21:40 PM »
I'm sure different companies have different steps, but this video shows the general automated process of frozen pizza:
parbaking the crust,, cooling the crust,
then adding uncooked sauce and cheese,
and then meats (raw, cooked, or cured, depending on what kind) ,
then flash freeze and wrapping.

A home version of this would be similar, except you may want to wrap and freeze at the same time
unless you have a lot of freezer space to freeze the pizza uncovered before wrapping.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQPT_FMQKV8
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 08:15:34 AM »
To bake a Chicago style thin crust from raw frozen would be a bit of a challenge indeed. But if I had to give it a shot in a home oven here is how I would start. Have two pizza stones available to work with, place one in a lower rack position to preheat while the other one will go on a center rack position at the time the pizza is placed into the oven. Baking temperature would be 425F. Place the frozen pizza on the cold stone as this will allow the top portion of the pizza to thaw and bake without developing and bottom crust color. When the top of the pizza is hot and just beginning to bubble I would transfer the pizza to the hot stone on the lower rack position to allow the bottom of the pizza to receive some heat to hopefully get sufficient bake to the bottom crust before the top of the pizza becomes the limiting factor for bake time. When you say flash frozen do you really mean "flash" frozen? To accomplish flash/blast freezing you must employ air temperatures in the range of -20 to -38F of if cryogenically frozen we are looking at freezing temperatures in the range of -45 to -60F. The reason I bring this up is because freezing at temperatures above those cited above will be damaging to the vegetable toppings causing them to break down as they thaw and release copious amounts of water while you're trying to bake the pizza. This results in what we fondly refer to as a "swamp" pizza. Additionally, the vegetables will have all the character of a very limp pasta noodle. Baking in a commercial air impingement oven can address a good deal of the water issue but it cannot resolve the textural properties of the vegetable toppings. This is why we advise that if pizzas made at home are to be frozen in a static freezer (anything not considered to be a blast freezer) the amount of vegetable toppings be very limited, sliced thinly, and if possible blanched or better yet, use canned or IQF (individually quick frozen) vegetables for the toppings. If using IQF vegetables they should be applied immediately before the pizza is placed into the freezer, even then it is wise to limit the amount used. Commercial frozen pizzas are typically made with a par-baked crust (exception being bake to rise pizzas which utilize a raw dough base). The vegetables most commonly use are IQF and many use moisture controlled IQF vegetable toppings to address the breakdown issues associated with freezing vegetables.
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Offline Jackitup

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Re: How would you bake a frozen Chicago thin pizza?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 02:31:06 AM »
My 2c.....Just so happens, one of my FAVORITE local pies here in the Mpls/St Paul area is a sturdy Chicago thin crust style pie. And I used to buy a LOT of half baked from him, wrapped in plastic and ordered 10 or more at a time, for 1/2 the menu price! As CDNpielover will attest to, Red's Savoy Pizza is one of the top 5 pizzas in the Twin Cities. Since my own pizza making hobby and skills have improved over the years I don't stock up on the frozen ones much anymore but I would not hesitate getting them for an event to thaw and heat and eat anytime. Sooooo, that brings me to how I handle theirs or any pre-frozen pie including store bought.
 If you have a stone, use it. Pre-heat oven to 450-550 depending on how you know that particular pre-froze pie will bake up
Leave pie wrapped in the plastic and thaw to room temp. Leaving to thaw IN THE PLASTIC keeps the pie and especially the crust from getting wet from the condensation of thawing. This applies to par-baked or from a raw froze one as say a Papa Murphy's. Mind you I haven't tried freezing  Papa Murphy's, just comes to mind as I type. I prefer them to a Domino's or Pizza Hut for quality bang for buck.
Unwrap, slide onto a floured peel and into the oven til done. In the case of a Papa Murphy type, leave on their bake proof card board thingy and onto a stone
I find just a little extra fresh cheese just before baking preferable as the ones that are frozen the longest will suffer from the cheese getting a little dried out.
Another way is frozen pie into a cold oven on a regular pizza pan of choice and the turn oven at the hottest it will go and pull when done. I prefer the thawed method, both work well. I used to go through a LOT of these in the old days 30+ years ago, still one of my FAVORITE pizza joints to eat at. 60's decor, dive type of joint, needs the local drunks smoking at the bar (they still drink there) and the place is packed with people standing in line for a table every nite!!! Savoy's par-baked and frozen pies, re-heated at home, are better than 90% of what most people can make on their own. REALLY great pizza!!! :drool:
Now for re-heating leftover slices of ANY pie, pre-heated cast iron skillet on low-med heat with a heat diffuser underneath pan, heat till bottom is unbearably crispy and toppings are melted, cover as needed while heating. BEST way for the patient eater to reheat pizza, crust will shatter!!!!

jon
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 03:20:58 AM by Jackitup »
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