Roasted garlic & prosciutto pizza. May we have a moment of silence for the awesomeness of this pizza . . . David and I rival the ninja turtles in our love for pizza, so homemade pizza is a weekly occurrence around here. Needless to say, we’ve tried and tested many crusts, sauces, toppings, and techniques! This pizza is a culmination of all these things and is perfect for a quick week night dinner that will please everybody.
Now, of course, homemade crust from scratch is always going to be the way to go. But who has TIME for that?!? Not I. So David and I have tested out all the quick-and-easy-we-are-starving pizza crusts (aka pre-mixed or pre-made) and here is our rank from Tasty to Meh:
- Delallo Italian Pizza Dough Kit
- Kroger Pizza Crust Mix
- Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust
- Boboli Pizza Crust
I should clarify our ranking by saying that all of these crusts are going to make your ninja turtle pizza dreams come true. But, the above ranking reflects David’s and my taste for crispy, thin crusts (but not cracker thin!). And all of the above can be prepped in under five minutes and can rise while you’re prepping the other ingredients.
The Delallo crust is, by and far, the best. Best taste. Best height. Best hybrid of crispy enough to pick up, but soft enough that you get that wonderful Italian dough flavor.
Delallo was almost edged out by Kroger just for ease-of-use and price. The Delallo is enough to make four 10-inch pizzas, which is wonderful if you’re having a party. But David and I usually make two 14-inch pizzas. I usually use half the dough and it’s perfect for a couple thin crusts. But then I have to store the other half of the mix and pray to high heaven I remembered to label it. Can’t count how many bags of unlabeled flour/pancake mix/pizza mix/unidentified white stuff have emerged form the depths of our pantry only to be thrown out, because we don’t know what it is! Also, Delallo calls for 45 minutes of rising time. I usually just give it as much time as it takes me to prep the other toppings and sauce. I’ve used it before after only 20 minutes of rising time and it was fine.
Kroger is a very close second–we use this all the time. SUPER fast. The package only calls for five minutes of rising time. Since it takes me 10-20 minutes to prep the other ingredients and the sauce, I just give it the extra time. This crust is thin and crispy, but has slightly less of that Italian pizza dough-flour taste.
The Pillsbury pizza crust is super handy since it requires no rise time. Just pop, unroll, reshape, and throw it on a pan. However, that re-shaping step is actually harder than you think. I often bake mine on a rectangular cookie sheet so that I don’t have to reshape it, but then the bottom doesn’t crisp up as much as when I use my pizza pans. But trying to re-shape that pre-made dough is a pain, since it always seems to spring back to its original shape. This crust also isn’t as thin as the Delallo or Kroger. It’s probably double the thickness and is much less crispy.
The Boboli . . . I use this when I’m doing a cooking night with little kids and want to let them build their own pizzas. This is the thickest crust–a pseudo-deep dish. But it’s very hard to get it to crisp up as much as David and I like. But it’s also the easiest to handle, making it the most kid-friendly.
Now. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR THE CRUST. If you’re using Delallo or Kroger, pre-bake your pizza for five minutes. If you’re using Pillsbury, the instructions usually tell you to pre-bake the crust before adding sauce, cheese, and toppings, but if it doesn’t, pre-bake for 5-10 minutes. After you pre-bake, use tongs or a spatula to flip the pre-baked crust over, so that the crispier side is facing up.
Oh my goodness, you guys. This roasted garlic sauce. Three ingredients. Two minutes. BAM. You have instant pizza sauce. After you have pre-baked your crust, use a pastry brush (or, heck, the back of a spoon) and shmear this deliciousness all the way up to the very edge of the crust. I know you’re tempted to leave yourself a little wing of dry crust for picking up. But that is the quickest way to a burnt edge. So make sure you spread sauce all the way to the edges, even if it is really thin at the edges.
One of the most important things to remember with toppings is that you can do whatever you want. Don’t like onions? Leave them off! Love mushrooms more than anything in the world and married a certain David who hates them? Add mushrooms and eat the whole pizza before he gets home! (Who? Me?)
Always wonder whether you should put toppings under or on top of the cheese? When the toppings are under the cheese, it’s almost as if you steamed them, since the heat and moisture gets trapped under the cheese. If the toppings are on top of the cheese, the moisture evaporates and you’ll get crispier toppings. Do as you will.
Scatter the toppings and stick it in the oven! Enjoy! And grab a mint–that roasted garlic sauce is killer, which my puppy can attest to.