Frozen Pizza


We currently have a DELCO/dine-in/TNB business. However we have had a lot of requests from local ice arenas and local bars to sell out pizza frozen. They currently use other frozen pizza, so this would all be extra business for us. My question is about a frozen pizza dough recipe. Do we just order par-baked pizza crust from our distributor? Do we make our own, what would we need to add to our current recipe? Or do we par-bake our own? and if so how long or what times and temps do we put these in our ovens?? Help please


I actually use a frozen dough for my shop. It has been great for me not having to deal with all the issues of making in house and recieve better consistancy than I did when was a a “big box” shop. I use Rich’s you would probably need the par baked dough as it can go straight from freezer to oven( I use the sheeted then proof in house). My customers love the taste maybe give it a try!

Keep in mind that if you want to start making pizzas for resale, you will fall under the jurisdiction of the USDA as well as your local health dept. if you are selling pizzas with any meat on them. It doesn’t matter if you use precooked toppings. It opens up another set of regulations that you must follow including developing and implementing a HACCP plan.

WHat is a DELCO?

DELCO= Delivery/Carry Out


Hi Souix:
Scootie points out the potential problems with selling your product to someone else for resale. In addition to the Health Dept. and USDA regulations you as the baker of the product will have to carry product liability insurance large enough to cover any conceivable problem your product may cause.

George Mills

been there/done that…

wholesaling pizza to bars etc is not the legal hassle you’ve all made it out to be…your shop is most likely able to do it, as the bulk of your biz is retail - I was a wholesaler in the past, governed by the State Dept of Ag - not much different than local/state health dept issues… Feds don’t get involved unless it crosses state lines &/or meat is a major item - think you are selling a cheese pizza w/a meat topping - the bulk is not meat…also think of it as a take-in-bake item…

Your best bet in providing pizzas to places such as you have mentioned is to use a par-baked shell as your base. You can either par-bake your existing dough, or order in a peary made par-baked shell. To par-bake your regular dough, open it up as usual, dock it, then apply a very light application of oil to the surface of the dough, followed by your normal application of sauce, this wil help to limit bubbling during baking. Most par-bakes are best baked at 400 to 450F in a deck oven with a bake time of about 3.5-minutes, or 400F in an air impingement oven wi a bake time of about 3-minutes. NOTE: If, after baking, you see what at first appears to be an oil spot on the dough, this is not an oil spot, it is an area of collapse due to insufficient baking and you will need to adjust the baking time and/or temperature to correct it. Set the baked crusts aside to cool on a screen or wire rack. then finish dressing the crusts, and package them (pizza circle and cling wrap works well). Apply labels and place into a freezer until completely frozen.
Good luck, remember, this is how Tombstone Pizza got it’s start.
Also, think about finding a suitably sized toaster oven to bake your pizzas in, then make them available to your customers. Consider this, if you buy X-number of cases of our pizzas, we will provide you with the toaster oven at no additional cost. Then you can provide very specific baking instructions knowing that your pizzas will be correctly baked/reconed every time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom,

Thank you for your guidance on the procedure for par-baking and freezing pizza. What we are currently doing:

  • Opening up our dough
  • Docking it
  • Lightly oiling it
  • Applying 1/2 of the sauce quantity
  • Par-baking for around 3.5 minutes in a conveyor set at 400*F
  • Allowing to cool
  • Applying the remaining 1/2 of sauce quantity and cheese
  • Cling wrapping
  • Freezing

We are using a blast freezer to freeze.

There are a couple of issues that we are facing upon reheating in a normal toaster oven / small deck oven:

1 - The cheese does not melt properly and comes out quite rubbery (it performs well under normal conditions), and
2 - The crust comes out rather dry and biscuity; these are not characteristics that emerge when the dough is used normally, i.e. without par-baking and freezing.

Would you have any suggestions on these two points? On the dough specifically, perhaps a formulation that you feel would lend itself best to the par-bake / freezing process?

Thanks much



Forgot to add to this - you had mentioned in another post that frozen pizzas use a chemical leavening system (bake to rise) in the dough recipe. Could you shed some more light on this?

Thank you

If you go into the PMQ RECIPE BANK you can find a couple of different dough formulas for bake to rise/take and bake dough using a coated chemical leavening called Wrise.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

When you sell your meat topped pizza to someone who is selling it to someone else, you will be required to come under USDA inspections. I do fundraisers with meat filled strombolis and I am required to be inspected by the USDA every day. Meat topped pizza’s have the same rule if the pizza is at least 2% meat or more. Go to any grocery store and look for a USDA inspection on any meat topped pizza. There is a USDA seal and plant number on all of them.

If you sell it as a take and bake, you are not required to have USDA inspections.

The easiest way around this is to “give” them the meat toppings in a different container.

The correct definition of “blast” freezing is rapidly freezing the product at a temperature between -25 and -35F while employing 600 to 800 linear feet of airflow over the product to enhance heat transfer. If you are freezing by any other method, except cryogenically it is referred to as “static” freezing. This is important to know as it will affect what you will need to do to address the issue.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

When I was doing parbaked pizzas, with pepperoni (no demand for other meats) the percentage of pepperoni to the rest of the product was undet USDA inspection guideline

I’ve been involved with doing fund raisers at a number of pizzerias and one thing that works well is for a cheese pizza to be accompanied by prepackaged meats (packaged in an inspected facility) to the customer’s order. This gets you out of all the legal hassles. At one time Nestle used to make what they caller their fund raiser pizzas which were sold to entities to be used as a fund raiser. These pizzas were just plain old cheese pizzas but with packages of prepackaged meat included in each box. The pepperoni pizzas only had a package of pepperoni slices, sausage had a package of sausage crumbles, and combination pizzas had multiple packages of the meats making up the combination. The type of pizza was printed on the box and the box sealed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor