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Chicken Pesto Pizza (recipe here)

I’ve been making pizza about once a week the last month or two.  I’m experimenting with different crust recipes.  Usually I make enough for two crusts but my family will only eat one pizza in a meal, so I freeze the other one.  I used to halve the recipe and make enough for only one pizza at a time, but it is the same amount of work to mix and knead dough for one pizza as for two, and this way I get a break every other week.

To freeze the dough, take the dough ball and put it in a gallon freezer zipper bag (it is very important that it is a FREEZER bag, to keep the dough from getting freezer burn).  Then flatten it into a disc shape, which makes for more efficient use of freezer space as well as more even thawing and shorter thaw time.

When it is time to use the dough I pull it out and let it sit on the counter until thawed, then use as normal . . . in a perfect world where I remember to take it out at least two hours before I plan to start supper, that is.  Bread dough takes a long time to thaw at room temperature.

In the highly imperfect world that is my house an hour before I want to have dinner on the table, I usually find that my disc of dough is only barely thawed because I forgot how slowly dough thaws.  The solution I have found then is to fill my sink with warm water (hotter than lukewarm but not too hot to comfortably put my hand in).  I check to be sure the dough bag is sealed very tightly and float it in the water for 20 minutes or so, until it’s thawed through and no hard frozen lumps remain.  Then I press or roll it out as usual.

While the dough is thawing I can get all my toppings ready and preheat the oven, etc.  Especially if I am using a topping like pepperoni that requires little to no preparation, and bagged grated cheese, a premade crust makes this an easy supper.