Totino's Pizza, although super duper unhealthy, is just a special kind of pizza. In the days when I could still eat Totino's pizza (thanks a LOT, hypertension), I would even bake one up and share it with my eating buddy son for breakfast. Yes, I said for breakfast. The thing about those cheap frozen pizzas is that they have this amazing crust. I like to bake them on a baking stone, so the crust gets extra crispy on the bottom and really chewy in the middle. No pizza crust I've ever made tasted anything like that--not that I was really going for that crust, but I just had no idea how they made it.
Now I think I know. I think they fry it. I know, it sounds crazy, but it would explain the unique texture and flavor of the crust as well as the ridiculous amount of fat and calories in a single pizza. I'd also seen on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives that some pizza place somewhere in the U.S. fries their pizza crust before topping and baking, so that's what I thought I'd try. I really think it works. My pizza even smelled like Totino's as it was baking. I don't have a recipe for the sauce, though, so I just used my favorite jarred sauce today (Classico), and it worked fine.
This crust is crispy and chewy, just like Totino's. And my tummy felt a little uneasy after I ate the whole experimental pizza for lunch this afternoon--a reminder that I should not do this very often--for so many reasons.
So there you have it. If you also are a lover of those frozen Totino's Party Pizzas, and you're into making things from scratch, give this a try and let me know what you think.
Fried Pizza Crust
--Adapted from Tyler Forence's Pizza Dough Recipe at FoodNetwork.com
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- Canola oil for frying
Place the warm water and olive oil in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Add the flour. Then add the sugar, salt, and instant yeast.
With the dough hook, mix on low until ingredients are incorporated. Turn speed up to medium and kneed dough on medium for about 4-5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Scrape dough off hook and out of bowl and form into a single ball. Return dough to bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Scrape risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 8 somewhat equal pieces.
Form each piece of dough into a nice round ball. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, toss a ball of dough in some flour and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to about 1/6 to 1/8 inch thickness. Then with fingernails or a sharp knife, dock the dough at about 1/2 inch intervals.
In a high-rimmed frying pan over medium-high heat, bring 1 inch of canola oil to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cooling rack with paper towels and set aside.
You will need to either roll out all the dough and stack with layers of waxed paper or parchment in between, or get into a rhythm of rolling out and frying the crusts. I'll leave those details up to you.
To fry the crusts, when oil is heated to 375 degrees, gently place one crust into the oil. Use metal tongs to gently push the dough down in the middle and to "swish" the crust in the hot oil so that some hot oil gets onto the top of the pizza crust. When the crust starts to brown slightly on the edges, carefully use the tongs to turn the crust over. Fry on the other side until crust is a nice golden brown color. You will only get the bubbles on one side of the crust when you fry it in the pan like this. Remove fried crust to the paper towel lined cooking rack to cool. Keep rolling and frying remaining crusts.
They are now ready to be topped and baked like any other pre-made pizza crust.
Makes 8 pizza crusts (10-11 inches in diameter)
|My husband likes cutting up Totino's like this.|