Delivery pizza is already one of the world's most perfect foods, but making it ourselves is also one of our favorite easy dinner tricks. That's because store-bought pizza dough (or dough picked up from a local pizzeria) eliminates the hardest part about a homemade pie. After that, you just need to add sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice and dinner can be ready in around 20 minutes.
But if you're just using pizza dough for pizza, you're only experiencing a small silver of the glory that is pre-made dough. Ahead, the Refinery29 food team shares all their favorite tricks for pizza dough, from appetizers to dessert.
What are your favorite tricks with pizza dough? Let us know in the comments — and
Mini S'mores Calzones Zoe Bain, Senior Food Editor One of Zoe's favorite pizza spots (Emily in Brooklyn) does a giant s'mores calzone that is next-level. She's taken to recreating them in mini form at home. Ingredients Store-bought pizza dough Marshmallows Chocolate Squares Butter Coarse sugar, like Turbinado sugar Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut up pizza dough into small balls about the size of a golf ball. Roll out and put one marshmallow and 1-2 squares of chocolate inside. Fold into a calzone/dumpling shape or back into a ball. 2. Once you've made the desired number of mini calzones, brush with butter and top with sugar. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for around 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye for the crust to get golden brown. Let cool briefly and serve warm.
Bye Bye, Miss American Pie Pizza Elizabeth Buxton, Food Writer Elizabeth Buxton's homemade pizza is relatively simple to assemble, but is so show-stoppingly good, you might rethink your go-to takeout recipe. Ingredients Store-bought pizza dough 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 2-4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped 5 tbsp olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped 1/2 lb ground sausage, crumbled 1/2 lb ground beef, crumbled 1 16 oz. log mozzarella, thinly sliced in discs 3/4 cup parmesan, shredded Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9-in. pie pan. 2. Roll out your pizza dough on a well-floured, flat surface (don't have a pin? use an empty wine bottle in a pinch) — and then cut out a circle an in. larger than the diameter of the greased pie pan, mold into dough into pan, folding extra in. over the edges. Save remaining dough, re-roll out, slice into half in. strips, and set aside. 2. Blend crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, basil, and 1 tbsp of olive oil in blender/food processor until smooth. Set aside. 3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions and mushrooms until just cooked through (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside. 4. Using the same pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté ground sausage and beef together until browned and cooked through (about 8 minutes) and then combine with blended tomato sauce and sautéed onions and mushrooms. 5. Fill pie pan dough with tomato, meat, and veggie mixture, leaving an in. of space to the top. Then criss-cross layer remaining pie dough strips over top to cover. 6. Finish by placing mozzarella discs over top the pie to cover and then sprinkling on the shredded parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. 7. Place pie in the oven for 25-35 minutes (or until outer crust appears golden brown and cheese is bubbling). Remove, let cool, slice, and enjoy.
Dessert Pretzels Olivia Harrison, Trending Food Writer Serve with warm Nutella for dipping sauce and your friends will be so impressed they won't have any idea it took you less than 30 minutes to throw together. Ingredients Store-bought pizza dough Butter, for brushing Cinnamon sugar (*Tip: Don't have any already mixed? Try 2 tsp cinnamon for every 1/2 cup sugar and adjust carefully by slowly adding cinnamon, if you like more spice.) Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roll out the pizza dough like in the previous recipe. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the rolled-out dough into 1-in. strips. Form into a traditional pizza shape or twists. 2. Brush with melted butter using a spoon or pastry brush. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on greased cookie sheets. 3. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until starting to turn a golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve while still hot.
Homemade Garlic Knots Marshall Bright, Food Writer Is it just us, or does a pizzeria garlic knot rarely live up to the promise? Making them at home gives you more control — and the ability to add cheese. This is a great use for extra dough when you're already making pie, so adjust the amount of garlic and oil to how much dough you have. Store-bought minced garlic isn't ideal, but when you're cooking with this much garlic, it can also be a huge time-saver. Ingredients Store-bought pizza dough 1 head garlic, minced, or store-bought minced garlic Olive oil Crushed red pepper flakes (optional) Shredded mozzarella Cheese (optional) Parmesan cheese (optional) Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. If you're using an entire head ball of pizza dough, peel and mince an entire head of garlic. A food processor is great here, but you can also use store-bought minced garlic to save time. Place desired amount of garlic in a shallow bowl and cover completely with olive oil. Add a dash of red pepper flakes if you want spice and stir. 2. Roll out and slice the pizza dough into two-inch strips. Spoon the garlic slurry onto the strips and roll or knot them. Place close together in a casserole dish or greased cookie pan, spoon some extra slurry on top, and cover with mozzarella or Parmesan if desired. 3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the knots are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
Savory Monkey Bread Claire Banks, Associate Content Strategy Editor Pizza dough is an excellent base for monkey bread, which is itself endlessly customizable. This one uses garlic and rosemary but the limit is your imagination. Like with the garlic knots, add cheese to take it really over-the-top. Ingredients Store-bought pizza dough 5-7 garlic cloves, minced 8 oz butter 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary Shredded cheese (optional) 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Instead of rolling out the dough, use a very sharp knife or scrapper to cut the dough in half, then in half again. Stop when you get to pieces of dough around the size of a quarter-cup measurer (or the size of your pointer and thumb pinched together). 2. Melt the butter and stir in the minced garlic and rosemary. Gently roll each piece of dough in the butter and place into a bundt pan. (If you don't have a bundt pan, a cake pan works, too.) If you're adding cheese, sprinkle the desired amount between layers. When you're out of pizza dough, pour remaining butter on top. 3. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top forms a hard, golden-brown crust. Baking times will vary by the size of your pan, so use a fork to make sure the interior pieces are baked through as well (they won't get brown but shouldn't be raw). Let cool for five minutes then place a large plate or platter on top of the cake pan and carefully invert it to remove it from the pan. Let cool for another five minutes, or until cool enough to touch, and serve.