Who hasn’t eaten a frozen pizza with a hard and super-dry crust? You’re hungry, you put the pizza in the oven, you impatiently wait for it to be done, and then, when you finally take it out and start to eat it, the crust’s just like crispbread.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to keep your frozen pizza soft and delicious while it’s baking in the oven!
To keep your frozen pizza crust nice and soft in the oven, you should always thaw your pizza before baking it. Additionally, you can brush some olive oil on the edges, use a baking sheet instead of an oven rack, and increase the oven temperature.
Keep reading this article if you want to know exactly how to bake the perfect frozen pizza with a crust that’s soft and chewy.
Why Does Frozen Pizza Crust Get Hard in the Oven?
Frozen pizza tends to dehydrate while in the freezer. As most frozen pizza products are not as tightly packaged as they should be, the water they contain escapes, turns into ice crystals and attaches itself to the plastic packaging around the pizza.
And as most people will put their store-bought frozen pizza right into their preheated oven at home, the already dry dough will dry out even more while baking in the oven.
The result is a very crispy and hard pizza crust that isn’t much fun to eat.
But with a few simple tricks, you can turn your dry, frozen pizza into a deliciously soft and much better tasting dish!
How to Keep Frozen Pizza Crust from Getting Hard in the Oven?
Depending on the maximum temperature and overall performance of your oven and on how soft and chewy you want your pizza crust to be, you can follow either a few or all of the below steps.
The more steps you implement, the softer the crust will get. But as there is no real one-size-fits-all scenario here, the best thing is to experiment and see which steps work best with your oven and personal preferences.
Let’s get right to it, then!
Defrost Your Frozen Pizza
This is, by far, the most effective way to rehydrate your pizza and keep it fresh and soft in the oven.
It does, however, demand some time and planning, which is something not all of us have at all times.
But if you can, you should always thaw your frozen pizza before you put it in the oven. On average, this will take about one hour in a room-temperature environment.
PRO TIP: The most important thing to remember here is to keep your pizza inside the plastic packaging you bought it in while it thaws. This will allow the escaped water attached to the plastic to reenter the pizza dough, which will effectively rehydrate it without you having to do anything at all!
I have used this hack for years, and you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference it makes! If you only want to follow one of the steps in this article, this would surely be the one!
Brush the Edges with Some Olive Oil
In order to keep the edges of your frozen pizza nicely soft and chewy, you can also brush some virgin olive oil on them.
This will further moisten the crust’s edges and give it a nicer taste.
I use an ordinary silicon pastry brush for this, and it works like a charm. You can check out the one I use on Amazon here.
Just don’t put too much oil on the edges because too much oil will make the crust soggy. A few tablespoons should be more than enough!
Put a Wet Kitchen Towel over the Pizza
If defrosting won’t, or only partly rehydrate your frozen pizza, you can place a wet (or more like moist) kitchen towel over it.
A few minutes of doing so will be enough for the dough to absorb some of the towel’s moisture.
But don’t overdo it; if you leave the towel on your pizza for too long (15 minutes or more), your pizza will likely have absorbed too much water and could be ruined.
Bake Your Pizza on a Baking Sheet
If you want your pizza to remain soft and chewy, you should always bake it on a baking sheet instead of an oven rack!
The baking sheet will trap the moisture in the pizza’s crust, keeping it from getting hard and dry.
However, you have to be aware that the sheet will also keep most of the oven’s heat away from the bottom, which means that the pizza’s edges and center won’t be heated evenly.
Here’s where the last step comes in; increasing the oven temperature.
Raise the Oven Temperature
This might sound counterintuitive to you, but raising your oven’s heat will actually result in an evenly baked pizza with a deliciously soft and only slightly crispy crust.
As the center of the pizza will receive less heat than the edges when using a baking sheet, increasing the temperature to 450-500F is the best way to tackle that imbalance.
As the sheet helps to keep the moisture within the crust, you won’t overcook or dry out your frozen pizza.
So, a higher temperature does, in fact, not imply a burnt or hard pizza!
Of course, you will have to decrease the baking time of your pizza by several minutes! Because if it stays in too long, it will get burnt regardless.
The baking time will vary, but anything between 5 and 8 minutes is usually needed if you’re using a baking sheet for your frozen pizza.
Oh, and try to guard your pizza during that entire time! One minute too long in the oven can overcook or burn your pizza with the oven temperature cranked up like that. So, stay close to your oven until the pizza is done!
And after that, all that’s left to say is Bon Appetit and happy eating!