Store bought dough is a thing. Generally packaged in 1-pound plastic bag portions, it’s sold at almost every grocery store in the United States. Buyer beware though, when you try to remove it from the bag, the dough sticks to the plastic and your hands, and you end up with quite a mess! Beyond that, if you don’t let the dough rest, it’s basically impossible to stretch which would frustrate even the zenest of the zen! Most of us try to press it into a sheet tray to bake or grab a pin to roll the sh*t out of it, but the dough is so damn elastic, it seems to to snap back to it’s original amoeba-like form.
I’m a strong believer in making your own dough, using only 4, maybe 5 ingredients: organic flour, salt, water, yeast and sometimes oil. But, I know sometimes you just can’t get that done, so store-bought it is. Be sure to look for a dough with minimal, whole ingredients that you can pronounce. I still can’t do much about the sticky, plastic mess but what if I told you that you could dramatically improve the stretchability of that store bought dough?
For this experiment, I used Whole Foods dough (we kind of love it). It’s sold in 1-pound plastic bags and the ingredient list is pretty wholesome. So it passes the test-score! You are going to want to plan about 8 hours in advance. Take the dough home, remove as much of it as you can from the plastic bag and divide in half. Stretching a 1-pound pizza dough ball is extreme. The SECRET to improving store bought is to make dough balls out of it. It's that simple and an incredible improvement! By making dough balls, we are trapping some air inside with the gasses and then we are going to let it rest for 3-4 hours at room temp. Room temp for us is about 68-72 F. The results will be a dough that stretches easy and that yields a light, airy crust. Cooked quick and evenly on your Baking Steel!
If for some reason you don’t have time to make your own dough, head to Wholefoods or your favorite market and give their dough a try. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to make and have a ball!
Does your Supermarket Dough look like this?
Does the dough on top look familiar?
Look at those air bubbles below. See the difference? Next time you want to buy store bought dough, remember to ball it up first...