Everybody loves pizza, but after your 100th large pepperoni with extra cheese it can get a little boring. To shake things up, CHOW photographer Chris Rochelle reached out to our Chowhound community to discover the mind-blowing things that are possible with a pound of store-bought pizza dough (we got ours from a Whole Foods in San Francisco) and a little imagination. Part one: six savory manipulations. Part two: Turning Store-Bought Pizza Dough Into Sweet Treats! –John Birdsall
Cut a ball of store-bought pizza dough into 9 pieces and form each into a ball. Set aside to rest and puff, about 1 hour. Oil a tapered ovenproof bowl and arrange 3 dough balls in the bottom. Place a thin slice of jalapeño on each and cover the layer of dough balls with a handful of shredded mozzarella. Repeat 2 times with the remaining dough balls. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until risen, brown, and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.
Cut a ball of store-bought pizza dough in half. Roll each half into a 7-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet. Layer cheese and toppings (we used ham and sliced jalapeños) lengthwise across the bottom half of each rectangle. Fold over and seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until puffed and brown, about 15 minutes.
Roll store-bought pizza dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Tie each strip into a knot and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Toss the hot knots into the butter mixture as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve with marinara sauce.
Take half a pound of store-bought pizza dough and tear off little balls, each about the size of two garbanzo beans. Roll between your palms to make 1-1/4-inch-long gnocchi, slightly tapered at the ends. Boil in a large pot of salted water until they puff and rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Drain, toss with hot marinara sauce, and serve with Parmesan.
Roll and cut store-bought pizza dough as for the Dough Knots above, making sure that the strips are about 10 inches long. Take a strip of dough and wrap a hot dog starting at one end, tucking the dough in on itself to secure it. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with mustard.
Roll out a ball of store-bought pizza dough into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet. Spread the bottom half with marinara sauce and layer on toppings (we used mozzarella, ham, and sliced jalapeños). Fold over a 1-inch strip of dough across the bottom, then fold in the two sides. Roll up from the bottom and seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until puffed and brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
For more ideas, read the amazing Chowhound discussion. Talk about your own favorite pizza-dough transformations (with pics!) in the discussion box below.
Photos and photo-collages by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com