The Trick To Working With Trader Joe's Pizza Dough

What's your favorite item at Trader Joe's? This low-priced supermarket chain with more than 540 locations across 43 states (via ScrapeHero) has a reputation for building cult followings around some of its tasty packaged, prepared, and snack foods, from rich dark chocolate peanut butter cups and soft cauliflower gnocchi to creamy spinach and artichoke dip. For folks on the go who don't have much time to putter around in the kitchen, these ready-to-go or heat-and-eat items can be a lifesaver.

But TJ's also offers a wealth of ingredients for passionate home cooks who get the opportunity to spend quality time with their pots and pans, including quality olive oils, a variety of herbs and spices, and a wide range of tasty cheeses. And for those who love making their own pizza, the chain offers refrigerated pizza dough that makes an excellent base for homemade pies. Making the dough is probably the most complicated part of preparing a pizza, but even with that step taken care of, baking pies at home can still be tricky. So it's not surprising that over at the Trader Joe's subreddit, where all things TJ's are discussed, there's a lively thread where users share tips and tricks for getting the most out of this fresh pizza dough. A post there breaks down how to get the most out of the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, not a blob

Recently, Reddit user QuercusCorkus wrote a long post summarizing their extensive experience working with TJ's fresh refrigerated pizza dough and how to get the best pie out of it. The user's advice includes blasting the oven to 525 degrees, par-baking the crust before loading it with toppings, and using a baking steel. But their primary tip? Take the dough out of the bag and shape it into a ball before getting to work, which will lead to a round, nicely shaped pizza instead of a blob-shaped one.

"Trader Joe's dough can be young or old, and it is always bag/blob shaped," QuercusCorkus wrote. "My first tip for working with TJ's dough is to take it out of the bag, and form it into a ball. You can do this either the night before your pizza, or a few hours before, but it is an important step. The dough has a memory and the ball shape allows you to stretch it into a circle shape, instead of a blob or square-ish or oops there's a hole in it." Once the dough is in a ball, the user suggests letting it rest in a covered, oiled bowl for no more than three hours, lest it "resort to blob shape."

So there you have it: ball, not blob, when you DIY your TJ's pizza pies.