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Key Differences Between Par Baked Pizza Crusts and Frozen Dough Balls 

Operators looking to instill their menus with creative, profitable pies often choose par baked pizza crusts and frozen dough balls. 

Each product offers versatility, texture, and customization options that allow for tailored shapes, sizes, and flavor profiles. However, not every choice is a universal solution for your day-to-day needs and/or proprietary recipes. 

To find the best fit, let us take a closer look at the differences between par baked pizza crusts and frozen dough balls in terms of operational requirements and performance characteristics. 

Defined: Par Baked Pizza Crusts and Frozen Dough Balls 

Before diving into the details, it is important to understand exactly what is meant by "par baked crust" and "frozen dough ball." These simple definitions will clarify the terms: 

  • Par baked crust refers to a dough that has already gone through the baking process once, which gives the crust the same essential properties as baked bread. This partial baking kills the yeast so the internal structure of the dough is set. 
  • Frozen dough balls are just that — balls of dough that are pre-made and frozen to aid in cutting prep time and creating pizza crust production consistencyDo not let the basic definition fool you. Frozen dough balls are incredibly adaptable, ranging in size and type to fit the bill for several applications including appetizers, entrées, and desserts. 

Operational Requirements 

Par baked crusts and frozen dough balls each supply unique characteristics to consider before using either option in your operation.  

Par baked crusts are difficult to beat for convenience: 

  • Low labor investment — no proofing or special staff training required 
  • Easy handling and preparation – perfect for high demand, fast-paced operations 
  • Reduced bake times — puts fresh pizza in the hands of customers quickly 
  • Exceedingly long shelf life — can be held frozen, refrigerated, or at ambient temperatures 

Given their benefits, par-baked crusts are ideal for: 

  • C-stores 
  • Delis 
  • Frozen retail 
  • Entertainment venues 
  • Quick-service restaurants 
  • Hospitals 
  • Schools and colleges 
  • Care facilities 
  • Corporate/institutional dining facilities 

Frozen dough balls work well for signature pies: 

  • Longer labor investment — staff needs to be trained on proper proofing and dough handling techniques, including rollouts and docking 
  • Hands-on preparation — prepare dough in advance for busy rush times 
  • Oven versatility — superior performance in deck, brick or wood-fired, and conveyor ovens 

Frozen dough balls alleviate the complications, expense, and frustration of trying to keep up with different crust demands using scratch-made dough. This versatile and economical solution is a good fit for almost all operations, pizza styles, preparation techniques, and oven types. 


It’s important to note that both par baked crusts and dough balls need sufficient freezer and refrigerator space. Pay careful attention to best handling practices to maximize the performance and shelf life. 

Performance Characteristics 

Making the most appealing pizzas depends heavily on the crust. Application matters for both par bakes and dough balls. 

Par baked crusts are great choices for: 

  • Shareable appetizers 
  • Crispy and flaky thin crust pizzas 
  • Take and bake pizzas 
  • Frozen pizza 

Frozen dough balls are ideal for: 

  • Entree options such as calzones, garlic knots or pizza fries' appetizers, and even desserts like cinnamon rolls 
  • Hand-tossed pizzas 
  • Thick/deep-dish pies rested and baked in pans 
  • NY-style pizzas 

Taking all these factors into consideration, you may see the benefits of having par baked crusts AND frozen dough balls on-hand. No need to choose!  

Either frozen dough balls or Par-Bake crusts doughXpress has the press for you! 

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