BAKED frozen pizza is as close to the real deal as you can buy... in a supermarket. BAKED is made by humans, not machines. We place the toppings on and we care about how it looks. We hand make our pizza base and give it a traditional crust with a rolling pin (old skool styles). We then craft each pizza with tasty FREE RANGE toppings (yes we are shouting), because nothing tastes better than happy meat.
Our pizza has flavour in every bite - right down to the crust. We use 100% pure NZ mozzarella. Our pizza is not par-baked but instead it's frozen at the proofing stage. It must always be cooked from frozen. Never defrosted.
All the way from Waikiki (well....Granada North), say hello to the best Frozen Hawaiian Pizza in New Zealand, ever. Loads of tasty pineapple is the cornerstone of a great Hawaiian pizza, so we have made sure there is plenty on our pizza and it's evenly spread out and topped with 100% pure NZ mozzarella. It's juicy and not too sweet and paired alongside slices of tasty free range New Zealand ham. Hang loose, or ten! Either way we are sure you will ride a wave when you bite into this cheesy, juicy, meaty pizza. Get on board the Pineapple Express!
If Miss 4 had it her way she would rotate between eating Hawaiian pizza, chicken nuggets and sausages for dinner each night so when I saw the Pineapple Express up for review I knew it would be the perfect pizza for pineapple lover (and myself) to review. After having tried the previous 2 pizzas from Baked I was sure this was to be a hit that was sure to please, I couldn't wait to try it.
Through the hole in the box I could see lashings of topping, huge pieces of ham (free range of course), lovely big chunks of pineapple and mountain loads of cheese, all which appeared to be evenly distributed over the base of the pizza, and as soon as I removed the pizza from it's box I was right the toppings were well spread. I carefully followed the cooking instructions and made sure I never defrosted the pizza, only removing it from the freezer and sliding it onto the pizza stone once the oven, and the pizza stone has preheated. Then into the oven the pizza went for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I checked to see if the pizza was cooked but sadly not so I left it another 4 minutes to which I found it still wasn't cooked, my pizza ended up staying in for almost 25 minutes in which time I had a lovely golden brown, pizza with oodles of melted cheese and a crisp base.
I cut this pizza into half and each of the halves into 3 slices for Miss for and I. I found upon doing so that the centre of the base was still quite soft and hadn't crisped up as much as I thought it had, it certainly didn't cook the same way as my previous 2 Baked pizzas had. This aside I really enjoyed the taste of the pizza, the pineapple was lovely and juicy though I did wonder if the juiciness perhaps caused the softness of the base?, the ham was tasty and the slices of it were huge, not tiny diced pieces here and the cheese was stretchy and tasty definitely good quality. The tomato sauce had a lovely taste to it and wasn't at all watered down! Miss 4 however was not very thrilled, which really surprised me she took one bite and said "I don't like it" and picked off the cheese and pineapple and ate these, when I asked her what was wrong with it she said it was the ham being too big, she did appear to have trouble biting into her slice without a big bit of ham pulling her pizza in half!
All in all I thought this was a tasty pizza which would be great to have in the freezer for on a day you need a quick meal, I really look forward to seeing if more flavours are to be released by Baked, and hope I can find some in a supermarket near me soon.
Every time we get pizza we order a Hawaiian for the kids. According to them a pizza has to have pineapple on it. They were excited to see that I was making pizza for them for dinner. They didn't need to know that I had just grabbed it from the freezer and popped it in the oven.
I cooked it according to the directions. The longest part was waiting for the oven to heat up. The cooking time was 10-14 minutes. I baked ours for 14 as my darling kids have swung on the oven door a few too many times and most things take longer than directed. The large crust I noticed when I opened the box wasn't as evident once it was cooked and the girls didn't comment on it. The base was a good thickness, not as thin as when I use a tortilla to make pizza but not all dough either.
Miss 7 and Miss 8 ate half a pizza each. They both commented on the huge pieces of ham. They were nearly a square inch. They loved the taste and would happily eat this again. Unfortunately they didn't leave any for me to try but instead told me that I would have loved it. It certainly makes for a quick convenient meal for those nights when you are running short on time.
I was so impressed with these pizza's from Baked, without even knowing they were created by the makers of hell pizza I could tell they were good quality and used good ingredients. Peering through the window in the box I could see plenty of cheese and pineapple. For me a Hawaiian or in this case pineapple express pizza should contain plenty of pineapple and this did not fail on that point! With the perfect amount of mozzarella cheese to provide that stringy cheese topping.
So easy to cook too I removed the box from the freezer for at home pizza night with the family and cooked the pizza from frozen in the oven in only 20 minutes. As the base itself is not cooked completely prior to freezing the base takes slightly longer than some frozen pizza varieties to get that golden well cooked colour but so worth it as you get the freshly baked pizza crust taste with a great texture to it. I also loved how the base held the shape of the turned up edge when cooking so you had that little bit of crust to chew on at the end of each slice.
I thoroughly enjoyed this pizza the ham had a great taste and good quality not diced processed chunks and the pineapple was juicy and sweet. As a bake at home product it would definitely be a preferred choice for me taste wise as it is a lot like a genuine take out pizza. I think the price is pretty reasonable for a quality frozen pizza and I would pay this for takeaway so to have it ready to go for a family takeaway at home night it was just perfect. Everyone was impressed and happy to have pizza night without having to go out in the cold.
I was looking forward to trying this variety because the children in our family are fussy eaters, especially when it comes to pizza, so we always buy one "Hawaiian" style as that is one they are guaranteed to eat. In fact, heaven help anyone who is NOT a child but dares to look at it!
Pineapple Express seemed to be as close to Hawaiian as you could get, so we earmarked this one for the children but with the caveat that I needed to taste a piece so I could review it. The children assured me they would help with the review too, so long as the slice I had was a very small one! That sounded fine to me (I think).
Mr Seven laughed at the comment on the bottom of the instructions: "Pizzas will be hot when taken out of the oven. Duh." I was more amused by the comments higher up on the packaging which read "What's our mission? For you to get baked all the time", and the instruction for the consumer to "watch our beautiful pizza rise in the oven like a magical flying dragon". It is little extras like this that give the product appeal. When I read them, I get the impression that the manufacturers are a small, locally based operation who really care about their customers and want to connect with them. That in turn makes me want to buy their product.
The cooking process was straightforward. We were cooking in my daughter's kitchen and she has a slow oven, so it took a little longer to cook from frozen to "flying dragon" finish. The pizza comes in a shrink wrap so is a little difficult to extract because it is a tight fit, but I guess that is to keep it in shape. But once it is free of the wrapper it settles nice and flat. We used a pizza stone to cook it so as to get the optimum result.
Tastewise, it had real kid appeal. Our two jumped on in and I had to be quick to get my own review sample before it all disappeared. Certainly it was a hit with the primary school gang. Mr Seven said he would like a bit more pineapple but otherwise it got the thumbs up from him - the original Mr Fussy. Miss Five was very happy and said that just under half the pizza was a perfect amount for her. Mr Seven said he could have eaten the whole thing (but I think he may have been exaggerating. There again, he is growing fast!)
As for me, I found it too plain for my taste. There was plenty of cheese, but I think if I were buying it for adults I would add more piquancy to the topping - maybe some salami and a few drops of chilli sauce to jazz it up. I did not try on this occasion as, by the time I had finished my test piece, the rest of the pizza had disappeared into two hungry little tummies. I will just have to buy some more and try out some different ideas!
In all things, there has to be a flaw, for nothing is ever perfect. For me, this came last night when I tried to cook this pizza. In my usual style, I simply had to tweak it a bit, so added the last of a roast chicken, shredded, and a bit of parmesan cheese to one half. Oven to heat... check. Baking tray... check. Away we go!
Using exactly the same temps, timings and methodology as the previous two pizzas, I check on it after 10 minutes and turned it 90 degrees to prevent an localised burn spots due to alignment with the elements. Previously, this went flawlessly as the base had dried and started to crisp up by this stage. Alas, possibly due to the pineapple - since it was the only thing different from the previous 2 pizzas, and tends to be quite juicy - the base was soggy and had stuck to the tray. My efforts to free it were less than effective and I ended up tearing great holes in it.
What was I to do?! Thinking quickly, I realised I had one last Farrah's Wrap in the cupboard, so I whipped it out, gave it a light brush of oil and a sprinkle of grated parmesan to act as glue, and very carefully reassembled the pizza - crust-wreckage and all - on top, and popped it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. This was enough to salvage the pizza, and it still looked OK, though I almost forgot to snap a photo, so focussed was I on getting it cut and eaten before it fell apart any further.
Taste-wise, it was good. The pineapple added a nice sweetness to it in the same manner as any "Hawaiian" pizza from any of the major chains, yet it was still nicer than any frozen versions I have tried in the past that didn't also come with about 1/4 of a heart-attack in grease. Thanks to the quick remedy, the base had survived and with the reinforcement of the cheesy wrap, it held together fairly well when it came to eating too. I'm not at all sure what caused the issue... maybe I had the oven a little too low, maybe the door hadn't sealed properly, maybe there was just more pineapple juice on this one and my 1-in-10000 curse held true... whatever it was, it was simple to overcome and the result was still quite palatable and tasty.
That said... this is not one I plan to buy again. Not because of the Crustageddon, but simply put: there wasn't anything particularly special about it for me. It was good, it used free-range meat, it's part of a range I hope to see grow to include more of the classics... but it's not fundamentally better or worse than the cheap sub-$7 pizzas you get delivered from the chain stores. For me, at least. Taste being such a subjective, personal thing, I am sure others will have varying points of view.
Overall... there is nothing I can point to and say "this is not good enough" - there is NOTHING actually WRONG with this pizza... but it's just lacking something "WOW" to cover that extra price tag for me.
As far as pizza outlets go, Hell's pizza have always been superior to Domino's and Pizza Hut in regards to quality, so a supermarket frozen pizza by the creator's of Hell's is something that certainly sounds like it will be a unique quality product.
The packaging itself is splendid. A gold box with simple red and black font, with ingredients listed, and a window to see how the pizza looks. Simple, but elegant. The wording on the back of the package is casual, and repetitive, but has a layer of humour that makes it fun to read (the packaging does in fact mention 7 times that the product should remain frozen).
As far as cooking instructions go, it is very easy to follow. preheat oven, remove plastic wrapping, and bake. Keeping it frozen (which is mentioned many times) is actually something that needs to be thought about at all times. Transporting it from the supermarket back home should be done quickly. If you are taking it out of the freezer to cook, don't do so until the oven has been preheated. As the product has not been par-baked, the base is thin, which means the pizza can potentially thaw very quickly.
Setting it the specified heat, my oven turned out to be a little too powerful, and crisped the pizza to brown after less than 5 minutes, so I would definitely use a lower temperature on future pizzas. So I ended up turning off the heat, and letting the pizza cook through in the oven. The base still came out a crispy, but the toppings were a little loose, and shifted a bit when I attempted to cut them. Again I'd guess a result of the oven being a little too hot, so the cheese would be less viscous than expected. Leaving it to cool a little bit did solve that issue, and slicing the pizza was much easier.
The base of the pizza came out very crispy, which was delightful. usually the bases of supermarket pizzas are very thick, so a crispy pizza is usually too dry, but this pizza is a good level of thickness compared to the amount of toppings. The toppings themselves are simple; ham, mozzarella, and pineapple. The pineapple is juicy, and doesn't dry out either in the cooking process. The ham is tasty, and comes in reasonably large chunks. And the cheese is plentiful.
Looking at the pizza as a while, it is far superior. The base isn't floury, or stodgy. It is thin and crispy. The toppings are full of flavour, though I would have liked the ham to be a little better spaced (It sometimes felt that when I bit into the slice, I had to pick which topping I would eat, there weren't many bites that included all three ingredients). Crispy, but not dry, and the meat and pineapple are juicy. A definite improvement, and will definitely look into them next time I'm entertaining guests.
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