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I have reproduced on my website a recipe for a pizza, out of my Mediterranean cookbook:

What I'm looking for help on is whether they more likely meant for one to start with a raw-dough pizza crust or one that's already been cooked. The recipe in the book said to use a "prepared" pizza base.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would imagine, if the book is of reasonable quality, by prepared, they mean one that you have prepared earlier. If there's a recipe for pizza base in the book, that's probably what they'd like you to use.

Personally, if you're going to the trouble of making home-made pizza, make your own base. Invariably, the pre-made bases you can buy from stores taste like chalk.

There's a few topics here that may be useful:

What is the best flour to use for pizza dough?

How to make pizza crust thin and elastic at the same time?

For Pizza cooking at home. What is the best alternative to the pizza stone?

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It would depend on what your pizza dough recipe calls for... Often you just make the dough, roll it out, and thus it is "prepared" and ready for the pizza ingredients, however I have seen pizza dough recipes in which they recommend prebaking the crust a bit before adding other stuff; in this case, it would be "prepared" after that prebake.

Basically, "prepared" means you've completed your pizza dough recipe (or have bough a prepared crust from the store).

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A lot of pizza recipes use a "prepared base" to simplify the recipe since making dough is something that usually calls for its own recipe.

It means use a store bought base (e.g. Boboli), make your own dough, or buy dough or use something as a "canvas" for your pizza. The bread is such an important part of the pizza, the recipe should suggest using homemade or store bought dough over premade crusts.

A lot of pizzerias will sell you balls of dough at a very reasonable price.

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