Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never seen your crusts. What are they like?

A: We’re the only bakery we know of that makes premium pizza crusts like ours, so it’s a bit difficult to compare them to anything on the market.


First, they are fully formed and shaped, and lightly baked. Learn why this is important. They are not balls or sheets of raw dough. In terms of taste and texture they’re quite different from—and better than—refrigerated grocery store crusts. Our customers often rave how much better our crusts are compared to mass-produced products they’ve tried.


Our yeast-raised crusts (which our customers also call pizza ‘shells,’ ‘wheels,’ ‘doughs,’ and ‘breads’) come to you soft, formed, stable and ready-to-use immediately, as is.


Since they’re individually hand-made, expect our pizza crusts to look slightly ‘imperfect.’ All our crusts are different and unique, like snowflakes.

Q: How big are Bova crusts?

A: Our small (8 - 9 oz.) crusts are about 12 inches in diameter, and our large are 13.5 to 15.5 inches, depending on variety. Expect some variation, since all our crusts are hand made. We sell by net weight, not diameter.

Our original (white), “Biage” (whole wheat), cheddar, tomato- jalapeno, and nine-grain are about 1/8” to 3/16” thick, while the Italian herb, black bean salsa, bacon cheddar and tomato basil shells are about 3/16” to 5/16” thick. Our rectangular deep dish Italian herb is about 1/2 inch thick.


Interestingly, our crusts tend to become a bit thinner as they’re baked with your toppings on them!


Q: Speaking of toppings, are there any do’s and don’ts?

A: Absolutely not, so pile them on! Just about any combination of edible ingredients is OK. Let your imagination wander. Our crusts provide the ‘stage’ for your culinary ‘production.’


Here’s what we mean: customers at a famous pizzeria in Chicago can select from this basic toppings menu:


  • Sauces: 12 different kinds
  • Cheeses: 7 different kinds
  • Veggies: 14 different kinds
  • Noodles: 3 different kinds
  • Meats: 10 different kinds


And that doesn’t even include specialties like mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, tortilla chips, brats, sour cream, tater tots, horseradish, S’mores, and others!


Limits? There are no limits—which is one reason why making pizza at home is so enjoyable.


Q: How do you make your crusts?

A: Basically, we create our various doughs from scratch in small batches, proof them (a baker’s expression that refers to yeast-raising), hand-stretch, hand-toss and lightly bake them.


Q: You say these crusts are ready-to-use immediately, as is. Tell me more.

A: That’s easy! Brush on a thin coat of olive oil (optional). Then place your chosen toppings on the crust, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes at 400 – 425 degrees F., or until the cheese is melted and the crust’s bottom is golden brown. Then, enjoy!


Bake your pizza right on the oven rack, or on a pizza stone or a cookie sheet (no cornmeal needed). All these methods work well, and yield a crisp eating experience that’s not doughy or gummy or reminiscent of cardboard.

Q: Are your crusts ‘artisan?’

A: We think so. They’re hand-made made from scratch in small batches from the same simple, familiar ingredients most people have in their cupboards. We don’t use preservatives or artificial additives like dough conditioners.


Q: How many workers does it take to hand-make your crusts?

A: Lots of them. Most of our people have been with us for years. They know how to do it right.


Q: How long have you been in business?

A: Since 1969. We’ve sold tens of thousands of our crusts.


Q: Are your crusts gluten-free?

A: No. They all contain gluten.


Q: Do you use tree nuts, peanuts or eggs in your bakery?

A: No.  We do use dairy cheeses, canola oil and wheat flour.


Q: Can I freeze or refrigerate Bova pizza crusts?

A: Yes, we recommend it. Learn more.

Q: What about preparing pizzas on Bova crusts outside, on the grill?

A: Glad you asked. It’s fantastic, especially when grill smoke permeates the crust and toppings. Pizzeria wood-fired ovens are all the rage, and you can achieve similar results at home, if you take common sense precautions.


Whereas kitchen ovens usually bake via easily controlled indirect heat, charcoal and gas grills are often designed for direct intense heating: the flame or briquettes are closer to the food.

To avoid burning or charring the crust, protect it with a cookie sheet or several layers of foil and/or elevate it off the grate several inches.  Push briquettes to the side. Check the crust’s underside often for doneness and signs of overheating. Learn more.