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Pizza Party - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Pizza Party

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  • Pizza Party

    I finished my FB WFO about a Month ago and love it. It's met all my expectations.
    We just finished our 2nd pizza party last night. Each time, we had 15-20 guest.
    I'm proud to say, all my Pizzas were eatable and the guest seem to have a great time.
    My only complaint is, my wife and I are tired!!!
    We both worked our buns off for 7 hours ( two hours before guest arrived and two hours after they left). I had very little time to mingle or talked to our guest. After they left, we spent 2 hours getting every thing back in order at our house. Since we bought large plates for the pizzas, they had to be washed by hand because they would not fit in the dishwasher. Toppings had to be bagged and put in the fridge. With 17 guest making their own pizzas, we had flour everywhere.

    Don't get me wrong, we loved it and have another 20 coming next Sunday afternoon.

    What I'm reading and looking for right now is a way to streamline my operation.
    I'm thinking about making my dough balls in advance. I'm looking into ways to store them. I live in Mexico and cannot buy a dough box.
    I read a article a few Months ago while I was planning my oven, written by a guy that put each ball into a plastic cup w/lid and stored it in the fridge the day before his party. I cannot find that article now.

    I don't want to take away the fun each guest had, making their own Pizza. Yes, it slowed things down when some wanted their Pizza to be a work of art.
    I'm thinking about having one 4X8 table just for preparing the pizza. They put it on a peel and bring it to me to cook at the oven.
    Right now, my oven is turning them out in 90 sec and seems to hold the heat for over an hour. I thought I my builder made a big mistake by using 8 in fire bricks for the dome instead of cutting them in half to 4 inch. I'm glad he did now use whole fire bricks. I was told that it would take forever to heat up, but I think due to my excellent insulation it heats fast. My dome clears in 40 min and I'm at 900 degrees in hour and half if I use oak wood.

    Any party suggestions would be welcome
    Last edited by Mexman; 04-28-2014, 07:37 PM.
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ld-mexico.html

  • #2
    Re: Pizza Party

    Mexman,

    Sounds like you are doing it the right way. I get my dough from Trader Joe's for a large party, just about a buck a pie. I found I could make it better but the volume was killing me. You want your guest's to build their own, everybody enjoys that, so flour everywhere is part of the deal I have an island in our kitchen that we set up so they just walk around to build the creation. Your 4x8 idea is the ticket. They bring it out to me on a peel and I drink mas quantities of beer while I cook. I am the last one to eat but it is well worth it. If someone want's another - they saw the process, it's fun to watch them try their hand.
    Check out my pictures here:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pizza Party

      Mexman,

      The banquet prep table is exactly what I use for having the guest make the pizzas in an assembly line but my wife forms the dough on a temp. peel and then let the guest put their own toppings on. I always tell them "less is best" but the pies seem to come to me loaded to the gills so I end up doming the pies a lot. But all in fun, nothing like watching their faces when you pull out their pies unless you make an accidental calzone out of theirs. Glad the oven is working for you.
      Russell

      Link to my Picasa Album
      https://plus.google.com/photos/10287...21083003687777

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pizza Party need help

        Russell
        The photos of your WFO look great.
        Do you have a photo of your prep table?
        We use a 3X6 table with about 10 Tupperware containers for topping. We also have the Peel and dough on this table.
        Gets a little crowded. A friend suggested I find a prep station at a restuarant supply that has about 10 metal containers for my toppings. Metal being easy to clean. I'm also going to build a side counter connected to my oven with a water sink.
        I might also buy several more short wooden peels. I can put the dough balls on these peels and have the guest bring me back the peel when it's ready to bake.

        I've gotten several good idea's from other forums. One person suggested buying round wax covered cardboard cake bases. He lets his guest make their Pizza and bring it to him on the cardboard and he then transfers it to his peel, then to the oven.
        Last edited by Mexman; 04-29-2014, 03:17 PM.
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ld-mexico.html

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        • #5
          Re: Pizza Party

          We have the same setup. We have a couple of tables where guests assemble their pizzas right on the peels, I manage the oven while my wife manages the toppings and oversees the assembly. She also warns guests as they head over to the oven that I am a "Pizza Nazi" (much like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld). Step out of line and "NO PIZZA FOR YOU!!! END OF THE LINE!!!)

          I didn't think I was that bad.....

          Im actually glad to hear that I am not the only one who is exhausted after "pizza night". Lots of preparation...and lots of cleanup. I guess there is no way around that. All part of the fun.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pizza Party

            You can make your dough balls ahead of time then coat them lightly with cooking spray, put them in a plastic bag and freeze them. All you have to do is pull them out of the freezer 2-3 hrs before your party, leave them thaw and they will be ready to go in time for the party. It would greatly reduce dough prep the day of the party.
            Chris

            Link to my photo album:
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/hodgey...7646087819291/

            Link to my build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...nia-19366.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pizza Party need help

              Mex,

              Look thru my pics, none of the table but here are some ingredient trays that Tscar told me about. You can put ice underneath to keep things cool. They were available at Walmart for $5.

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...tml#post155869
              Russell

              Link to my Picasa Album
              https://plus.google.com/photos/10287...21083003687777

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pizza Party

                I do not like the guests to make pizza. They put too much stuff on, they mess up the skins, and get in my way. The way in which my outdoor kitchen is arranged is only big enough for 3 or 4 people in the actual kitchen with seating at the bar for another 3 or 4. I always light the outdoor fireplace which is within talking range and has room for 8 or 10 people and usually the firepit on the other side of the yard for the kids to congregate around.

                Other food is made and available, and the pizzas are made, cut and placed out at intervals of 4 to 10 minutes. I do not hurry and do not spend all of my time in front of the oven. The party is the thing, the pizza is just background.

                That said, I have had many parties that involved only a few couples and in that more relaxed atmosphere I encourage them to participate in the entire process.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pizza Party need help

                  Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
                  Mex,

                  Look thru my pics, none of the table but here are some ingredient trays that Tscar told me about. You can put ice underneath to keep things cool. They were available at Walmart for $5.

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...tml#post155869
                  We have Walmart here in Mexico, but, I've never seen these trays. Would like to get a couple. May have to pay more and go to a Res. Supply.
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ld-mexico.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pizza Party

                    Have you thought of getting a rack and pre preparing the bases? Then cover the rack with a plastic bag.

                    This works well if you cook on trays (some people will say you cant make a good pizza cooking on a tray).

                    This would make it more relaxed when you have the guests there.

                    For making dough s small spiral mixer would make it very easy.

                    In Australia the ingredients to make a pizza base from scratch cost about 20 cents if you shop carefully.

                    Bakers weigh all their ingredients including the liquids because it is more accurate and so consistent.

                    Having the ingredients in resealable containers makes putting them away a lot easier.

                    Get smaller plates that fit in the dishwasher :-)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pizza Party

                      We use a banquet table as extra space and the main house kitchen is 10 feet away from the WFO through the French doors onto the patio. When we host we can use both the outside space and the inside kitchen space.

                      Part of the deal with groups is not only enjoying friendship and company, but also sharing the "less is more" topping concept, as well as everyone is welcome to make multiple pies, so go easy on toppings. They've all enjoyed the 00 flour crust, which we typically make up prepped balls and keep in Tupperware. Most folks usually stop at one pie given all the rest of the party food around.

                      We decided to make some extra wood pizza peels for parties-some from clear poplar and some from clear pine planed down to 5/8", rough shaped on the band saw, edges routed over, sanded and finished off with a light coat of salad bowl finish. Gives folks an easy surface to build on and easy for us to get the pie into the oven for them.

                      We also picked up 10 10" pizza pans off of EBay for folks to eat their pies from, so there's always minimal dishes and the pans add fun. Some couples share the pan and pies so it hasn't been an issue yet, but another 10 pans at the right price ($30 with shipping) would be awesome, especially for graduation the week after next for our youngest college grad.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pizza Party

                        I bought a stainless steel rolling table from Sams club just to keep all the pizza making outside....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pizza Party

                          We do all of our pizza preparation outside on the Back patio. It's about 15 ft from my WFO and my wife is happy with the flour being outside ( I seem to make a big mess when I get around flour)
                          I'm looking for some non-stick baking mats and will let my guest make their pizza on these mats. Then I will transfer the pie to my peel. I'm hoping this will speed up the process by having less sticking dough problems
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ld-mexico.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pizza Party

                            I suggest you try baking paper (not grease proof paper) as a first step it may char a bit but I have had success

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pizza Party

                              Originally posted by Mexman View Post
                              ....I'm looking for some non-stick baking mats....I'm hoping this will speed up the process by having less sticking dough problems
                              Congratulations on your success Mexman! When you figure out the sticky dough issue, be sure to post your solutions. I'm still making mistakes that result in calzones or pizza that feeds the fire gods

                              Originally posted by Toomulla View Post
                              I suggest you try baking paper (not grease proof paper) as a first step it may char a bit but I have had success
                              Please elaborate on this Toomulla, I've been afraid to try paper. You say unwaxed paper and to expect it to char, right? Asking the obvious here I know, but sometimes I'm obtuse.......You make the pizza on paper, use the peel to put it in & out of the oven? When do you remove the paper? Any secrets in your process. TIA
                              Lee B.
                              DFW area, Texas, USA

                              If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                              Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                              An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                              I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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