Old 06-11-2009, 11:46 AM
Puy de Dome's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: England
Posts: 179
Default Re: Organising a pizza party question

Wow, lots of variety in whether people think it's a good idea or not to let guests make their own. I reckon I'm going to go down the road of me provide the dough balls, they can do the rest with a little instruction. I want to keep the fire going, and focus on that.

Info on flour types taken on board, many thanks you guys.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:41 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Organising a pizza party question

Hi Tim!

It is probably worth noting that we seem to have a wide range of "styles" of pizza parties as well. For example, I like to hit my guests with combinations that involve special ingredients and combos that they are not likely to try on their own. While I usually do ONE "American" style pizza (such as It sausage, pepperoni, or Canadian bacon w/ black olives) I often have expensive ingredients such as guanciale, or mascarpone or really good blue cheese that for both cost and flavor reasons need to be used in the right amounts. So I like to keep control.

It is however, in part, also a function of the number of people. Most of our parties are for 6 to 10 and we cut each pizza into the number of slices of people present and we make and eat one pizza at a time. With 20 to 30 people the dynamics would have to be different.

And another factor is age of the guests. Kids are not nearly as open to "odd" pizzas and our guests are almost exclusively adult and like the variety. So....

IF you are going to have the guests make their pizzas, you might want to consider starting the dough by flouring it good and rolling it out to about 1/4 inch thick. That will give you a bunch of "pancakes" that you can stack and hold for a while and they will be easier for the guests to handle and shape.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:15 PM
Puy de Dome's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: England
Posts: 179
Default Re: Organising a pizza party question

Jay, thanks for the ideas (everyone, thanks), you make it sound so appetising and interesting. I myself love this kind of thing, and hope to be surrounded by like-minded folks who will indulge.

I so am looking forward to having a just a couple of 'expensive' toppings, really special things that will be memorable.

I'm thinking simple here. Tomato base, and perhaps no more than three toppings each time. Thin bases, smattering of tomato, cheese, chorizo, artichoke. y'know.

Also, I have this to-die-for cast iron skillet, and am dreaming of having it stuffed full of prawns, olive oil and garlic and sizzling just inside the oven door. Lashings of baguette etc.!

Just got to be organised, that's all.

Later, it's bed time here.

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Old 06-11-2009, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 174
Default Re: Organising a pizza party question

I usually make the pizzas, and have the guests pass around the plate (with small wedges) so everyone gets a taste at first. As the party goes on, I let people try to make their own. I will sometimes roll out the pie for them and let them dress it.

Start your fire a good bit of time before people arrive. The mistake I made at first was to have my fire too hot.....had some scorchers. So now I get it real hot, and then let it back off to 700 - 750 degrees.

Another tip, have some SUBSTANTIAL pick up snacks for them when they get there, like an artichoke spinach cheese dip, devilled eggs, or vegie plate. It takes the edge off, and you don't get as much slobber around the oven when you are getting your first pizzas going. Have a great time.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:55 PM
james's Avatar
Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648
Default Re: Organising a pizza party question

Can I add a couple of ideas?

Dmun's idea on reducing the hydration if you have kids is a good one. There is nothing worse than either sticky dough in a kid's hands, or a pizza stuck to your pizza peel.

For some parties, I make all of the pizza dough bases, and turn the pizza making (decorating) over to the guests, while nominating one guest to turn the pizzas in the oven. A lot of folks can make a great pizza from a shaped base, sitting on a pizza peel -- plus, you can make sure there is enough flour under the pizza to keep it from sticking.

Just my two cents. Our experience is that pizza making parties are a blast!

Lots of good red wine on a warm summer's eve.

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