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Puy de Dome 06-10-2009 11:31 PM

Organising a pizza party question
Not long to go now before the Big Day (20 people coming for pizza).

I'm going to prepare the dough balls a day in advance, and some toppings as well, but I'm expecting a few guests will bring their own toppings if they want.

Now, what's best? Get each guest to create their own base from the dough balls and add their own toppings? Or maybe I should shape the bases myself and let them add their toppings?

If I shape the bases, how long will they stay in shape ready for the toppings?

What experience has anyone got when organising this part? Needless to say, I hope I am also on top of the fire in the wfo! I will have one other helper, but she's not as good as me at making pizzas, and I'm not even good at it, and she will have children to control, so I feel pretty much alone.

Practical suggestions on this would be very appreciated.

(P de D)

brickie in oz 06-11-2009 12:21 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
We had a Pizzafest a while ago and invited the guests to bring their fave toppings, we also provided toppings...

DONT DO THAT......:D... we had toppings for weeks after the party was over. :eek:

As for the bases, I made the dough and set into balls and the guests made their own bases, you wouldnt believe how much fun they had..:cool:

Frances 06-11-2009 01:03 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
Yep, what he said...

I always let guests make their own pizzas and shape their own dough (after giving them a quick demo) and they love it. And meanwhile you can tend the fire and cook the pizzas in a cool calm and collected way. Its a real win-win way of organising things.

dmun 06-11-2009 05:05 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
If you are going to go with do-it-yourslf dough stretching, you may not want to use your highest hydration dough formula. If you cut back the water a percentage or two it's more manageable for beginners.

Puy de Dome 06-11-2009 05:50 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
Thanks for the replies. One concern about this is that I don't want the guests to get fed up if the dough I produce keeps springing back once they have formed something vaguely edible. Any tip on getting the dough to stop from bouncing back?

texassourdough 06-11-2009 06:46 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
Hi PdD!

You got some good advice above, methinks. I find guests tend to put WAY too much on the pizzas which then gets on the peel which then GLUES the pizzas to the peel etc. I tend to discourage letting guests make pizzas.

RE: springback... make the balls the day before so they will be well relaxed. Italian 00 (at least Caputo) is springier than AP so downgrading is probably smart for guests. Rolling them out can help - at least as the first forming step, especially if you are going to let them finish the dough.

I would not suggest letting them work with the oven but I still carry scars from my FIRST pizza event. First pizza went really well. Second was going fine. The fire was in the rear of the oven. When it was time to remove the pizza I put the peel under the edge of the pizza - or so I thought - and snapped the peel forward....and shoved the whole pizza into the fire (the peel was apparently against the edge of the pizza and NOT under it). It was a sad moment.... But a memorable one. Fires now go on the right side of the oven so it is out of the way!

Have fun and let us know how it goes!

Puy de Dome 06-11-2009 07:09 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
Jay, thanks, and yes, the replies are great.

One thing, what is meant by 'AP'? Is this perhaps what we call 'strong' flour? Developed for bread?

DrakeRemoray 06-11-2009 08:38 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
I don't let the guests build their own. They tend to put too many toppings on and get sauce on the peel...

One dumped pizza slows down the whole process.

I just let the guests "order" pizza...."Ok, who's next? Suzie, you want Onions and anchovies? Coming up!" They can supervise the toppings....

Sometimes I have one person who is very interested, and I will have them tend the oven. I place, they turn and remove the pie...That helps with the labor...

Just my two cents.


dmun 06-11-2009 10:22 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
AP means All Purpose, the US standard supermarket flour. It comes in bleached and unbleached versions, and it's what you buy to make piecrust, thicken gravies, and the like. It makes a pretty good close grained white bread, but that's not it's best use. I use it for my bench flour, since it's cheap, and right there.

jerrycook 06-11-2009 11:14 AM

Re: Organising a pizza party question
I haven't finished my oven yet, but we do cook pizza in our stove oven with a pizza stone. I have found that some people enjoy making their own pizza's and others are content with eating them. Unless someone were to get too close to the fire, it's my belief that nothing can go wrong. If the pizza it isnt round it will get eaten anyway. If the dough is a little too thick, The pizzza will be eaten. If half the topping falls off, push it off to the side, or lift it out with the peel, and keep going. Unless your trying to impress your boss, the're all friends and will enjoy the party.

relax, enjoy!

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