I am planning a pizza party for 14 people. That is a lot of pizzas to make. The idea is to set out toppings on the kitchen island and let everyone choose their own. The biggest obstacle to pulling this off is the pizza dough. It makes such a mess and frankly I don’t think I have the space for everyone to flour boards and stretch their own. Thanks to my Daughter-in-Law Kristen, I have come up with a solution.
I start out with Perfect Pizza Flour Blend from King Arthur Flour. This is such an easy dough to manage when you are forming your pizzas. It is a blend of golden durum wheat and unbleached flour with an all-natural dough conditioner and baking powder added for an extra-light crisp crust. I make my pizza dough in my bread machine. It is so easy.
Four cups of the pizza flour yields four dough balls for 10-inch individual pizzas.
I pull and stretch the dough on a cornmeal dusted paddle.
Now, this is what Kristen taught me that is so valuable. Before she tops her pizza with ingredients, she brushes olive oil on the dough and sprinkles it with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
The dough is placed on a pizza stone in a 475 degree oven and prebaked for about 5 minutes.
We now have a crust that will be easy to top and for me that means I can make all of the crusts ahead of time and place them in the freezer until I need them. On the day of the party, all I have to do is defrost the crusts and assemble the topping ingredients and everyone will be able to build their own pizzas.
Of course we had to test the pizzas to see if they were good. the two on the right have marinara sauce, mozzarella, sausage, peppers, onions and Parmesan. The two on the left have the same ingredients, but with pesto sauce instead of the marinara. Kristen likes to add the mozzarella after the sauce, then the other toppings, then more mozzarella and Parmesan. She learned that from my Son, who worked in a pizza restaurant while in high school. She also likes to finish her pizzas with a fresh note like a squeeze of lemon juice or fresh basil. Thanks Kristen.
Pre-Baked Pizza Crust (Using Bread Machine)
4 Cups Perfect Pizza Flour Blend from King Arthur Flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or instant yeast
Place all of the ingredients into a bread machine. Set on dough or pizza setting. Process until done. On a floured board, knead dough briefly and cut into 4 pieces. Roll each into a ball. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Dust a pizza paddle with cornmeal. Stretch one of the balls into a 10-inch (approx.) circle. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Slide pizza circle onto a pizza stone in a 475-degree oven. Bake for about 5 minutes. Remove to a rack. Proceed with remainder of the dough balls.
When all of them are cooked and cooled. wrap in foil and place in plastic bags. Freeze until needed.
Allow pizza rounds to thaw to room temperature. Place your toppings of choice on pizza rounds and bake until browned and bubbly.