Pizza Party Tips

July 27th, 2012

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.

Printable recipe

19 responses to “Pizza Party Tips”

  1. I love King Arthur products. I used to order them and now my grocery store carries the flour. This is a great idea for a party and everything looks so good!


  2. That looks yummy! What a great tip on creating enough pizzas for a party.

  3. Balisha says:

    What a clever idea…and the pizza looks delish!

  4. Lorrie Orr says:

    Great idea. This would work with homemade dough as well, I think. I love the idea of seasoning the crust and prebaking it. Hope your pizza party goes well.

  5. Kate says:

    I have never pizza flour. It looks as though you solved the problem. I will learn from you. I have wanted to have a build your own pizza party and had no idea how to manage the crusts! When you pre-bake, are they cooked completely? (Hope that isn’t a stupid question.) I have no idea how long pizza crusts take to bake!

    • Penny says:

      Hi Kate, There are no stupid questions when cooking. 5 minutes in the oven only hardens the crusts so you can handle them. They puff a little too. Later when you add the toppings you can cook them for the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to melt the cheese and brown the edges and top. Sometimes I have to turn on the broiler near the end to brown the tops. Hope you give this a try.

  6. What a fun idea Penny. Your guests will think you & Kristin are genius.

  7. These are wonderful tips. I just started making my own pizzas & sauce. The pre-baking solves a problem I had, and the freezing will be great for a quick meal for the boys. Can’t wait to try. Thanks, Aunt Penny

    • Penny says:

      Oh my, Jennie! So glad to see you here. I am so lucky to have such talented nieces like you and Morgan. Grandma Bobik would be so proud of your cooking skills. I have a feeling that the boys will love the pizzas that you make from this crust recipe.

      Love, Aunt Penny

    • So glad to be here. I feel so lucky to have such a talented Aunt. I’m making the crusts today using King Arthur’s Bread flour, will have to look around for the perfect pizza blend. I didn’t know it existed.

      Love, Jennie

  8. Kat says:

    This post comes just in time for getting ready for football season. I will have to order the flour mixture, I am sure no one here has it. I wanted to let you know that I made that crock pot bbq chicken, and it was great! And so easy! Thanks.

  9. Big Dude says:

    Looks delicious Penny. We like to do the build-your-own pizza-thing, but never tried it for 14 people – you must have a big oven.

  10. Mary says:

    It’s been years, probably 30, since I made my own pizza dough by hand! After reading this I think I need to buy a bread machine, ha! ha! Looks, and can almost smell, the deliciousness over here in Raleigh!

    Happy day Penny dear.
    Hugs – Mary

  11. I love the idea of a “build your own” pizza party. Since I ruin anything that has to do with dough, I’m game for trying the King Arthur packet. Right now I just stop by my local Italian Restaurant and buy a crust they’ve made and rolled out. Cost $2.00. Then I bring it home, top it and bake it.

    Did you notice I made your Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe and blogged about it. We loved it Penny. Thanks for a great recipe.

  12. Barbara says:

    What fun, Penny. I haven’t made pizza dough since the kids were little!

  13. Your DIL is brilliant, Penny. What a great way to prepare pizza crusts ahead of time and save all that fussing in the kitchen at the last minute. I’m going to have to try KA’s pizza flour. I love all their product and am sure I will like this flour as well.

  14. There is nothing better than a home-made pizza! This was a ritual at our house when I was growing up. Everything that was left over would go on the pizza, making for some combinations that were unusual then but pretty standard now.

    Your daughter-in-law sounds wonderful!

  15. I can’t wait to hear how the pizza party goes, Penny! Great post!

    Yesterday, I told Rachel that I was going to take one of her favorite things and make a pizza out of it. When she asked what it was, I said “broccoli”. She then told me that she preferred her broccoli cooked as usual and didn’t like the idea of a pizza. So I replied – “just trust me, you’ll like this”.

    She ate every bite! 🙂

    BTW – for your readers who might be in a rush, store-bought Naan doubles as a fantastic pizza crust. Homemade is always best, though.

    Love you!

  16. I’ve never heard of King Arthur products before. Thanks for the tip. Michael and I don’t have pizza parties because we don’t like to share our pizza, but I’m totally with you in spirit! Gary

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