COOK

Do-it-Yourself Pizza Party

May 12, 2017 | STORY BY MARIA DASILVA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT HUNTER

Make-your-own pizzas are the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

Gouda Quiche

Pizza is the ultimate crowd-pleasing food, satisfying the needs of whoever may be gracing your table, from a lactose-intolerant vegetarian, to a discerning gourmet.
 
While take-out or delivery is perfect for busy nights, homemade pizza is a simple and delightful treat. And perfect for a casual get together.
 
Whether it’s family games night or your turn at the dinner club, consider choosing a stress-free, do-it-yourself pizza party. Make the dough and sauce the night before. Grate, prep or cook any toppings before the guests arrive, even the night before if you’ve got a full schedule. Preheat the oven, lay the table with an array of toppings and a space for each person to roll out and dress their own pie. Open a few bottles of red wine, and voilà, the party is ready. Easy entertaining at its finest! Happy cooking!

Ingredients

 

Pizza PartyPizza Dough
(Makes enough for eight individual-size pizzas):
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp salt
 
Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
Half onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
3 fresh basil leaves
 
Toppings
The beauty of pizza is that anything goes. Here are a few suggestions from ordinary to trend-setting.
  • MEATS: pepperoni, cooked sausage, salami, cooked chicken, baby shrimp, crumbled bacon, cooked ham, prosciutto, anchovies.
  • VEGETABLES: mushrooms, fresh, sun-dried or oven-roasted tomatoes, zucchini, roasted peppers, spinach, olives, cooked eggplant, thinly sliced potatoes, onion, marinated artichokes, pesto.
  • CHEESE: fresh or regular mozzarella, fontina, provolone, blue cheese, bocconcini, smoked cheese, Parmesan, cheddar.

 

Directions for Pizza Dough

 

  • In a bowl, combine yeast, sugar, oil and water; let sit until foamy, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in flour and salt to make a shaggy dough.
  • Turn out dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and silky, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Cover and let rise in warm place until tripled in size, 2 to 3 hours. Or, cover and refrigerate dough overnight.
  • Let come to room temperature before rolling.

 

Directions for Pizza Sauce

 

  • Heat oil over medium heat; fry onions and garlic until golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt, sugar and basil leaves; bring to simmer.
  • Simmer until sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • Remove basil leaves and puree until smooth.
  • Sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead.

 

To Assemble and Bake Pizza

 
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces.
  • On lightly floured surface, shape dough by pressing down with fingertips then gently pulling edges to stretch. Let the dough rest, or relax, for a few minutes between stretching if it pulls back immediately.
  • Place dough on cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet.
  • Top with sauce (not too much or pizza will be soggy) and toppings (not too much or pizza will be water-logged).
  • Bake on lower rack of 425°F oven until bottom of crust is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

MORE IN COOK

VIEW MORE ARTICLES

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

VIEW MORE ARTICLES