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Large pizza party

This is sort of a follow-up to a previous pizza dough question - but, as you'll see, it has spun a bit out of control.

I've got a kamado grill and got an add-on for it that basically turns it into a pizza oven. We used it for a small dinner party and it was a ton of fun, using the Milk Street dough and sauce recipes. Making smaller pies, we found that a pizza for every two people was enough and ended up with a little leftovers that people were glad to take home.

My wife was really thrilled with it and said we should do it again. I agreed. However, we now have 25+ people coming to the next one. That's a lot of pizza. I'm trying to plan out the best ways to manage dough, pizza assembly, and baking both to get everything done reasonably and to maintain my sanity. I'm already bald - I have no hair to pull out :-)

Any advice? We're enthusiastic, but not super experienced entertainers.

Thanks!

Mitch

Comments

  • Hi Mitchell - Wow! That *is* a lot of pizza. My best advice is to prep as much in advance as possible and keep toppings to two pizza options. Not only will this minimize prep, but it will speed up the topping process if there are fewer options to consider. Then, enlist some help! If you are fairly good at forming the pizza I would get an assembly line in place. If you make it part of the party fun, guests are always willing to help out with topping pizzas. You form the shells, a couple of people do the toppings, you or a friend does the baking. Finally, don’t stress too much. It’s going to be near impossible to keep the doughs at the perfect 75 degree temperature. Try to bring them up to temp, but don’t worry if they go over. And if people have to wait a bit for pizza, it’s no big deal. I would design the party to be a casual, eat-as-it-comes-out type of party, rather than a sit-down affair. Have some snacks (cheese plate, pre-made salads, etc.) available so people can nibble while they wait. I’m sure everyone had a good time at your party last time because of the company and the fun of the pizza oven, not necessarily the perfect pizza!. ;-) Best, Lynn C.

  • My friend and I built a clay oven in our backyard several years ago. We were so impressed with ourselves that we decided we needed to celebrate by throw g a pizza party for our friends. I was pretty nervous at first. How much dough, how much sauce, what kind of pizza does everyone like? We put out an email inviting our guests and asking for preferences. One person volunteered to bring their favorite toppings and it cascaded from there with everyone else listing the things they plan to bring. I make the dough and the sauce. We roll out individual pizza dough rounds and stack them between parchment. All the toppings are set out on the kitchen island and everyone creates their own masterpiece. Our oven temp is almost 1000°F so each individual pizza is in and out in about 30 seconds. It’s so much fun that no one minds when things go sideways, like the time it rained and we had to change from a outdoor pizza party to an indoor pasta party. There are always leftovers and they become salads, sandwiches and soups in the following days.

    We've done it so many times that we can send an email on Thursday for a party on Saturday and everybody knows what to do. It had become a group effort and nobody is stressed!

  • My friend and I built a clay oven in our backyard several years ago. We were so impressed with ourselves that we decided we needed to celebrate by throw g a pizza party for our friends. I was pretty nervous at first. How much dough, how much sauce, what kind of pizza does everyone like? We put out an email inviting our guests and asking for preferences. One person volunteered to bring their favorite toppings and it cascaded from there with everyone else listing the things they plan to bring. I make the dough and the sauce. We roll out individual pizza dough rounds and stack them between parchment. All the toppings are set out on the kitchen island and everyone creates their own masterpiece. Our oven temp is almost 1000°F so each individual pizza is in and out in about 30 seconds. It’s so much fun that no one minds when things go sideways, like the time it rained and we had to change from a outdoor pizza party to an indoor pasta party. There are always leftovers and they become salads, sandwiches and soups in the following days.

    We've done it so many times that we can send an email on Thursday for a party on Saturday and everybody knows what to do. It had become a group effort and nobody stresses anymore!

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