Friday, October 2, 2009

Make Your Own Pizza Party

I was looking for a dinner idea to satisfy the palates of my VERY PICKY nieces, they are fans of very few foods. Then pizza popped into my head, everyone likes pizza, except I was sure that they would not be happy with the toppings so I decided to have everyone make their own mini pizza. I used the recipe below to make the dough and each person was able to press out their dough and add the toppings of their choice. I had a jar of pizza sauce and then small dishes of cut up red peppers, mushrooms, olives, hot peppers, cheese, pepperoni. After the pizza's were made I wrote each persons name on a piece of tinfoil and placed it with their pizza so there were no mix-ups. My oldest niece thought that making her own pizza was the most fun she ever had!!! I am definitely going to try this again!!! I found this recipe at

1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

How to make pizza dough from scratch:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside and follow the instructions below for the method you choose.

By hand: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into it. Stir until it begins to form a ball, then turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 4 or 5 minutes.

In a mixer: Using a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and mix on low until the dough begins to clump around the dough hook. Remove and knead as above.

In a dough-capable food processor: Use a plastic blade, if possible. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor and mix briefly. Add the liquid ingredients slowly and process the mixture low and slow for about 2 or 3 minutes, just until the dough begins to form a ball. Remove and knead as above.

In a bread machine: Set the machine for "dough" and follow the manufacturer's instructions; pick up the pizza dough recipe directions where the bread maker leaves off.

  • Whichever method and pizza dough recipe you've chosen, your pizza dough should be a smooth, elastic ball. Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough at this point.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball, then, working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough and work it with your fingers or a rolling pin to form an 8-inch circle. (Let your guests prepare their own.) The outer edge of the circle should be a little thicker than the body, forming a rim. Add toppings.
  • Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 450° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes for a regular size pizza and 5-6minutes for a mini pizza.
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