It’s Super Bowl weekend! Are you having friends over to watch the game? One of my favorite easy entertaining ideas is to host a DIY pizza party. You can prep everything in advance, side dishes are easy and it gets people to mingle.
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Easy, DIY Pizza Party
Our household LOVES pizza on the weekends! For that reason, we decided to purchase an Ooni pizza oven last summer. It has been fantastic. It gets so much hotter than a grill or an oven and makes perfect crispy-crust, bubbling pizzas. What’s more, it’s both healthier and tastier than take-out. If you don’t have a pizza oven and don’t wish to purchase one, you can still host this party using a pizza stone and your oven or grill.
Below I’m sharing our favorite recipes for both dough and tomato sauce. Both can be prepped ahead of time and frozen until needed. For the toppings, the world is your oyster! Still to the classics or get inventive with chicken, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
Mixed nuts, crudité, and antipasti make for easy appetizers. For sides, make or purchase a large salad (greens or pasta) and a crockpot full of soup (Italian wedding is a fave)! Dessert can be a pre-ordered tiramisu or gelato. Easy peasy!
- Use “00” pizza flour for the best crust results.
- I mix our dough using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook attached.
- When forming pizza rounds, slowly rotate the dough ball in your hands, holding it from the top. Let the weight of the dough do the work of stretching the pizza into shape!
- Use a 50/50 mixture of flour and cornmeal on the pizza peel to keep the dough from sticking.
Shop Pizza Making Supplies
- 1 envelope of active dry yeast
- 1/2-1 teaspoon sugar to activate yeast
- 2 cups warm water, 105°F to 110°F
- 5-5½ cups bread or other high-protein flour, preferably organic and freshly milled, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing the bowl
Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Give the yeast a stir to help dissolve it, and let it activate for 5 minutes. It should appear bubbly and the aroma of yeast should be noticeable when it is activated.
Once the yeast has activated, stir in 3 cups of the flour and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, mixing gently until smooth. Slowly add 2 cups more flour, working it in gently. Add the salt (if you add the salt earlier, it could inhibit the yeast’s growth). If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl but is still sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Slap the dough onto the counter, pulling it toward you with one hand while pushing it away with the other, stretching it, and folding it back on itself. Repeat the process until the dough is noticeably easier to handle, 10 to 15 times, then knead until it’s smooth, stretchy, soft, and still very slightly tacky. This should take about 10 minutes, but here, feel is everything.
Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly greased big bowl. Roll the dough around to coat it with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, 2 to 2½ hours. When you press the fully proofed dough with your finger, the indentation should remain.
Turn the proofed dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 4 pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and dust them with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for another hour, or until they have doubled in size.
Now, the dough is ready to be shaped, topped, and baked. Dough balls can be wrapped well and refrigerated for up 8 hours or frozen for up to 3 weeks; thaw in the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before proceeding.
CRUSHED TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 28-ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 generous tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 leaves fresh basil, torn and bruised (optional)
- Fine sea salt (optional)
Empty the can of tomatoes, with their juice, into a blender or food processor. Add the olive oil with the basil and salt (if using). Process the tomatoes until blended. Let sit for about an hour for the flavors to combine. Refrigerate extra sauce in an airtight container for a few days or freeze for several months.
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