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So you like pizza and you want to throw a party for a few close friends? Well, there are a few things you should know when getting a pizza party underway and I want to share a few tips on what makes this easier and more exciting for your pizza fans. Here is how you can make your pizza party even better with these top-shelf suggestions.
Determine the number of guests
Any kind of pizza party will bring everyone together no matter what, but you have to remember that not everyone is on the same boat. This is why you need to have a variety for those who are counting calories or aren’t meat-eaters. There are plenty of pizza lovers who like pizza that’s hot and crispy, while others like the sensation of thick deep-pan pizza pie. Depending on where you grew up, you might want to consider the classic styles too.
But no matter what your plan is, you need to determine how many people are going to at your pizza party so you can plan ahead for accommodations.
This way you can have all the necessary topping and have pizza dough ready to go long before your guests arrive. I recommend that you make your pizza dough the night before if you’re doing cold proofing. This is great if you want to make New York-style, but not limited to other styles either.
Making the dough is an important part of the process, so you always want to make sure that your flour is the right grade that is milled very fine and will have great hydration when you add the water. This way, you aren’t waiting too long if you make the dough one hour before your guests start to arrive.
What kind of pizza are you making?
Pizza is subjective to the region and state you live in, so there are going to be classics that are mandatory just because of where you live. That isn’t always the case if you live in California since these styles will always push the boundaries for what is hip and trending. But for those who are traditionalists when it comes to pizza that defines your home state, you can’t cheat your indulgence.
Fans of Deep Dish Pizza will surely know the importance of adding everything but the kitchen sink in terms of what goes into your pizza. And fans that can’t get enough of St Louis style will love the unique flavor of Provel cheese. Still, there are going to be those who are going nuts over oval-shaped New Haven-style pizzas that have traditional toppings of white clam. Whatever your style is going to be, you should know what makes pizza original and tasty.
If you were lucky enough to grow up in New England then you’ll be a lifetime fan of Greek Pizza. That’s a tasty version of Chicago Deep Dish with a splash of vinegar and feta cheese thrown on top. It’s a lot closer to Focaccia bread than being a pizza, but then again it’s all according to toppings that you add to make it more Greek’ or not. Then, it really comes down to what style you want to recreate. You should be open to what you crave the most.
What kind of crust is going to make them go wild?
You might be thinking at this point, thin crust or thick crust? What kind of texture do you want to feed to your hungry hoard? Some desire crunchy and crispy crusts that are unique and define the pizza style you create. From the delicate and crispy Margherita pizza crust to the overly soggy Neapolitan pizza, you have to consider what will appeal to everyone.
Deep Pan Pizza is great if you have a cooking pan that’s cast iron so you can get that crispy fried outer crust that defines Chicago and Detroit style. While some of us like pizza that has the classic wood-fired flavor that gives crust that iconic burnt edges that you’ll find with Sicilian and New Haven styles are typically known for. Maybe you want to be creative with rolling your dough with butter to get more flakey and pastry-like crusts instead of olive oil.
There is also going to be the issue of how you make your dough and how much hydration determines the overall texture you create. The amount of gluten that’s formed from proofing will give you crust that makes your final crust fluffier or bread-like. Higher amounts of hydration always yield the best crispy crusts, yet it does take some practice to get a thicker dough that makes a soft and thick cell structure that is well-defined.
Have the right kind of pizza oven
Standard kitchen ovens might just spell the death of your pizza if you can’t reach the right temperature? Or is this really the case to have an oven that can cook your pizza at the right amount of degrees? Honestly, it all has to do with the type of cooking surface that you have in your oven. Pizza stones and pizza steels are great since they retain heat like nothing else. That doesn’t mean you’re out-of-luck if you don’t have an old-fashioned cooking griddle.
Iron griddles make excellent pizza cooking vessels since they hold heat like crazy and give your crust a crunchy fried texture if you add a bit of oil, butter, or food shortening. Even if your oven doesn’t reach over 550 degrees Fahrenheit, Pizza stones can give your crust great crunch nonetheless. Of course, there’s nothing like having an outdoor grill that can reach higher heat levels. This also gives your pizza crust levels of smokiness that are amazing too.
Cutting tools that will be effective
This is where you need to determine the kind of cutting tool that makes cutting pizza fast and simple. Crispier crusts need cutting tools that are sharp and effective. Because of the number of toppings and style that your pizza includes, you need to have the right tool for the task of cutting your pizza.
There are many kinds of pizza cutters that all have a purpose and can be more effective than others.
If you don’t know how pizza cutters work, you’ll need to get a lesson on which pizza crusts are thicker or thinner. You won’t want to miss this great tutorial from the experts that test every gadget on the market. If you can’t find a good cutter from these folks then you might be using the wrong pizzas cutting tool for the job.
What kind of cut will give you the best results?
It’s not the cutter that you use but the method that you cut your pizza. Most people will settle for the traditional slices that look like triangle-shaped wedges. These are simple, easy, and perfect to hold in your hand. But did you know there were other options? You can also try cutting your pizza into party slices that are often called Pub Style. This is where square shapes are used to make 2 or 3-inch sliced pieces available for everyone at your table.
But that doesn’t excuse the pizza-style slices that are notorious for being rectangle-shaped. Sicilian pizza and St. Louis are usually rectangular shaped, but that could be from the tradition it was introduced since both of these are cooked in rectangular shapes. It would only make sense if these were cut into rectangle shapes. But if you have a crowd, you might want to decide the best way to feed everyone with equal parts of your pizza recipe.