I love planning for and hosting parties. I don’t do it very often but, when I do, it is always fun. So, when two of my oldest and dearest friends planned to visit over Christmas, I went into full-on planning mode.
I try to do a different theme every year when they visit. One year it was a taco bar and another year we had a variety of soups. This year I decided that homemade pizza would be something we would all enjoy.
While I could have made several large pizzas and hoped that people would like the toppings I chose to put on them, I opted for something a little different. We each made our own personal pizza.
This idea turned out to be a big hit. Who knew
forcing allowing people to make their own food could be so much fun?
If you want to know how you can host a DIY pizza party like I did, read on for all of the details.
The first thing I did was to make three batches of my pizza dough recipe (printable recipe below). I had been so busy that I waited until the day before to make the crusts, but I could have easily made them a month in advance and frozen them.
Side note: I have learned the hard way to only mix up one batch at a time in my KitchenAid Mixer (affiliate link). Let’s just say it wasn’t a good thing. Now that I have the professional model I still only mix one batch of dough at a time.
After mixing up the dough I put each batch into a bowl and coated it with a little drizzle of olive oil. I used some plastic wrap over the top, but I have used towels before, too.
You can tell by the clock on my oven that I let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours. If it had been a warmer day it wouldn’t have taken as long.
Joseph helped me roll out the dough. We placed a small handful of dough (I know, super scientific, right?) between two pieces of plastic wrap so we didn’t have to use more flour which could make the dough more stiff.
We placed the personal sized pizza crusts onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. I recommend using parchment paper (affiliate link) to prevent the crusts from sticking. I reuse it several times before throwing it away.
Janna and Julia used forks to poke holes in the crusts before baking. This step helps prevent air bubbles in the crust.
We also made a bunch of breadsticks but I neglected to get a picture of them. Probably because my hands were too doughy. 🙂
I baked each crust for 10 minutes (400 degrees) and then allowed them to cool before placing them in freezer bags with waxed paper between them.
At this point I put them in the refrigerator because we were going to eat them the next day. If you make them well in advance then you can freeze them until you are ready. (I have even frozen pizzas with toppings on them. Click here to find out more.)
I did this two weeks ago when we had pizza one night. I made double the amount of crusts and breadsticks we would need and then froze half for later.
Something else to do in advance is to get all of the toppings ready.
- Pizza Sauce
- Shredded Cheese
- Chopped Onions
- Sliced Black Olives
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Chopped Green Peppers
I am sure there are many more toppings than this that people like on their pizzas, but the list above was enough for our crowd.
When we were ready to eat everyone took a pizza crust (We left them on the waxed paper for this step, but not for baking, to avoid any major messes.) and added sauce and whatever toppings they chose.
We baked the pizzas on parchment paper lined baking sheets for 15+ minutes in a 400 degree oven and then we were ready to eat.
I don’t think anyone topped their pizzas the same way.
This one was a sausage, pepperoni, and bacon pizza that James made.
My friend who is a vegetarian made this pizza with onions, mushrooms, peppers, and black olives.
This was my pizza that I topped with sausage, pepperoni, onions, green peppers, and dairy-free cheese (affiliate link). I am thankful someone come up with a soy-free, dairy-free cheese.
Don’t you just love how funny some of the pizza shapes turned out? I loved that my kids helped me because each crust was unique.
Here’s the crust recipe so you can make your own personal pizzas, or regular sized pizzas if you prefer.
- 2 Cups Very Warm Water
- 1 Tbsp. Yeast
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 4 ½ – 5 Cups Flour
- 1 tsp. Salt
- In a bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil and let stand until bubbles form on top.
- In the bowl of a mixer, combine 2 cups of flour, salt and the wet ingredients together.
- Gradually, add the remaining flour.
- Mix the dough until it forms a ball in the mixer.
- Drizzle the dough with olive oil and place in a large bowl covered with a towel or plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size.
- Take sections of the dough and roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Poke holes in each crust.
- Bake the crusts for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
- Add sauce and toppings.
- Bake an additional 15+ minutes or until the cheese has melted on top.
You can roll the crusts on a floured surface instead of using two pieces of plastic wrap. However, the dough might get too stiff if you use too much flour.
The crusts can be frozen after baking for the first 10 minutes (cool first) for use at a later date.
I recommend baking the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet or a pizza stone to prevent sticking.
I use the dough hook attachment of my mixer and let it knead the dough for no less than 5 minutes.
While our pizza party was fun, the food, decor, etc. weren’t the most important part. Spending time with friends and family was the ultimate goal, not that I would have a post that was “pin-worthy”. (However, if you would like to share this post on Pinterest that would be awesome.)
Sometimes we forget this fact when we see elaborate party ideas shared on Pinterest. If gorgeous party decorations and elaborate meals are in your budget and you enjoy that sort of thing then by all means go for it.
I just want to let the average person know that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make your guests feel special. (Maybe that should be an entirely different post…)
If you would like another fun idea for party food check out this post I wrote about an anniversary party we hosted. Party Food: Baked Potato Bar
What is your favorite pizza topping? Did it make my list?