Author Topic: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?  (Read 2171 times)

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Offline dmaxdmax

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How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« on: December 31, 2010, 01:35:22 AM »
Good friends are coming over for New Year's Eve and I volunteered to make pizza.  I've got a std electric oven with a stone plus a dozen balls of dough in the fridge.  Half are Peter Reinhart's NY style (62% hydro) and the other his Neo-Neopolitan (71%).  Reinhart suggests allowing his NY to cool a bit and go back into the oven for ~2 min to give it some extra snap and in the past I've done this to get 4 or 5 pies baked, each needing 2 minutes re-heat and I can serve 5 over the span of 10 minutes. 

I'm afraid that if I try to do this with 10 or more pies the early ones will be sitting out for way too long and suffer some loss of flavor or texture or misc magic.  How can I serve a bunch of pies without spending several hours building and baking while everyone else is engaged in jocular revelry as they wait 10 minutes for the next few slices to become available?

Thank you and Happy New Year!

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edit - I'm using KA Sir Lancelot
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 01:42:10 AM by dmaxdmax »
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 02:07:51 PM »
Sorry, I missed this, so it is too late for New Years, but When I serve pizza, it is not dinner party style, it is serve as made, buffet style.  Of course, I generally can pump them out at 2-3 minute intervals, even while drinking.

Offline dmaxdmax

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 03:44:19 PM »
I suppose with sufficient red wine I could pop them out every 2-3 minutes but as my electric oven takes 7 minutes it might not be the best solution. Might depend on the wine......
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 03:48:06 PM »
I have 4 racks in 2 ovens, so even in the kitchen oven I can pump out 9 or 10 in less than 30 minutes.  With one oven 2 racks, you will be getting one every 7-8 minutes, so if you stagger them (as you will have to), you can probably have 2 on the table for an hour or so.

Offline ajb

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 11:12:08 AM »
I have the same question!  I love having pizza dinner parties, but I'm stuck in the kitchen, working away while everyone waits for pizzas.

I plan on pre-making all of the pizzas during the afternoon of my next dinner party.  They will obviously cool to room temp. during the day but when we are ready to eat, I'll put them back in the oven, 4 or 5 at a time to reheat.  I think this could work but I am worried about soggy pies and luke warm toppings.

Any thoughts out there?  How do you do YOUR pizza parties???

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 11:35:02 AM »
I have the same question!  I love having pizza dinner parties, but I'm stuck in the kitchen, working away while everyone waits for pizzas.

I plan on pre-making all of the pizzas during the afternoon of my next dinner party.  They will obviously cool to room temp. during the day but when we are ready to eat, I'll put them back in the oven, 4 or 5 at a time to reheat.  I think this could work but I am worried about soggy pies and luke warm toppings.

Any thoughts out there?  How do you do YOUR pizza parties???

I can't believe you would even consider pre-baking pizza for a pizza party. Why have a pizza party if that's what it takes? Why not serve food that doesn't have to be severely compromised instead?

How about moving the center of the party to the kitchen so that you can be part of the party while you work? Maybe get your guests involved? Even if people just stand around and drink while you bake, it can be a lot of fun. As Tom noted, even with one oven, you can put out a good flow of pizza - just have everything prepped and ready. Have plenty of simple appetizers - cheese, salami, grilled vegetables, bruschetta/crostini, etc. - to fill in the gaps.
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 12:31:04 PM »
The party is defiantly wherever the cooking is going on either in the kitchen or around the outdoor oven or grill.  The cooking is an integral part of the party, or the party doesn't serve hot food, usually the former.

Offline Chi_Guy

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 06:08:20 PM »
Not gonna work.   I've never had success baking more than 2 pies in succession on a baking stone.  If you've ever used an IR thermometer to measure the temperature of a stone before and after baking, you'll know that it can drop 200 deg F or more after a single bake.  Unless you let the stone reheat for another 30 mins or so between each bake, your pizzas won't cook properly.

To feed a crowd, I would suggest baking a Sicilian style square pizza instead.  The dough is thicker which lets you load up on the toppings and makes for a more substantial pizza.  If you still want to make thin crust style pizza, you could use the Serious Eats skillet to broiler method (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/09/how-to-make-great-neapolitan-pizza-at-home.html) to make several small pizzas in succession.  It's not optimal but better than baking 9 pizzas the normal way.

Offline David Deas

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 07:36:14 AM »
Once the oven is fully saturated at 550 degrees I can pump out a standard American pizza (which is what you will be making at 550 degrees, regardless of what you call it) every 6-7 minutes or so.  The stone does not need to reheat for an entire 30 minutes, but I suppose that could depend some on your stoneware.  

« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 08:51:28 AM by David Deas »

Offline Stapleface

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 01:47:04 PM »
I have 4 racks in 2 ovens, so even in the kitchen oven I can pump out 9 or 10 in less than 30 minutes.  With one oven 2 racks, you will be getting one every 7-8 minutes, so if you stagger them (as you will have to), you can probably have 2 on the table for an hour or so.

Out of curiosity, when you stagger them, do you have a method to it?  Like say put one on the bottom, a few minutes later move that to the top shelf and put a second on the bottom?  I'm going to attempt to turn out 4 pizzas (roughly) in fairly rapid succession (rapid meaning the first one hopefully won't be cold by the time the last one is done).  I cook on a screen at 500 degrees (just what I found works for me) in a gas oven. 


Offline Tannerwooden

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 02:14:12 AM »
My problem with this sort of party was always recovery time.  In my jury rigged home oven if I'm baking at, say, 750 degrees, it could very well be 15 minutes between pies.  I solve this with bricks.
I place 6 bricks towards the front of my oven on the lower rack.  It takes WAY longer to preheat, but cuts recovery time by about half.  It also has the added benefit of helping to even out the heat.

Offline adletson

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 11:03:01 AM »
I did a party one time where I made 10 pizzas in succession.  While the 1st pie was the best, as the preheating conditions were optimal, pies 2-10 through 10 were pretty uniform as the conditions seemed to settle in.  The bake time went up obviously, but the pizzas didnt' really seem to suffer.  The fun of standing around the kitchen, talking, and eating pizza straight out of the oven made for a good time.

To try and let the stone reheat as much as I could, I didn't start shaping each pizza until the last one was out of the oven.  I did the shaping, but the dressing of the skins was done by all the guests with whatever they wanted.  We then launched the pie, ate the one that just came out of the oven, and waited for the next.  It made for a somewhat long cooking endeavor, but again, fun times.

Offline jsaras

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 06:24:20 PM »
I've done a party of 6.  Basically it was 4 x 12-inch pizzas with contrasting toppings and bases, (olive oil base, pesto, tomato sauce, different meats and veggies).  I was able to sorta bake two pizzas at a time.  One one steel and the one in a cutter pan.  The steel finished first, so that pie came out of the oven and then I moved the pan on top of the steel and hit the broiler for a bit to finish it off.

Both pizzas were on cooling racks and were cut by my wife.  The next two pies were baked about 15-20 minutes later.

Also, be sure to have all your toppings measured out and organized earlier that day (I used plastic cups for most of it), so dressing the pizza is a no-brainer.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 06:33:33 PM »
Just my .02 cents worth......

Maybe crank out 2 cheese pies, as large as you can fit in the oven....set them out for snacking as folks then help to create their own masterpieces. 2 people per half/half pizza creation. Pizza party.... :)
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 09:06:48 PM »
I don't use a stone, just a screen, I don't even preheat the oven for more than 10 or 15 minutes.  There is no mass to preheat with a kitchen oven and no stone, you are relying on ambient and radiant heat from the elements alone.

The cycle I use goes like this:

First pizza in on lower rack of lower oven, second in on upper rack of lower oven a minute or 2 later.  3-4 minutes in, the 1st pizza goes to the upper oven lower rack with the broiler on (the only preheat is to allow the element to reach red hot).  The 2nd pizza moves to the lower oven lower rack with no screen, pizza 3 goes to upper rack lower oven.   After another 2-3 minutes 2nd pizza goes to upper oven upper rack.  Pizza one finishes and is racked outside oven to cool for a minute or 2 then cut and served, pizza 2 moves to lower rack in upper oven. Rinse, repeat.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:10:12 PM by Tscarborough »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 09:19:02 PM »
I don't use a stone, just a screen, I don't even preheat the oven for more than 10 or 15 minutes.  There is no mass to preheat with a kitchen oven and no stone, you are relying on ambient and radiant heat from the elements alone.

The cycle I use goes like this:

First pizza in on lower rack of lower oven, second in on upper rack of lower oven a minute or 2 later.  3-4 minutes in, the 1st pizza goes to the upper oven lower rack with the broiler on (the only preheat is to allow the element to reach red hot).  The 2nd pizza moves to the lower oven lower rack with no screen, pizza 3 goes to upper rack lower oven.   After another 2-3 minutes 2nd pizza goes to upper oven upper rack.  Pizza one finishes and is racked outside oven to cool for a minute or 2 then cut and served, pizza 2 moves to lower rack in upper oven. Rinse, repeat.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 09:22:16 PM »
I don't use a stone, just a screen, I don't even preheat the oven for more than 10 or 15 minutes.  There is no mass to preheat with a kitchen oven and no stone, you are relying on ambient and radiant heat from the elements alone.

The cycle I use goes like this:

First pizza in on lower rack of lower oven, second in on upper rack of lower oven a minute or 2 later.  3-4 minutes in, the 1st pizza goes to the upper oven lower rack with the broiler on (the only preheat is to allow the element to reach red hot).  The 2nd pizza moves to the lower oven lower rack with no screen, pizza 3 goes to upper rack lower oven.   After another 2-3 minutes 2nd pizza goes to upper oven upper rack.  Pizza one finishes and is racked outside oven to cool for a minute or 2 then cut and served, pizza 2 moves to lower rack in upper oven. Rinse, repeat.

Tom,

Did you refrain from drinking when you did this, or we're you drinking when you did it :-D?

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 09:30:15 PM »
...but ya know...after you read it a few times it all sorta falls right into place in an odd kinda way.... :chef:
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2013, 10:12:58 PM »
Hell, no, you have to drink to do it.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How do I make and serve pizzas for 9?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 10:45:32 PM »
You can bake pizza at home without drinking?
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