Author Topic: Throwing a big party; buying dough from a pizzeria: What pitfalls to avoid?  (Read 2367 times)

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Offline Fio

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We're throwing a big party this Saturday and I'm firing up Forno Fio to serve pizza for 20 people.  I have neither the time nor the capacity in my Hobart to make that kind of dough.  Luckily, a mom-and-pop pizzeria down the street for me will sell me 20 12" dough balls for $1 each.  I'll pick up the refrigerated dough trays on Saturday AM.

What types of issues should I anticipate?  I realize this is a broad question.  Do pizza places generally press out cold dough? I usually let mine get to ambient temperature when I press them out.  Also, it will be cold outside so this may not be an issue anyway.

This dough is usually cooked in ovens that are 550 degrees.  My wood oven is more like 700 degrees. 

It bothers me that this won't really be "my" pizza since the best part of my pizza is the dough - and this will not be mine. 

I'm hesitant to ask the proprietor too much about his dough operations because he's justifiably secretive about his business and until I literally show him my oven, he won't believe that I'm not a competitor trying to put him out of business. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Sorry if this seems like a silly answer, but why not have pizza shop bake and deliver all 20 pies? Given the importance of a good crust to a good pie and given his far greater experience with a dough that you have zero experience with in your oven, don't you think your approach might have a high probability of failure? At the very least, get a few of his dough balls as soon as possible and begin experimenting with them in Forno Fio.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Fio

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Sorry if this seems like a silly answer, but why not have pizza shop bake and deliver all 20 pies? Given the importance of a good crust to a good pie and given his far greater experience with a dough that you have zero experience with in your oven, don't you think your approach might have a high probability of failure? At the very least, get a few of his dough balls as soon as possible and begin experimenting with them in Forno Fio.

Bill/SFNM

BUY PIZZA?  I'm feeling guilty enough buying dough.  This event has been billed as a Fio Forno extravaganza - then the number of invitees got out of hand.  It would be the utmost shame to order pizza, when all the invitees are looking forward to my fire-breathing furnace in action.

But I think I'll take your advice and get a dough ball in advance to see how it plays.

Thanks!

 - Fio
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline David

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Why dont you do a hand mix?It's only about 2 litres of water for your 20 Pizzas.
                                                                                                                              David
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline shango

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multiple small batches in the hobart.

do not buy the pizzeria dough.

 :-\
-E
pizza, pizza, pizza

Offline scott r

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I'm with shangho.  Every time I buy commercial pizza dough there is sugar in there and my pies burn at high temps.


My advice to you is skip the caputo, skip the starter,  and use a nice forgiving american flour like an all trumps or a King arthur bread/KASL with some IDY and a long fridge rise.

I know you are probably worried because you just started baking with the caputo and room temp rises, so go back to your old recipe or a lehmann and just omit the sugar and the oil.  It will be hard to screw up.  The day of your party throw a dough in your oven about an hour or so before everybody gets there, if it sucks then go to your pizzeria and buy the dough.  20 dough balls is nothing to a commercial operation, so I can't imagine he would need all that much notice to sell you a tray of balls.  Just let him know what you are doing and I bet he will understand.  I would think that he was in this same situation at one point when he first started experimenting with recipes for his pizzeria.

Offline David

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How about doing  half your mix using Pete-za's KA  most recent method and do the other half by hand (I think Scott posted his method someplace) and use the results for comparrison?It will add to your guests involvement and give you feedback.If it's a disaster follow Bill's advice and have Pies delivered.No shame in failure Fio.We have ALL failed and will continue to do so,
                                   David
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Fio

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I'm with shangho.  Every time I buy commercial pizza dough there is sugar in there and my pies burn at high temps.


My advice to you is skip the caputo, skip the starter,  and use a nice forgiving american flour like an all trumps or a King arthur bread/KASL with some IDY and a long fridge rise.

I know you are probably worried because you just started baking with the caputo and room temp rises, so go back to your old recipe or a lehmann and just omit the sugar and the oil.  It will be hard to screw up.  The day of your party throw a dough in your oven about an hour or so before everybody gets there, if it sucks then go to your pizzeria and buy the dough.  20 dough balls is nothing to a commercial operation, so I can't imagine he would need all that much notice to sell you a tray of balls.  Just let him know what you are doing and I bet he will understand.  I would think that he was in this same situation at one point when he first started experimenting with recipes for his pizzeria.

Scott,

You give me too much credit!  I don't use Caputo or a starter (yet),  I use All trumps with a long fridge rise as you say.  You are right; he may use sugar or milk in his dough, and at my temps the pizzas may be hockey pucks. 

Mixing by hand?  Haven't done it in years.   It would be a nice workout, I guess.  I need to get a huge bowl.

 
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline David

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Bottom line FIO....................Pizza is all about the Crust IMO.

DON'T buy the Dough !!
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline mivler

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I have a KA mixer (I can make about 5 doughs at a time in it.) By the time I get home from work I usually have time to make 1 batch. I most often use pftaylor's Pizza Raquel. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11359.html#msg11359
I know the conversation about Raquel went on for a long time after that but my results have so good that I (temporarily) stopped looking for anything more/different in my pizza.

The great thing about this recipe is that I have had great results with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 day rises. (I'm not saying they are exactly the same but they are all better than most pizzerias. If you make 5 balls a night (I think you can probably make more with a Hobart). You will be in great shape. Much better than risking it all with someone else's dough.

Start tonight, it will be interesting to see if anyone can tell the difference between the day old and the 4 day old dough.

Michael


Offline Arthur

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Sorry Fio, but you have to make the dough yourself.  That is why everyone is coming to your house.   Stay up until 3AM if you must but just do it.   I know you take pride in your oven and the whole pizza experience must be yours.   

Also, make sure you prepare the sauce, have enough wood, etc and be all set 2 hours before the party - then relax before the crowd gets there - then you are on!

Enjoy - life is pizza; pizza is life :)

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Fio:

Do follow that everybody said and go for your pizza dough.
Do one or two 12´ dough today, just to see if you have the feel!
In another thread, under the title ‘Pizza party for 35…’ you could see some easy observations to go to you party with confidence.
I did a lot of parties with 20 crew and is not so complicated.
Be organized, prepare your toppings (separately for each pizza, if you like so), get your oven really hot and ask to somebody to take care of the beer!
Here is the main secret: Do not worry, be happy and have fun!
Good luck
Luis

Offline November

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I think Arthur said it best, you just have to make the dough yourself since that's what the guests will be expecting.  Make sure you have lots of clear counter-space or at least a very organized system for preparing each pizza like an assembly line.  You might even consider asking if anyone wants to help with putting their own pizza together (with the assumption that the dough is already stretched).  Three years ago I threw a pizza party where everyone was expected to participate.  People know you're just one person and might even be thrilled at the idea of helping to make their own pizza.  I have found that I can cope just fine without the help, so I haven't had a party like that since, but only you know how much you can manage.  Coincidentally, I'm throwing a pizza and movie night party at two separate houses at once this Saturday.  Yeah, that requires a little planning and coordination.  I went through a trial run with just a few pizzas baking at both houses this last Saturday and everything seems doable.  For me it will be 8 pizzas and 2 large batches of breadsticks.  For you it sounds like you might go with a pizza for every two guests making 10.  I'm sure you can do it.

- red.november

Offline Park.Pizza

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Fio,

Don't buy the dough. Take the time to make the dough. Your still two days away. If you get the dough done today, throw it in the freezer tonight, put it in the fridge on Friday, take it out a couple hours before you cook them.

Don't lower your standards. This is why you invested in to that great oven.  Also November had a great idea. Have your guests get involved in making their pizza's. It's fun interaction, and they will start to appreciate your pizza skills as they learn how to make great pizza.

T.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 09:40:05 AM by Park.Pizza »
Throw me a slice, won't ya

Offline Jack

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As mivler and others have stated, make your own dough, use a dough that will be fine in the frige for 5 days and make a portion of the total number of dough balls each day.  The ones that are only 2-3 days old won'be be quite as good, but they will taste much the same to the horde of folks you are inviting over.  The difference in 2 vs. 5 days of retard, while significant to you, will not be quite as apparent to your guests.

Jack

Offline November

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Jack,

I would handle that by bringing the dough balls marked as being from a newer batch out of the refrigerator sooner, while bringing the oldest dough out last.  If the amount of yeast he uses causes the dough to double in size every 36 hours in the refrigerator for example, pull the two-day dough at T -4.5 hours and the three-day old dough at T -3 hours.  That will mitigate the flavor difference to some degree.

- red.november

Offline mivler

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Fio,

I'm looking forward to hearing what you decided to do. I can only assume you haven't posted becasue you have been too busy making your dough.

Michael

Offline Fio

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I made and used my own dough!
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2006, 08:40:38 PM »
Fio,

I'm looking forward to hearing what you decided to do. I can only assume you haven't posted becasue you have been too busy making your dough.

Michael

I took the better advice of this forum and made my own dough.  I made two batches Thursday Night and two more Friday Night.  It was WAY more than enough.

Turns out, some of my party guests brought some rice/yucca cheese batter and banana leaves and we made the most KICK A__ "Pan Arroz," a Bolivian delicacy.  It was amazing.  They also brought some marinated chicken legs, which roasted up fine in a covered roasting pan with a hot fire blazing.

By then, the party guests were not so hungry anymore, so I made only 7 pizzas.  But they were GREAT.

Disclaimer: I DID buy dough from the pizza place as a precaution; I did not use it.

SO I have a TON of dough left over.  No worries.  My cousin is coming into town tomorrow.  Guess what he wants for supper. . . .

Thank you all for your inspiration. 
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline mivler

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Fio,

I usually get stressed out before cooking for a large group and it always works out. I glad to hear that it worked out and you did not need to resort to the store bought dough. Did you test the store dough in your oven? I'm curious if it cooked properly and how it compared.


Michael

Offline Fio

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Fio,

I usually get stressed out before cooking for a large group and it always works out. I glad to hear that it worked out and you did not need to resort to the store bought dough. Did you test the store dough in your oven? I'm curious if it cooked properly and how it compared.


Michael
\

I saved a couple doughs; I'll try them tomorrow, and report back.
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


 

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