A wood-fired pizza party is the perfect on-going al fresco event, providing entertainment and a chance to exploit your own and your guests' creative urges. It's easy on the pocket and, most importantly of all, your efforts will conjure up the most delicious results. You'll never want to order a takeaway pizza again.
Once you have mastered the art of cooking pizzas in your wood-fired oven, we guarantee that you will want to light up the oven, even in the middle of January to get your fix of the ultimate pizza. And these are fantastic pizzas: thin crusted with a great wood-fired flavour. As far as toppings go, we give you some recommendations, but a Blistering Wood-fired Pizza is whatever you make it.
'A little goes a long way'... never a truer word. With a few simple ingredients and very little outlay, you can throw a brilliant and memorable party. Once the oven is up
and roaring, you will be knocking pizzas out every few minutes - or at least as quickly as you or your guests can roll out their dough and arrange their favourite toppings.
How to throw a wood-fired pizza party
Get a group of friends together - the best groups have a few children thrown in. Put drinks in their hands and provide them with some basic guidelines on how to put a pizza together. Your pizza preparation table, equipped with a bowl of floured dough, a wooden board and rolling pin along with multiple bowls of toppings will soon become the frenzied centre of attention.
Find the bossiest person and make him/her the dough-rolling and pizza-making supervisor. You are manning your oven - and we promise you won't get lonely. The site of a wood-fired oven in action is mesmerising.
Once you've done a test pizza, fire the starting gun- and they're off. Your guests will present you with a succession of creative and deliciously topped raw pizzas. You and your pizza shovel will be kept very busy. This kind of entertainment can go on for hours
Blistering Pizza Party Tips
Less is More: Keep it simple. Your guests may be inclined to lavish too much and too many varieties of topping onto their pizza bases. If a base tomato sauce is being used, a few teaspoons spread with the back of a spoon provides plenty of flavour and won't make for a soggy end result. We would recommend that you restrict the total number of topping varieties to five or six at the very very most, including the tomato sauce. One of the favourite Blistering combinations is sliced tomato, sliced garlic and basil - so simple, but perfectly delicious!
You can never be too thin: To achieve a thin crispy base, and to cook through within the few minutes allocated to each masterpiece, the dough must be rolled out very thinly.
Look after the edges: For a delicious crunchy crust, leave about 1.5cm of dough edge
topping-free to drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Make sure you rotate the pizza during cooking to prevent scorching the edge.
Top ingredients: Resist the urge to buy a packet mix for the base and make your own pizza dough. The
effort pays off. Invest in some good quality toppings - a tasty extra virgin olive oil makes a big difference. Don't buy rubbery blocks of mozzarella, find some of the juicy, stringy. And tomatoes? Forget intensively grown standard supermarket variety and go for the richer plum, bulbous beef, or explosive cherry tomatoes.
Mise-en-Place: A Blistering Pizza Party looks easy, and it is, but only if you organise yourself beforehand. Allow at least an hour for this. Its all about mise en place - the chef's term for having your equipment and ingredients lined up and ready for action!
Blistering Wood-fired Pizza Party Equipment
The Pizza preparation table
The pizza dough
2 wooden chopping boards - one for rolling the dough, the other for cutting the finished pizza
bowl of flour
bowl of salt
small bowls and plates of toppings
bottle of extra virgin olive oil - with pourer if you have one