I’ve been longing to do a pizza “buffet” for a while but had forgotten about it, mostly because I’m scared of yeast and my oven doesn’t work. When my friend from Chicago, Matt, came in for the holidays and brought home-baked white bread to our annual Christmas dinner, I was re-inspired.
Every year, four of my friends (plus a friend’s husband who has turned into a friend) and I get together over the holidays for an annual gift-giving. We each buy one another presents and pick one dish to make for dinner. Sometimes my friend Ennlee, gets carried away and makes an entirely other meal as her “one dish.” To give you an idea… Ennlee made sweet bread, a salad and a fruit tart this year. Well, anyway, this year, Matt brought home-made bread and a variety basket of German honey. It was delicious. And it only took him three days to make! Yikes.
After Matt delved into the bread-making subject and went on about his baking extravaganzas in Chicago, the pizza buffet idea turned on, like a bulb, in my head. The Saturday before Matt left, the majority of us decided to get together again (sorry, Chi-chi) for a pizza party.
I made the dough ahead of time, two recipes (in case one flawed). With a fridge full of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a few other fixin’s, I packed up for Ennlee’s house after a failed attempt to find a poor-man’s pizza stone (grr, Home Depot). Here, expressed with a few photos, is how the night went on…
The idea: PIZZA BUFFET
The execution: Home-made dough ready for personally topped pizzas. Bring your favorite toppings.
The dough recipes: Alton Brown | Emeril Lagasse
The last-minute sauce whip-up: Ennlee bought tomatoes and tomato sauce to scrounge up a last-minute home-made pizza sauce. Everything was dumped into a pot and a random assortment of spices (pepper, oregano, basil, what else am I missing?) were added to flavor. It was a taste and go sort of recipe.
The cheeses: ricotta, fresh mozzarella, romano, brie, cheddar, a French cheese Matt had brought
The toppings: sun-dried tomatoes, basil, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, spinach, green onions, pineapple, olives…
*I might’ve cheated a little by including photos from pizza-making with my family a week following…