Pizza Math: Top 5 Tips For Planning a Pizza Party
Julia Child famously said, "People who love to eat are always the best people," and we couldn’t agree more. Eating pizza is pretty great, but eating it with 10 or 15 of your closest friends…now that’s magic. The question is, though: how much to prep?
If you’re ready to host a pizza party but have no idea how to determine amounts for your ingredients, let alone how many dough balls to make, we got you. Read on for our top 5 tips for planning, and let us take the mystery out of the math.
1. When it comes to dough, don’t skimp:
You should pretty much always make more dough than you need for any pizza snafus (trust us, we’ve all been there!) or, in the best of cases, to send your friends home with leftovers. We think one 250-gram dough ball per guest is a good rule of thumb, plus an extra 3 to 5 extra on top of that. (For example, if you have 10 guests, have 15 dough balls on hand). A 12-inch pizza cuts nicely into 6 slices, and the average adult will likely eat between 4 to 6 slices.
It’s always better to have too much dough than too little, and our Classic Pizza Dough recipe freezes well and can last up to 3 months…just in time for the next party.
2. Get extra saucy:
Just like with your dough, making too much sauce is better than too little, especially since you can freeze it and use it later on for more pizza, or when you feel like some pasta. (Our Classic Pizza Sauce freezes well for quick and easy use.)
We recommend setting aside about ½ cup sauce (80 grams) per pie; whatever you don’t use, simply place in sealable freezer-safe bags, remove all the air, then lay them flat in the freezer. They’ll be great for up to 6 months, and to use all you need to do is defrost overnight in the fridge or use your microwave setting. If you find that the sauce has thinned out at all, give it a quick reheat on your stovetop until warmed through.
3. Just enough cheese, please:
It’s hard to know exactly how much cheese to use, as it really depends on the style of pizza you’re making. A Margherita will need less than, say, a four-cheese pizza, but a good rule of thumb is to set aside about 1 ¼ cup (100 grams) of mozzarella for a Neapolitan pie, and a bit more for a NY-style, usually an extra ½ cup, plus a little extra for those who want it. Having some high-quality Pecorino Romano is also a nice touch, and we’d recommend saving that for sprinkling, or about 3 ½ ounces (10 grams) per pizza. Polling your guests before you buy your cheese will help determine amounts as well, as some people may want to try something different on their pies–goat cheese or ricotta–or need a vegan option.
4. Have fun with your meat and veggies:
The usual (healthy) suspects are great toppers for pizza: brussels sprouts, arugula, and spinach, but you can also try something less expected like romanesco, purple kale and butternut squash. The same goes for meat: don’t sleep on unexpected toppers like smoked haddock or lap cheong.
If you want to go with the classics, some of the most popular pizza toppings include pepperoni and sausage, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers. How much you buy for each pie will depend on your taste, but a simple amount to keep in mind is ½ a cup, or 4 ounces of each ingredient.5. Leave room for play:
Planning and prepping is awesome, but it’s also nice to infuse some spontaneity and experimentation into a pizza party. Why not try a topping you’ve never seen before, make a dessert pizza, or invent your own combo without using a recipe (or use something in your fridge that you’ve never put on a pizza before…like plantains?) Tap into your inner child, get away from the math and lean into the unexpected!