Friends BYOI(Bring Your Own Ingredients - crust, sauce, cheese, toppings...and drinks) and take individual turns making their "prize winning" pizza for sharing. Everyone helps out on clean-up. It's a gathering of friends for fun, laughs and pizza.
How to make pizza dough
Three ways to bring your pizza dough to Pizza Nite:
buy a ready-made uncooked pizza dough from a pizza joint(easy and fun)
buy a ready-made cooked pizza crust from the grocery(easy but not fun)
make your own pizza dough from scratch, as follows: (challenging and most fun)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water (between 85° and 115° F)
2 tbsp yeast (I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less)
2 tbsp sugar or honey (I use Muscovado sugar)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Making the sponge/poolish Mix water, sugar, yeast and 1 cup regular flour in a bowl. Cover until it starts to bubble (first rising, around 45 mins). This can now be used. However, if you want a more flavorful pizza dough, keep this covered in the fridge overnight or a full 24 hours.
Kneading Mix the rest of the ingredients (flour, salt and oil) and start kneading (tip: press on with your body weight, not just your arm power). The dough should be soft without being sticky. Too sticky, add flour. Too hard, add water. You're done when the dough bounces back when you poke your finger onto it. Cover until double in size (2nd rising, around 45 mins).
Scaling and shaping Punch the dough to take the air out. You can cut it up and use only what you need. You can cut it up into 3 and shape them into balls - one of those balls should be good to make one 13" regular pizza. You can freeze the 2. Flatten one ball into a circular shape. I usually flatten it on the same tray I will bake on so I don't have to make a transfer - I just apply a little oil on the tray before flattening. Using both hands, one on top of the other, press from the center outwards to stretch it in all directions. You can flatten it more by using a rolling pin (or wine bottle). Take a fork and put puncture holes all over the dough to keep it from bubbling up while cooking (which also holds the sauce in place). Wait until double in size (3rd and last rising).
the dough is now ready for baking
For a more complicated pizza dough but much better, here's a video by Vito Iacopelli
How to make pizza sauce
Two ways to bring your pizza sauce to Pizza Nite:
buy a ready-made pizza sauce from a pizza joint or from the grocery
make your own pizza sauce from scratch, as follows: (challenging and most fun)
Basic Pizza Sauce
ripe fresh tomatoes (use just enough for sauce consistency)
fresh peeled crushed garlic (according to taste)
bunch of fresh basil (in Thailand, there are 3 types...use the sweet basil with green stem, not purple) or oregano
1 small can, tomato paste (great thickener and holds the sauce together)
teaspoon of sugar (not to sweeten, but to reduce acidity)
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
generous amount of olive oil (quarter cup? really, up to you for consistency)
puree the fresh tomatoes in a blender and strain on a sieve. Keep the liquid and the pulp.
combine basil leaves, garlic and the tomato liquid in a blender and liquify. Transfer all to a pot and heat up. Remove immediately the moment it boils. Strain the liquid and discard the pulp
add the liquid, sugar, the tomato pulp, salt, pepper and tomato paste in a blender and puree again
on slowest blender setting, start pouring small amount of olive oil into the sauce until well blended. Adding oil last prevents the oil from separating
sauce is ready. Pack in serving size containers and freeze
Burners and OMies It's been awhile since the last pizza nite. Time to gather once more and share that good vibe between friends - from OM and from Burningman. Some regulars and others, pizza nite virgins. It's all good.
Pizza Nite with Shan, Ben, Ann-Marie, Julia Blue, Tiger, Khatbleau Lisa, Galia, Hermie, Nigel, Jordan and Marta
Ending Thoughts Pizza Nite is always fun but this one was a tad more fun than the usual. Maybe a generation apart, but on the fringes of the grid just the same.
Ann-Marie(Jan 29, 2004) Thanks for sending out all those photos. I had a Fun Pizza night!!!! Thanks again for inviting me to join you. It was really great to meet your friends and very cool that they were open to jamming and playing! I really enjoyed myself and felt very, very well fed afterwards!!! Make sure you let me know when your next Pizza Night is!!! Sending you a big hug!
Rashelle(Jan 29, 2004) It looks like you had a wonderful time. sorry we couldn't make it.. i'm feeling much better now though (but my cold+migrane lasted all weekend til tuesday). take care and hopefully see you soon!
John(Jan 26, 2004) Thanks for the great pizza night on Saturday! Lisa and I had a great time and are looking forward to the next one.
(Apr 4, 2004) It was time again to touch base with my ex-colleagues and fill each other on what's up. Good thing they're partial to pizza making. It's always good seeing officemates in a different environment and talk about things NOT deadline related.....more »»
(Jul 31, 2004) I developed a wonderful and meaningful connection with my half-brother upon my return to the Philippines. He looked after me, taking me to his gigs, and introduced me to his friends. That was all shattered when he uttered this one foolish, needless and reckless line - that next time I use his car, I should walk his dog. The ramification of that statement had catastrophic repercussion.....more »»