Pizza parties

Pizza parties

Recipes From a Normal Mum
David Loftus

I find a foodie activity gives the party some focus, helps with the catering and pleases lots of different palates. I make the dough ahead, divide it into portions, freeze it in bags and defrost at room temperature the morning of the party. You can also freeze the tomato sauce in ice-cube trays and just defrost when needed. Each child gets their own dough, a small rolling pin and access to myriad toppings. Worry not about space in the oven if your child has a lot of pals. Just bake and serve cold. They still taste great.

For the pizza base:


Quantity Ingredient
650g strong white flour
7g fast action dried yeast
2 teaspoons salt
50ml buttermilk
30ml olive oil
325ml water, warm
semolina, for dusting

For the topping:

Quantity Ingredient
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
mozzarella, thinly sliced
any other toppings you fancy


  1. To make the dough mix together the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl, then add the buttermilk, oil and water. Knead by hand for 8 minutes or in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 4 minutes on a low speed until smooth and elastic. Cover in cling film (or a clean shower cap!) and leave to double in size. The cooler the room, the slower the rise. Perversely, the longer the rise the better the flavour, so if you have time, prove in a cool place.
  2. Simmer the tomatoes, purée, oil, oregano, salt and sugar over a low heat for 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich.
  3. Once the dough has risen, deflate it by punching it down or giving it a few turns with the dough hook. Portion up and freeze if not using now.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to the hottest it will go, at least 200°C, and place the shelf at the top of the oven. Dust your work surface with either semolina or flour. Take a ball of your slightly sticky pizza dough (I use 150 g for an adult, 85 g for a child and 50 g for a toddler) and cover it all in semolina or flour. Use a rolling pin, roll the dough as thin as possible without it breaking. Don’t worry about the shape.
  5. Place the dough on a baking tray, spread a smear of tomato sauce over the top (too much makes for a soggy base) and top with mozzarella and any toppings you fancy. My eldest likes olives and tomatoes, my youngest olives and ham. Beware of overloading with wet toppings as it can make for a soggy pizza.
  6. Bake in the oven until the edges look crisp and start to brown, about 10 minutes for mini pizzas and about 15 for larger ones. Do keep an eye on them as it all depends on how thin the dough was rolled. The thinner they are the quicker they will bake.

Ideas for buttermilk

  • For a quick soda bread, mix 500 g plain flour with 10 g bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of dried oregano, bind with buttermilk and make up to 400 g using natural yoghurt; shape and bake at 200°C for 40 minutes.
Great British Bake Off
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