Wanna start a pizza party? You need a base. I offer you four easy ways to go. First decide how much work you want to put into it, then look over the super-easy recipes. You’ll have pizza in no-time flat.

For those in the gluten-free category, try my recipe for cauliflower crust. You’ll discver you don’t miss the bread at all. Choice number two: bake up a batch of puff pastry, for a thick, buttery base. Three: head to your favorite local pizza place and see if they will sell you some of their dough. That way you’ll get the real thing without having to make the dough yourself. Lastly, for the time-constrained, I suggest a store-bought dense Turkish pide bread that can really hold a lot of toppings. Any of these choices will work nicely with my creative toppings.

These creative pizza bases are part of my plan for hosting a party of inventive pizzas, that allows guests to choose the toppings and sauces they like.

recipe

CAULIFLOWER CRUST

A healthful, interesting choice to add to your pizza repertoire. A cauliflower crust adds a lot of flavor on its own, and is more moist than a traditional dough. Bonus: super easy to make. If you own a pizza stone, this is a good use for it. This crust has a lot of salt from the pecorino cheese, it’s a good idea to make the toppings with a little less salt.

MAKES TWO 8-INCH CRUSTS

PREHEAT OVEN 450ºF … PREPARE THE CAULIFLOWER

1/2 head cauliflower

Remove center stem, cut cauliflower into small hunks. Process in food processor until pieces look like crumbs. Move to a pot and steam cauliflower bits for about 3 min, until grains begin to soften.

TO MAKE EACH 8-INCH CRUST

1 CUP cooked cauliflower bits
1/2 CUP pecorino cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1/2 TB herbs de provence

In a large bowl, combine ingredients with a fork. Roll into a ball. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, place mixture in the center, and spread out to about 8 inches with a spoon. Use your fingers to fill in gaps, and even out surface. Bake for 15 min, until edges are browned. Use as a base for your pizza.

more bases

BASE: frozen PUFF PASTRY

Puff pastry gives you a rich choice. A great item to keep in your freezer at all times, great for savory or sweet usage, Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets create a flaky base in just 15 min (after 40 minute thaw).

1 box Pepperidge Farm (makes 6 long pieces)

Thaw the pastry. Unfold and cut into thirds to acheive long sections. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake for 15 min. While still hot, push gently down on the tops of the puff with a spatula to create the valleys for toppings.

BASE: TURKISH PIDA BREAD

This bread creates a deep and sturdy base for lots of gooey toppings, so load ‘em up. Pizzas can be baked in the oven or created on a skillet. In NYC you can find it at Garden of Eden on 14th street.

BASE: AUTHENTIC PIZZA DOUGH

Want real pizza dough? You can usually purchase pre–made dough from your local pizza place, just ask. Since home ovens cannot get as hot as they do in a pizza place, a pizza stone helps to crisp it.

See more ideas for creating an exciting pizza buffet in 03 Easy Pizza