Prep Time: All day
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
I have seen many people cooking pizzas on their campfires in different ways, many using the campoven and making tabs to lift it out of the bottom from foil. This I have found to be a super simple way to get a nice crispy pizza base with just enough space to include some of my favourite toppings.
The pizza sauce is another of my favourite recipes, super easy and can be made ahead of time if you are prepared enough. Alternatively you can cook it right before you need it on a stovetop or even campfire if you feel so inclined.
4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tin crushed tomatoes
pinch of salt
1 cup sourdough starter discard (or you could use 1x 7g sachet of dried yeast)
3.5 cups plain flour
1.5 cup water
pinch of salt
Toppings of your choosing, I used salami, capsicum, bocconcini and shredded tasty cheese.
To make the dough:
1. Starting in the morning I add my starter and water to the bowl and mix well until the starter is dissolved in the water.
2. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until the mixture forms a loose ball, adding a little more flour until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
3. Using the ball of your palm push and pull the dough in a rocking motion to knead it into a tight elastic ball.
4. Cover the bowl in cling film and leave to rise until it has doubled in size.
5. Once the dough had risen once, knead it again before dividing it into 4 equal portions.
6. Place the dough segments onto a floured board, loosely cover with some more cling film and allow it to rise for a second time.
7. To prepare the dough for cooking stretch it out gently with your finger tips gradually stretching it, I like to hold one side of the dough and let gravity stretch it out before moving it around and repeat until I have a nice even round base.
To make the sauce:
1. Coarsely chop the garlic and add to the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until is it highly fragrant and bubbling but has not yet turned brown.
2. Just as the garlic begins to turn golden add in the tin of tomatoes, watching you are careful not to splash the hot oil. Add a good pinch of salt to the tomatoes and stir.
3. Stir occasionally as it cooks for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is thick and all the oil has mixed with the tomatoes. The longer you cook the sauce the smoother and tastier it will be.
4. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before use or alternatively you can make ahead and use at room temperature.
Assembling your pizza:
1. Preheat your cast iron skillet on coals until it is scalding hot then remove from the heat and dust with plain flour.
2. Spread out your pizza dough carefully so as not to touch the sides of the hot skillet.
3. Spread several large spoonfuls of sauce over the base so it is lightly but evenly covered and add your chosen toppings. I added slices of salami, thinly sliced capsicum, baby bocconcini and extra cheese.
4. Be careful not to overload your dough, as you need to allow room for steam to escape.
5. Using the lid from my camp oven (which fits perfectly on my skillet) cover the pizza and place back on the fire but not directly onto coals. I used several pieces of fresh timber to prop my skillet above the flames for the best results.
6. Cook the pizza for 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted.
Carefully slide the pizza from the skillet and cut before serving.
We ate this in the shade of the pines at Watagans State Forest, NSW where we forwent plates and ate directly from the chopping board. Finishing each pizza in the time it took to cook the next.