Camping is a lot of fun if you’ve brought your Smores ingredients, but what to do when you want to make pizza? What might sound like an impossible task is actually a lot easier than it sounds.
What do you need to start?
When you go camping, you’ll have basic supplies that all outdoors folks will bring along. It’s a long-standing tradition that you’ll likely have a large cast-iron skillet, so you’re already making headway. But to make pizza while camping, does sound like you could run into trouble. You’ll need a few more supplies that will help you to make pizza a lot easier. Here are items and ingredients that you’ll want to bring along.
- All-purpose flour
- Dry yeast packets
- Olive oil
- Dry sausage
- Mozzarella cheese (pre-grated)
- Pizza sauce (bottled)
- Pizza toppings (fresh veggies)
- Filtered water
Among the other supplies will include a cutting board, mixing bowl, spatula, and a good cutting knife. For your cheese, you should grate the cheese beforehand and store it inside a Ziplock bag. This needs to be stored inside an ice chest that’s filled with plenty of ice. If you have access to ice near your campsite, you can refresh this supply so you can store perishable items for longer until you need them.
Making your dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons water
- 5 tablespoons olive oil (split into 2tbsp + 3tbsp)
Take the large mixing bowl and add your flour and use a spoon to swirl the flour around. This helps to break up clumps but also serves to help your flour absorb the water much faster. This is called hydration and most pizza experts will use a mixing whisk to make sure their flour is totally fluffy before adding the water, but you can get away with a simple fork. Add your salt and dry yeast into the flour as you mix.
Now, you slowly add your water, which only needs to be room temperature. The water will quickly absorb into the flour and start to make a thick sticky paste. As it thickens further, this is when you add your olive oil. Mix this as thoroughly as you can and then scoop it out onto your cutting board. Make sure to sprinkle some flour onto your cutting board before you start. This helps to keep your dough from sticking to the board as you knead it.
As you start to knead and fold your dough so it becomes nice and smooth, add just enough flour so it’s not sticking to your hands. After this, form your dough into a ball and place this into your mixing bowl covered with a hand towel to let it rise. This will take about 20 minutes, which gives you enough time for cutting your toppings. Clean off your cutting board and slice up your sausage and veggies.
Making your pizza
Your dough can be cut into two separate pieces which will make two separate pizzas about 10″ in diameter. If your skillet is bigger, you can make a thinner crust, but generally, most camp skillets are 10-inches at the bottom. Heat up your skillet just enough to be warm and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it coat the entire bottom of the skillet. Then add one-half of your dough and start to spread it out using your fingers.
Once you reach the edges of the skillet, you can add another teaspoon around the inside edge of the skillet. This is when you can start adding your pizza sauce to the center of your dough and use a spoon to swirl it around to the outer edge. Leave inch around the outer edge so you get a nice crust edge. After this, you add your fresh veggies, sausage, and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
You can also layer your toppings as you like leaving the sausage sitting on top or covered with cheese. It’s all a matter of how you like to make your pizza or the style of pizza that you prefer. For example, you can add pepperoni instead of dry sausage, or any kind of meat toppings that you like the most. If you can keep it chilled until you make your pizza, it’s possible to have nearly any style you want to make.
Cooking your pizza
If you want to precook your dough so it cooks faster you can quickly cook both sides of your dough before adding toppings. Your grill should have enough heat to cook your pizza, but you’ll also have great results using a skillet cover. In a pinch, you can use aluminum foil to cover the skillet and cook the pizza for 3-5 minutes (per side) over the direct grill. You’ll then need to check this to see the bottom of your pizza dough becomes golden brown.
Using tongs or a spatula, you’ll need to flip the dough over so the other side starts to brown. After this, you can add your toppings as usual so the cooking time is much shorter. You can add aluminum foil or lid covering to get the cheese to melt faster for the remaining minutes. This will take a total of 12 minutes all together and then your pizza is cooked enough to remove from the skillet.
If you don’t cook each side beforehand, you’ll need to place your pizza on the cooler side of the cooking grill so the crust doesn’t burn. You can cover the skillet for half the cooking time but be sure to remove this cover to let out the steam that builds up.
Serving your pizza
Allow your pizza to cool for 5 minutes before serving and use a knife to cut the pizza into equal-sized slices. Since one pizza will finish before the first one is still cooking, you can serve the first of your camp guests. This pizza recipe also serves two personal-sized pizzas or quarter slices for smaller kids, so you might need a couple of skillets to feed a larger group. Be sure to bring enough ingredients to make your dough beforehand.
Serve on thick paper plates that don’t bend easily. Pizza is usually heavy, so you don’t want to have your pizza slip off the plates by accident. Enjoy!