CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN PIZZA
Here's an awesome idea for your next Pizza Night.. make your pizza with a campfire in a cast iron Dutch oven under the stars! Here are a few of our tried and true tips:
1. Use a dutch oven with legs so you can place it right on top of the charcoals & you'll need a lid with a rim that fits the oven to be able to place the charcoals on top.
2. Use charcoals or charcoal briquettes. Let them get nice & hot and ashed over, then they are ready to go. You can either use a quick light bag or a charcoal chimney makes easy of getting your charcoals perfect for cooking. When using a chimney I place some crumbled paper underneath the chimney full of charcoals and light the paper.
3. Here are the following amounts of charcoals you'll need for various size cast iron Dutch ovens:
8 charcoals on the bottom, 15 charcoals on the lid of the dutch oven
10 charcoals on the bottom, 20 charcoals on the lid of the dutch oven
12 charcoals on the bottom, 25 charcoals on the lid of the dutch oven
- In a fire ring or on dirt clear of brush or debris that is flammable, evenly space out designated charcoal amounts for underneath the oven, then place base of dutch oven on the charcoals.
- This will preheat your oven while you stretch out your pizza dough.. you want the dutch oven to be hot, around 450-500 degree F.
4. Using your best given tools, your clean hands & in this case dusted with a little flour on them to prevent sticking, begin stretching the dough..
- First by patting it back & forth between your hands until about 6 inches in diameter.
- Once the dough has reached that thickness, continue stretching the dough by holding the edges of the dough and rotating your grip around the pizza crust allowing gravity to help stretch out the dough.
- You could also lay the dough across your lightly floured fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce.
- Stretch the pizza dough just a little smaller then the size of your Dutch oven.
*Don't make a crust in addition to the natural one that will occur as you stretch out the dough. The edges will naturally be thicker then the middle, which will bubble a little more creating a beautiful pizza crust.
5. Next place stretched dough into preheated Dutch oven. You can either..
- First sprinkle a little semolina or fine cornmeal into the dutch oven, then carefully place the dough right in the oven with your hands.
- Using a smooth cutting board dusted with a little semolina or fine cornmeal, this will help the dough crust to slide into the Dutch oven easier, place the stretched dough on the board and then shimmy the dough into the oven.
6. Using a fork prick or 'dock' as the pros say, the center of your pizza dough a few times just to help the dough from bubbling too much. We like the crust a little bubbly so we don't dock it to much there.
7. Next spread a thin layer of sauce around the pizza, leaving a thin crust. Then top with your favorite toppings:
*And remember less is more with your pizza, if you load it too much you won't get as crispy of a crust and you're more likely to have all your toppings schlop to the ground.
Some of our go to toppings are..
- Roses' quick pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and crushed red chili flakes.
- Rose's quick pizza sauce, shredded Mozzarella, a few pieces of proschitto, thinly sliced red onion, pitted Kalamata olives & crushed red chili flakes.
- Pesto sauce base, shredded mozzarella, crumbled fresh goat cheese, drained olive oil jarred artichoke hearts & thinly sliced red onions.
- Our Ramblin' BBQ sauce base, shredded mozzarella, canned pineapple, thinly sliced red onion, & cilantro.
*Cheat trick: is to pick up some dough already made from your local pizza shop or health food store. ( For a lack of better words we are in love with Trader Joe's. We've been shopping there since we were little shoppers in training with our Mom. There pizza dough is yummy and is easy to grab, located fresh near the cheese/ dip section)
*You can grab an already made pizza sauce or marinara too. Whatever route you go, whether you make everything from scratch or get a little help you're going to have fun and be enjoying some damn good pizza al fresco, by a campfire.. pizza doesn't get a whole lot better then that.
8. Place lid on top of dutch oven, leaving the lid slightly ajar, place designated charcoals on top with metal tongs, allow to bake for about 8-10 minutes.
9. Remove lid with lid lifter or heatproof gloves. My go to pair of gloves I picked up from the hardware store in the welding section. Take the pizza out of the oven using the parchment to lift it or with two spatulas & transfer it to a cutting board in order to allow the cheese to set a little, if you can help it wait 1-2 minutes before cutting.
* We let everyone dive into the hot slices of pizza as they come and just keep slinging pizzas until we've all had our fill, instead of everyone waiting for the individual pizza.
ROSE'S QUICK PIZZA SAUCE
1 28 oz can of crushed plum tomatoes, preferrably San Marazano tomatoes
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4-5 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon Real salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Mix all ingredients together in a quart jar with a lid. Keeps for about a week in the fridge.
MAKE AHEAD PIZZA DOUGH
We can't take credit for this awesome dough, its adapted from 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice'. Its a straight forward, solid pizza dough and our go to when in the mood to make it completely from scratch.
Makes six 6-oz pizza crusts Needs to rest in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot, so remember to plan ahead if making this recipe.
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons Real salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
semolina flour or corn meal for dusting
- Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl, or in the bowl of your stand mixer if using one.
- Add the oil and cold water and mix well, with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed, in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
- On a clean surface with a little flour sprinkled to prevent sticking, knead with lightly floured hands for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If it is too sticky, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry/crumbly add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
- With a sharp knife or a dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.
- Sprinkle some flour over the dough. With clean, dry & lightly floured hands round each piece into a ball.
- Transfer the dough balls to a parchment lined pan and lightly rub the tops with olive oil. Then cover the sheet pan with plastic food wrap.
- Put the pan in the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to three days. Or if in a hurry place in a warm spot for a 1 1/2 hours.
- About 2 hours before you plan to make your Dutch oven pizzas, remove dough balls from the refrigerator or cooler. If you placed the dough in a warm spot skip this step.
- Place the dough balls on a floured cutting board and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and press the dough into disks about 6 inches wide.
- Rub with a little olive oil & loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hour until ready to stretch out and bake.