Backcountry Pizza

Time: 45 minutes prep time and a total of 2 hours

Nothing ends a long day of hiking better than fresh pizza. No, Pizza Hut is not delivering via air drops, but with a few ingredients and a couple of hours and your own hands will make a delicious hot pizza. Imagine eating a steaming fine piece of baked deliciousness in the middle of a gorgeous mountain range … you know you want to.  This recipe does take some time so make sure to plan for pizza night on a shorter hike day. 

Ingredients

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  • ½ pound white flour and ½ a pound wheat
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Oil or butter
  • Dried tomato paste
  • Cheese
  • Pepperoni or summer sausage (optional)
  • Dried veggies (optional)

Prepare for messy dough covered hands and a few trial and errors before you master making dough in the backcountry.

Preparing for the pizza dough

Beginning this process a few hours before dinner is ideal. Start by warming purified water. Dissolve a good amount of sugar into about half a cup of this warm water. IMPORTANT: before you put the yeast into the sugar water make sure you can comfortably hold your finger in the water. If it is too hot, the yeast will die.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPut a good amount of yeast in this mixture and shield it from the elements. The yeast will start foaming and reacting within a minute. If it doesn’t, put more in. If it still doesn’t work toss the mixture and try again.

After you are sure that the yeast is working. Leave it off to the side for at least 5 minutes or longer if possible.

Put half of the flour you are using into your pot and make a small bowl in the center of the flour. Take the bowl of flour and have purified water off to the side ready to mix into the water.

Making the Crust

  1. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl in the middle of the flour and start mixing with a spoon or hand.
  2. The next part is the trickiest. You want your dough to be a bread consistency. It should feel like playdough: wet enough to stick together but dry enough to toss between your hands without it sticking to your skin.
  3. Take it slow and start mixing a little more water and more flour alternatively. Begin to knead the dough as you mix the two.
  1. You should leave a little flour off to the side. When the dough is the right consistency, play dough, knead it for a couple minutes or longer.
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Dough with play dough consistency

Take a plastic bag and put the dough into it. DO NOT CLOSE THE BAG – yeast needs air to rise. Fold the bag over once and stick it under your jacket. Wear your dough baby close to your skin so your body heat will help it grow.

 

While you wait for the dough

  • If you are cooking on a stove with a wind screen fold the top part of the screen in flat to make a surface that the fry bake can sit on above the flame. The windscreen will help bake your pizza slower.
  • Cut up the cheese and summer sausage and rehydrate vegetables and dried pizza sauce.

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Pizza Time:

Take the dough out of the plastic bag and use the flour you set aside to knead it again.

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After tossing it around in your hands, split the dough into palm sized balls. One ball makes a pizza so if there is any leftover dough save it for morning cinnamon rolls.

  • Take the ball of dough and flatten it. Then turning it in a circle in your hands start to flatten the dough evenly.
  • Rotate between pulling the dough out and squishing it with your palms until it is about the size of the fry bake.
  • Oil the fry bake and push the dough into the pan. Take your fist and pound from the center out until the crust is the same thickness. Push the extra dough up around the sides of the pan.
  • Load your pizza up with sauce and other toppings then lay the cheese over the top.

Cooking Time

Put the lid on top of the fry pan and stick it on top of the wind screen. The cooking time will vary with altitude and weather, but a good judge is if it starts to turn golden on the top it is almost done and if you smell burning take it off. The stick test always works to – stick a twig into the pizza. If it comes out without dough, the pizza is done!

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Yummy hot pizza ready to eat

Tips

If the cheese won’t melt, throw a couple drops of water onto top of the pizza while it’s cooking.

If you cannot find dehydrated pizza sauce just use tomato paste and mix with dried pasta sauce seasoning.

Mix and knead the dough with one hand and keep the other one clean so the whole kitchen doesn’t turn into a floury mess.

Kitchen gear

Stove

Fry pan and top

Bowl or pot

Small cup or bowl to mix yeast, sugar and water

Knife

Spatula

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