Introduction: BEST EVER Cast-Iron Skillet PIZZA on the Fire-pit or Campfire!
Ok, so it's HOT outside and you don't want to turn your oven on in the house to cook pizza, heating up your house in the process. Or you are out camping and you're really missing PIZZA! You must have your PIZZA!
No problem! This Instructable will teach you how to very easily make your own skillet pizza with only a few tools and simple ingredients. It can be made on a fire pit, campfire or even a BBQ grill! Totally easy, totally fun, and totally delicious!
Here we go.........
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
Here are some basic tools and ingredients you'll need. Feel free to of course choose the toppings of your choice. You can go as fancy or as simple as you like. I prefer to make my own pizza dough as it is relatively simple but you can also purchase pre-made dough.
Same goes for the toppings. You can make your own pizza sauce, shred your own cheese, etc., or just buy pre-shredded cheese, a jar of pizza sauce, .........
Tongs or fork
Cheese grater or knife
Pizza cutter (optional)
'00' flour or bread flour
Active dry yeast
Buy a jar or can
Step 2: Make Your Dough
I fully respect not wanting to make your own dough as there are some decent pre-made doughs out there, or even a pre-made crust such as Boboli, but there is something pleasing about making your dough from scratch. The best thing for me is knowing exactly what is going into your dough. There are MANY pizza dough recipes out there, and I do not claim to be an expert but here is an easy pizza dough to make that doesn't take too long.
It will make two 9-inch pizza crusts.
Adjust the amounts if you are making more or fewer pizzas.
3/4 cup of very warm water, somewhere in the range of 110-120° Fahrenheit, like a nice warm bath.
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 3/8 cup '00' or bread flour (the 1 cup part is easy. For the 3/8 part, fill a 1/4 cup with flour, pour it into a bowl, and then fill the same 1/4 cup halfway with flour. In essence, you're adding 1/4 + 1/8 of a cup which equals 3/8.)
1/4 semolina flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Heat the water over your fire in a pot or other fire-safe receptacle for maybe a minute at most. This will be enough to bring the temperature to 110-120° F. Mix in your yeast and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes until small bubbles start to form.
Mix together your flours and salt and then add to the yeast mixture. Stir well until just combined and then start kneading. If the dough feels too wet, add a bit more bread flour but it's better to be too wet than too dry. Kneading will take about 5-10 minutes until the dough feels soft and slightly sticky. Keep some flour on your hands if it gets too sticky.
Once you have a nice ball of dough, pour the olive oil into a large bowl and a little on your hands as well. Put the ball of dough into the bowl and turn it over once so it's coated with the oil. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and place it in a warm draft-free place for about an hour. It'll double in size during that time.
Once doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and cut it in half. This gives you enough dough to make two 9-inch pizzas.
Step 3: Prep Your Ingredients
You will want to have all of your ingredients ready to use, as once your crust starts to cook, things happen somewhat fast.
For the pizza that I made in this Instructable, I shredded both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I also had a can of pineapple chunks opened and drained (I know this is a bone of contention with many pizza lovers out there but I live in California and pineapple on pizzas is a favorite out here. To each their own). I also had a jar of pizza sauce ready to use.
Step 4: FI-YAH!!!!!
Fire. It'll help to have had your fire going for a while, but if not, don't fret. Just get your fire going whether in a fire-pit, campfire, or BBQ grill.
While you could cook this pizza over hot coals, I've found that a live fire works very well and you need your skillet to be pretty darn hot anyway. So just start your fire and you'll be good to go, no need for hot coals.
One tip: You don't want a raging fire going on under your skillet, and it isn't really safe for you to be handling a pan near it either, so when I say have a fire going, it shouldn't be huge, just enough to be able to put your skillet on and have it look similar to it being in your stove-top with a burner on medium-high to high. Because of this, coals ARE helpful and beneficial, but again, not entirely necessary.
I already had a fire that had been going for a while and I had plenty of hot coals, but I wanted a little bit of fire so I threw on 5 or 6 twigs onto the coals. A sweet little fire.
Step 5: The Best Part (aside From Eating)! Cooking!
Ok, you have your fire, your dough, and all of your prepped ingredients. Time to get this pizza going! You're minutes away from deliciousness!
Put a little olive oil into your cast-iron skillet and spread it around. Take one of your dough balls and out it into the center of the pan. Using your fingers, start spreading it towards the edge of the pan until you have a nice circle (any shape is fine really). If you have a much wider cast-iron skillet, say 12-15 inches, either add more dough (you have two dough balls, remember?) or you can have a really thin crust. It's up to you.
Put the pan onto the fire. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WEARING HEATPROOF GLOVES OR MITTS. Cook the dough for about 3 minutes, and then check the bottom to see if it is done. It may be perfect at that point or it may need another 1-2 minutes. This all depends on thickness of your crust, size of the fire, etc. Once done, remove the skillet from the fire and place on heat safe surface. Again, use your gloves/mitts.
Using tongs (or even a stick), FLIP your crust. The cooked side will now be on top. This is where you decorate it with all of your toppings. For mine, I spooned on some pizza sauce and spread it around, then added Parmesan cheese, pineapple, and finally covered it with mozzarella cheese.
Cover your skillet with a lid or tin foil. You just need something to keep the heat in and help the ingredients cook and the cheese melt. This takes about 3-5 more minutes. After 3 minutes, I opened the lid just a little bit to keep the heat in but let moisture escape and then let it cook for about 2 more minutes.
Remove the lid, and using a fork, tongs, or spatula if you have one, remove your pizza from the skillet, put it on a plate or cutting board, let it sit for a couple minutes, and then SLICE AND ENJOY!!!
There you have it, easy cast-iron skillet pizza!
Please ask any questions or offer suggestions, as we are here to help each other. Share your cast-iron skillet pizza pictures and recipes here so everyone can get other ideas!