What better way to end a fun day in the great outdoors than with a delicious and easy campfire Pizza?
Who doesn’t love pizza? A savoury delight so versatile it can accommodate just about any combination of flavours. Your base can be thick and doughy or thin and crispy. You may want to splash out on your favourite ingredients or just use up whatever is laying around in the fridge. The possibilities are endless.
The real beauty of pizza is that it is just so simple to make. You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards already. And if you don’t have the time to prepare the dough and let it rise, there is always the option of buying pizza bases from the supermarket.
Pizza in your oven at home is good, a pizza oven is even better, but did you know you can cook pizza in a dutch oven in a campfire? You can even get the kids involved and help them create their own pizzas.
Pizza Night At The Campground
Since trying campfire pizzas for the first time the ingredients have become a staple of our camping pantry, a.k.a our big storage box of food. They are so easy in fact that sometimes when we want to get out of suburbia for a while, but only have one evening, we head off to the day use area of Lane Poole Nature Reserve in Dwellingup for an alfresco dinner. We spend a lot of time in Dwellingup, hiking the many trails. We had a an interesting hike along the Bibbulmun Track not too long ago when Jed and I got lost form each other. You can read the full story here.
Maddie is 18 months old now and loves being outdoors. The entertainment never stops when we’re out in nature. Lane Poole Reserve is home to many, rather loud, red-tailed cockatoos that keep Maddie amused for hours. Other birds include the ring-neck parrot, splendid fairy wren and tiny robins to name a just a few. It’s not uncommon to share your campsite with a mob of inquisitive kangaroos.
Sometimes I prepare the dough before we go so it has time to rise in the car, but often I just make it when we get there. Jed and I take turns to watch the toddler whilst the other prepares our dinner. Usually Jed cuts wood and builds the fire while I chop the veggies and pepperoni for the pizzas. Once the wood burns down to hot coals, you’re ready to go!
Make It Even Easier
Did you know you can freeze pizza dough? To make your camp dinner even more of a breeze you can always make up big batches of dough and freeze individual portions. That way you just need to take out however many balls of dough you need and leave it to defrost and finish fermenting. You can read more about how to freeze pizza dough here.
Delicious Family-Friendly Camp Dinner
When your campfire pizza is ready you can just sit back in your camp chair with a cold drink and watch the stars as they start to appear. Believe me, you get the best starry nights from remote campsites here in Western Australia. When all is done just chuck everything back in the big tub you brought it out in, and dump it back in the car.
We had an hour-long drive home so decided to give the baby a little bucket bath and put her in her pyjamas before we left. We simply warmed some water in the billy (for the non-Aussies that’s a metal kettle for boiling water over an open fire) and filled a metal tub. Seriously, can you think of anything better than delicious pizza dinner followed by a hot tub under the stars? Yeah, me neither! We need to get a bigger adult-sized metal tub.
We kept costs down by using ingredients we already had in the fridge. On this occasion our only expenditure was the fire wood (AU$8), fuel to get to Dwellingup (AU$10), a box of flour and bottle of pizza sauce. Total AU$22
Cost to buy all the ingredients: $15 to make at least four pizzas
How To Make Your Camp Fire Pizza
What You Need To Bring
- chopping board
- dutch oven (also called a camp oven)
- baking paper
- mixing bowl
- tea towel
- washing up bowl, sponge and washing-up liquid
- 225g flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 160ml warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- pizza sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ red capsicum
- 10x mushrooms
- 150g pepperoni
Pre-heating the camp oven
Before you build your pizza you need to make sure your dutch oven is hot, just like you would preheat your oven at home. Its best to separate some hot coals from the main fire and place the oven on top. Next put some more coals on the lid and this will get the oven to heat evenly. Luckily, the fire pits at Lane Poole Reserve are large enough to have the main campfire on one side and be able to have the dutch oven on the other side – away from exploring little hands!
- Prepare your dough – add the yeast to roughly 30ml of warm water to activate. Combine the water, flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl and knead until combined. Cover with a tea towel and leave at least 30min to rise.
- Tear off a piece of baking paper about 40cm long. Lay it on your chopping board and sprinkle with flour
- Start by pulling off a ball of dough. The amount will vary depending on the size of your dutch oven but I used a fist-sized ball for our 8 inch oven. Roughly roll the dough out to the size of your oven. I didn’t bother bringing a rolling pin and just smooshed the dough into shape with my fingers – I mean, it’s all about rustic when camping, right?
- Drop a hefty dollop of pizza topping onto your base and spread evenly.
- The most fun and creative part – applying your topping! We had red capsicum, mushroom and pepperoni.
- CHEESE – lots of cheese. We used a four-cheese mix this time, which personally I prefer to just mozzarella on its own. You can add whichever you prefer, or whatever you have at home already.
- The tricky part – remove the oven to a safe place. Be sure to use the lid lifter tool and heatproof gloves! Next lift the baking paper and transfer the paper with pizza to the dutch oven.
- Return the lid and place the oven back on the hot coals – remember to replace the hot coals on the lid too to cook the pizza from both the base and the top.
- Cook for roughly 10minutes – cooking time will vary depending on how hot your coals are and how many you use. It’s a bit of trial and error so keep an eye on your pizza. The more you cook the easier it becomes to predict how long to cook them for
- When done, remove the dutch oven from the fire and place in a safe location. Next, use the baking paper to lift the pizza from the oven and place on your chopping board. Cut into slices and tuck in!