As you may or may not know, this summer I spend my days in Norway. This country has magnificent nature which is absolutely breath taking. The only downside is that it rains a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot…
I love cooking outside and all this rain does not help too much, however… There are a couple of days when cooking outside it possible and, when I have a change, I always try to do it differently.
This time we went to Norwegian mountains. These mountains look like they are made of thin stones, laired on top of each other. When they break, it looks like a thin but wide stone surface, which can be used for many things such as rooftops, floors and in my case… grill top!
I though how nice would it be to bake a pizza somewhere in the mountains, but I had to use my creativity. I made two piles of stone on two sides of the campfire and then found a wide thin stone to put it on those two piles just above the campfire. This gives me a great cooking surface. There was only one more thing. To bake a pizza, I had to find a way to trap the heat, so all the cheese would melt nicely and everything would be hot throughout so…. I just brought a baking pan from home.
When making this pizza I used a grilled pizza technique, which is searing one side of the pizza dough and assembling it only after it’s been flipped over. This way pizza dough is cooked throughout and is nice a crispy.
- 500 g of all-purpose flour
- 325 ml warm (not hot) water
- 7g dry yeast
- Pinch of salt
Put the dry yeast in the warm water to activate them, let it sit for approximately 2 minutes. Remember, water must be warm, but not hot, otherwise the yeast might die. The water should be just a little warmer than your body temperature. Add this mixture to the flour and salt. Knead the dough until it is nice and smooth and does not stick to your hands. You might need to add a little bit more flour, but do not add too much or the dough might become very tough. At first the dough will stick to your hands, but be patient and continue kneading, it will come together. Once the dough is done, dust it with the flour or lightly drizzle it with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let it proof for around and hour. (Try to keep it in the warm place. Maybe closed to the campfire, but not too close so it would start cooking.) This recipe will give you 2 stone baked pizzas, which is more than enough for 2 people. You can use the same pizza dough recipe if you are making pizza in the oven at home.
While your dough is proofing, cut up the ingredients you want to use as your pizza toppings.
Let me give you a couple of combinations:
- Mozzarella, Parmesan, Peperoni and Jalapenos.
- Mozzarella, Parmesan, Parma or Serrano Ham, Arugula and Pine nuts.
- Mozzarella, Parmesan, Salami and Bell Peppers.
- Mozzarella, Parmesan, Tomato, Basil.
- Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Arugula and Pine Nuts.
Use your imagination and put whatever you like on your pizza!
Arugula should be put on after the pizza is baked.
Tip. Do not use moist mozzarella (the one in the liquid) when making a grilled pizza. You do not want your pizza to be watery.
Once the dough has proofed (doubled in size) you can start baking your pizza. Make sure that you ‘grill top’ is hot. Take half of the pizza dough and shape it into a round, pizza like shape. Use a rolling pin or, if you don’t have one, use your hands. I shaped the pizza with my hands.
Once it is shaped, put a little bit of oil (olive or vegetable) on one side of it, so it wouldn’t stick to the stone (just a safety measure). Drop it on the stone grill and wait until it gets crispy and starts holding its shape. Flip it over and start to assemble.
Put crushed canned tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, then cheese and other topping at the end. I always add a little bit of dried oregano too. Cover your pizza with a baking pan and let it bake for around 8 minutes.
Control the heat under your grill. If should be hot, but the fire should not touch the stone, otherwise your pizza might burn, or your stone might crack.
Once the pizza is cooked you can add a little bit of garlic oil (minced garlic + olive oil). It just takes the flavor to a higher level.
I think that hot food in the wilderness is amazingly comforting. Especially when you make it yourself, on the campfire. I enjoyed every second of making this pizza. It brings so much excitement. But the flavor is insanely good! I hope you try this method of cooking too and tell me what you think and how did it turn out.
Do not forget to put down the campfire before leaving and clean up after ourselves.
So here it is, my literally stone baked pizza…. Yum…