I'm on the road in our RV and carrying a 12" Lodge tri-leg cast iron Dutch oven, the kind that sits on top of charcoals and you put charcoals on the lid to cook top down. In the past I've made mostly stews and cobblers with the Dutch oven. Today for the first time I tried making a pizza.
Before heading out on our current trip I made my 220 gram dough balls that I had been using for baking 11" personal pizzas on an electric table top Breville Pizza Maker. I froze the dough balls and put them in plastic bags for compactness in a small freezer. The day before I took one out and put it in the refrigerator to thaw out and restart fermentation. This morning I put it a bowl to rise for pizza at dinner time. Here is the dough ball out of the refrigerator and in the bowl and another spare still frozen dough ball for comparison. By the end of the day the dough rose to fill the bowl.
I prepared the Dutch oven with a spray of olive oil in the bottom. The oven was seasoned. I wasn't sure it was necessary to add the olive oil but it didn't hurt. The I started the charcoals to let them turn gray in a disposable aluminum basting pan because the campsite did not have a fire pit or grill. When the coals were ready I put the oven on top of 10 charcoals and added 20 to the lid.
While the oven was on the charcoals I spread the dough and rather deliver it with a peel I just dropped it in the oven bottom. It wasn't my best effort. One side folded over and I straightened it out as much as I could. After the dough was in the oven I added my pizza sauce, then mozzarella cheese and then the pepperoni and put the lid on top. I had everything staged and ready to go so as not to waste any time. I wasn't sure how it would go but in hindsight I think I would have pre-heated the Dutch oven more.
The bake took longer than I anticipated. It baked a total of 20 minutes and I ended up adding more coals to the lid hoping to brown the crust better. It came out fine. The crust was finished and I was satisfied. The crust was thin on the bottom and ended up stiff and cracker like. The cornicione (crust edge) was very light with the long ferment time.
I did a lot of Internet research on Dutch oven pizza and can say most is pretty bad. I learned a lot. I probably rushed the preparation as I said I should have pre-heated the oven more. The charcoal recommendations by almost all were too modest. The next time I will bring more heat to the process.
Cleanup was easy. The Dutch oven could be wiped clean with one paper towel as there was little left in the bottom. I let the charcoals burn down overnight and by the next morning the fine ash scattered in the wind and the pan could be wiped down with another damp paper towel so I could use the pan another time.
post edited by Davydd - 2014/03/29 13:29:09