By Montana Grant

Posted: July 2, 2022

PIZZA is a favorite meal for all Montanans. Not all Montanans can get delivery, especially when we are in the wilderness. After a Big day of hunting, fishing, camping, or just enjoying Big Sky Country, we work up a Big appetite. Pizza is one dish that can fill a Big hunger. 

Campers are limited in size when baking Pizza over a fire or in a Dutch Oven. 10 inch or smaller seems to be the Biggest. You may also need to go rectangular instead of round to use all available baking space.

Making Big Sky Pizzas takes some creativity. On one BSA campout, some of the boys made a reflector oven out of foil and metal. They were able to crank up enough heat to bake but there was a trick to it! They baked the crust first, then added the toppings. It took 20 minutes to make the crust done enough and then 6 minutes to melt the cheese.  The pies were tasty, but they could not make them fast enough.

Dutch Ovens are my Pizza oven choice. A 12-inch oven can easily make Pizzas faster. I use a pan or baking plate that fits into the Dutch Oven. Take 4 small rocks to add a little elevation and place the Pizza on top. If you are making a thick crust, bake the crust until nearly done first. Now add the toppings. In 15 minutes, you will be Pie ready. The raised plate means that heat can circulate completely around the pie and prevent burning. 

You can make a simple, foolproof pizza dough for your pie, breadsticks, or Pizza knots.

Mix 4 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt, 1/3 cup of olive oil, and 1 small pkg. of active yeast. First take 1 ½ cups of warm water and add the yeast. Let the yeast start to work for a few minutes. Combine the flour, salt, and mix dry. Now add the oil and yeast water. Mix into a sticky mass. If you need more control of the mass, add a bit more flour. This recipe makes 2 pies, so separate and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. Cover the dough with some foil or a towel.

You can make the dough ahead of time and store in a plastic bag. Once the dough is done, it can also be frozen. You can then make your pies whatever size you want.

If you want to skip making a crust, try using English Muffins, Boboli crusts, or soft tortillas. Now you baking time is down to 10 minutes or less. Simply add the sauce and toppings to the premade platforms and bake. Coat the bottom of the oven with foil. I also spray or coat the crusts with a drizzle of olive oil before baking them.

I have also watched Boy Scouts make mini foil ovens and place a couple pizza muffins inside. They leave an air space over the pizza and place on some hot coals separated from the fire. In 5 minutes, the cheese is melted, and the muffin is warmed up. They also used long handled Pie Irons to put their muffin pies into for a quick bake.

Tortillas take even less time to make a pizza. Add some oil to a cast iron fry pan and lay the tortilla in place. Now cover with sauce and cheese/ toppings. Cover the fry pan with foil and set on top of some hot coals. The mini oven will melt the toppings fast!You can also make tortillas that you can roll up and then bake.

Here are some quick sauce ideas!

For a Red sauce use 1 can of tomato paste, ½ paste can of oil and ½ can of water. Add your pizza spices and a tsp of sugar. Mix and cover the crusts. You can also make this ahead of time and freeze. Premade store-bought sauce is also available in a can or jar.

For a White Pizza sauce heat 2 tbsp. of butter in a pan. Add 3 tbsp. of flour and stir. Whisk in 1 cup of milk and stir. Now add salt and pepper, minced garlic, basil and ½ cup of parmesan/ Reggiano cheese. Allow the sauce to thicken then apply to the pizzas.

It is also fun to scavenge for other wild ingredients. Morel mushrooms, dandelion flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace flowers, wild onions, or… Take cheese sticks and tear or cut into strips so you can place them like wagon wheel spokes on top the sauce. Rehydrated jerky or meat sticks can be diced and used for toppings.

Camp pizza is always a Big hit!

Montana Grant

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